Red letter day
The new 3 Series is lighter, quicker and cooler — but will it be dearer?
MELBOURNE is the surprise star at the world premiere of the all-new-bmw3 Series in Munich.
As the sixth-generation 3 Series is revealed for the first time, a car painted in bright
‘‘ Melbourne Red’’ hogs the spotlight AT BMW headquarters.
The hero colour is splashed on a 3 Series with the latest Sports package, part of a revamp of the world’s favourite BMW. It starts with a slippery new body with a drag coefficient of just 0.26 and continues with an efficient diesel with claimed economy of just 4.1-litres/100km and customer-friendly Modern, Sport and Luxury equipment packages.
The new car is also said to be 45kg lighter than the outgoing E90, though owners will pay a little more. Rumours in Germany suggest a 4 per cent rise across the board for a car that is in showrooms in the first quarter of next year.
Nearly a third of bmw’s annual sales come from the 3 Series line-up but, in Australia, it’s easily outsold by the Mercedes-benz C-class.
‘‘ The 3 Series is the heart of the brand. It has been the longterm growth engine of BMW,’’ global head of bmw sales and marketing Ian Robertson tells
‘‘ It’s also been a pioneer. It starts with a good design.’’
But the design is, in some ways, a step backward. After the radical advances made by former design chief Chris Bangle, the new 3 Series is much closer in shape and style to the 7 Series and 5 Series. There was a time when BMWs looked like different slices of the same sausage and that approach is back to some degree, though the incoming car has a more adventurous face that links the headlamps to the signature kidney grilles.
The newcomer is definitely stylish and the package approach to equipment allows