The new 3 Series has maintained the model’s overall proportions, defined by the sweeping hood, short front overhang, long wheelbase and set-back greenhouse.
These are combined with a wedge-shaped silhouette and larger dimensions: the F30 is 4,624 mm long (+93 mm), 1,811 mm wide, and has a wheelbase of 2,810 mm (+50 mm).
The tracks have been increased by 37 mm at the front and 48 mm at the rear, which contributes to the more dynamic stance and stronger on-the-road presence.
The new BMW 3 Series will be offered with a choice among three equipment levels (Sport Line, Luxury Line and Modern Line), in addition to the entry-level version.
The headlights now extend up to the frame of the grille, merging the headlights and grille into a single stylistic unit and emphasizing to the car’s stance.
The central air intake is replaced by two larger intakes, positioned underneath the headlights to the outer edges, and featuring small vertical intakes on the far left and right of the main ducts, which improves air flow around the front wheels, enhancing aerodynamic efficiency and reducing fuel consumption at high speeds.
The flanks of the car are shaped by a “double swage line” made up of two character lines running alongside each other.
The higher swage line emerges out of the low-slung front end and flows over the front wheel with an understated sweep, in a nod to the sedan’s fleetness of foot.
The second swage line develops lower down behind the front wheel and follows a delicately arching path towards the rear.
Together, they reinforce the dynamic wedge shape of the car’s flanks and create vivid light and shade effects below the swage line, which draw further attention to the car’s wide track.
Alongside the Hofmeister kink at the base of the C-pillar runs a fine contour line from the roof into the boot lid, giving the roof an even lower appearance from the side.
The low-set reflectors on the far edges guide the vertical lines flowing out of the greenhouse over the rear lights to the wheels, lending visual emphasis to the car’s presence.
Traditional design elements include two lines below the rear spoiler and above the bumper that frame the rear end.
The surface treatment features contrasting light surfaces, achieved through the interchanges between smoothly flowing surfaces, precise lines and defined edges.
The interior features a driver-focused cockpit that is angled towards the driver by seven degrees. The surfaces and lines flow over the instrument panel towards the front passenger side of the cabin, where they form a smooth, protective border.
In the driver’s area all the lines converge on a single point behind the steering wheel and guide the eye towards the road.
The cockpit’s four circular dials (fuel gauge, speedometer, rev counter and oil temperature gauge) come with a black panel display.
Positioned on the horizontally-structured instrument panel, the freestanding standard-fitted iDrive monitor with high-resolution display recalls the latest flatscreen televisions normally found in living rooms rather than cars.
The monitor has no folding mechanism or binnacle, allowing the entire dashboard to retain its flat, smooth lines and giving the interior a lighter, more dynamic feel.
On the driver’s side of the asymmetric center tunnel, a different trim surface and graining mark out the active driving elements of the interior, while the trim surface on the front passenger side exudes a pleasingly elegant air.
Positioned centrally on the centre console within easy reach of both the driver and the front passenger is the standard iDrive Controller.
Underneath the armrest is a compartment for mobile devices (mobile phones,
MP3 players and smartphones), with a USB/AUX-IN socket.
The units will be coupled with a choice between a six-speed manual transmission and a eight-speed ZF automatic transmission.
The suspension system features a double-joint front axle with aluminum torque struts, wishbones and swivel bearings and a refined five-link rear axle.
Additional versions – including the all-wheel drive models and a new full-hybrid model – will follow starting from 2012.
Among the technical features are the Auto Start-Stop, the Brake Energy Regeneration system, an optimized EPS (Electronic Power Steering) and the Servotronic system.