By on January 9, 2012

The new 3! All new! And it looks like it finally has some decent brakes. About three and a half inches longer, it’s also now finally available in Audi “Atmospheres” the Sportline / Luxuryline / Modernline trim levels that BMW has used, in one fashion or another, in Europe for Averylongtime.

Engine choices are what we expected, more or less: the two-liter four-cylinder turbo for the Increasingly Inaccurately Named Three Twenty eight Eye, a 306-horsepower revised turbo six for the 335i, and the ActiveHybrid. 335 horsepower was the number I heard during the press preview, along with 37mpg. It’s a tempting combo, for sure, and it underlines the previous BMW strategy undertaken with the X6 of making the hybrid a big power ride.

The new 3 is aggressive-looking and I’m pretty sure I saw (and photographed) some non-sliding-caliper brakes on the 335i. That’s a good sign for those of us who want to track these cars. Transmission choices are six-speed manual and eight-speed automatic for the non-hybrids, but the press conference was vague about the hybrid transmission.

Also at the show: the i8 from Mission:Impossible. As a concept car, it is certainly shiny.

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22 Comments on “NAIAS: BMW ActiveHybrid 3, 335i “Lines”...”


  • avatar
    LeMansteve

    This car looks awesome, though I’m still not completely sold on the nose (looks squashed). They absolutely nailed the side profile of the car, classic BMW. Long hood with the rear seats and Hofmeister kink practically on top of the rear axle. Reminds me a lot of my E46.

  • avatar
    damikco

    Honestly this car dose not look so good, maybe it will grow on me but until then ill just sit back and watch the brainless say how great it looks.

  • avatar
    stuki

    BMW finally capitulated on the options front, I guess. For the longest time, when leasing a Bimmer through BMWFS, one would get the same residual percentage for every crazy option in the catalog, making leasing them fully optioned a truly fantastic deal; compared to Audi, where each higher trim line had a lower (that be more accurate) residual. I bet BMWFS took it on the nose enough to finally cry foul, once the slower economy cooled demand for lease returns.

    Anyway, 3 inches longer! I know the hardcore “drivers” out there will squeal; but on the other hand, I’m thinking that might make the next M3 sufficiently big to render the now very tempting M5 superfluous…..

  • avatar
    cognoscenti

    OK. I’ve had a bunch of BMWs, spanning multiple E30s, an E36, an E46 as well as significant experience with E39, E90/92 and E60 chassis. I even did an E30 swap car with an E46 M3 6-speed. You could say that I love BMW! However, now I’m middle-aged and can appreciate some luxury. Regrettably, I just can’t make peace with the ever-growing chassis dimensions and weight. So they want to push us “purists” into a 1-Series, I get it – but how am I supposed to do that when the 3-Series is only slightly more expensive? The value proposition always wins. Either make us a stripper model 1-Series, or manage the mass of the 3 a little better – geez!

    • 0 avatar
      burgersandbeer

      BMW is managing weight on the 3er. I believe the new 328 (with the turbo 4) is actually lighter than the current 328 with the I6. It isn’t drastic, but at least things are being kept under control as the car continues to get larger.

      I agree the 1 series is a tough sell in its current form. It’s a big ugly, not much cheaper than a 3 and a lot less practical. It’s still pretty heavy too.

      It sounds like all of these cars are being re-positioned though. The 3 has obviously grown considerably in the last two generations, and there are more rumors surrounding the 1-series and a possible 2-series than I can keep track of. The new 1 series could even end up as a FWD car, at least in certain body styles.

    • 0 avatar
      mnm4ever

      I have always wanted an E30 with a E46 M3 drivetrain… I am jealous! Maybe you should have stopped there??? :)

  • avatar
    Vance Torino

    Is there any more obvious indictment of BMW’s descent from “honest, sporting schisse” to “gimmicky lease-fodder for posers” than the new “328i”?

    OMG, Buying a “320ti” sounds so, like, DOWNSCALE.

    Trust me, the GERMAN ENGINEERS were NOT consulted on that decision.

    (Lexus is even more pathetic, IMHO – naming hybrids as if the power output was equivalent to a “normal” engine. Behold the “RX 450h” with the… 3.5L V6!)

    Mercedes also calls every displacement under the sun a “6.3″

    “I want the red car with an iPod dock!”

  • avatar
    Advance_92

    Not a fan of the three quarter angle, and any idea what the mpg would be for that brown 320d in the pictures?

    And if brown’s making a comeback when do we get golf, inka, and taiga?

  • avatar
    JJ

    Not sure what you mean by ‘lines that have been available in some form or other in Europe’. BMW hasn’t done this or anything like this before in Europe. Moreover, I think the lines are a stupid idea. I might want the sportline but I don’t care for the weird looking red stripes on the interior trim, however if I want to have the sportline without the red bits, I can’t have the piano black trim that I want. Similarly, yes a modern line would be ok, but I don’t want a freakin beige steering wheel…

    BMW is a luxury brand and one of the things that should mean is that you can have almost any combination of colors with any combination of options, IMHO.

    Think (and hope) they drop the lines concept ASAP and make angry faces at the dude in marketing who came up with it.

  • avatar
    danny325is

    I am long time BMW fan, I own and race many of them, but I feel all good thing must come to an end. BMW has forgotten their niche, and is going for MASS appeal (who can blame them?) I think the car looks like an old mans car that is trying to hard.

    I am in my mid 30s, Own or have owned e30s, e46s, and currently drive an e90 as my DD.

    I don’t mind a 4cyc turbo, but not for a 5k increase in base price(37,500 base). For a 4cyc turbo car, there are so many new cooler looking options that start in the mid 20s.

    the only car I like from BMW right now is the M3 and 1M. The M3 is over weight and over priced. for 70K id pay a few more bucks and pick up a GTR.

  • avatar
    Bimmer

    Is BMW turning into Porsche with options? On 335i you don’t even get body color painted mirror caps a la Domestics and Japaneses in the 90′s!? WTF!?

  • avatar
    jkross22

    It would appear that BMW has resigned itself to allow the badge to sell the car. This new 3 appears to be larger than the great 5 series e39′s, and that’s not a good thing. If buyers wanted a 5, they’d get one. Not a big 3 series.

  • avatar
    wallstreet

    I’m worry about that new electronic steering.

  • avatar
    Spencer Williams

    Wow. I’m not a BMW guy, as I am both cheap and somewhat poor, but the brown 320d and the blue 328i both look really good.
    How is it that BMW is able to get the ride height / wheel fitment on a car so perfect in stock form, while most cars I look at have awkwardly large amounts of wheel gap? (Proud of myself for getting that sentiment across without using “stance” as a verb.)

  • avatar
    W.Minter

    Correct my if I’m wrong: the F30 hybrid powertrain is similar to the F10′s, audi a6, q5 & vw – ZF 8 speed auto, Li-ion, starter generator (= motor) instead of torque converter. Fits in FWD, RWD and AWD layouts.

  • avatar
    Bandagraph

    Bring us the 1 series hatch. I was just in London and I’m in love with it. 1 series M Hatchback could be the return of the S54 M coupe….which about 5 people would buy.


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