After taking a sales hit due to tsunami-related production woes, Lexus has been trying to regain their mojo with a new product offensive. Things started out with the new Lexus GS sedan that Jack Baruth and I loved on and off the track, followed by a revised RX. With the redesigned IS, the bulk of their lineup has been overhauled. Initially, I was a little concerned that the Lexus IS sedan would receive nothing more than a new nose and some LED lights for 2014 but the Japanese 3-Series fighter came out swinging when we were invited to the launch event earlier in the year. I came away impressed with the IS 350′s road manners, but most buyers will be shopping for the less powerful IS 250 and it’s taken us this long to get our hands on one.
Tag: 3 Series
Now turn your hymnals, as the great man once said, to Number Four, and we’ll sing two choruses of Withering Contempt.
You want a challenge? Try sitting in a design studio when tasked with redesigning an automotive icon. I especially enjoyed these tasks, because you could to honor a brand and maybe even go retro on your vellum. If I was still in that game, I’d go heavy on the E36. That was my favorite of the 3-series, because it had a proper BMW look, without being tiny and cheap looking like the E30. And while this isn’t a retro 3-series by any stretch, the toning down of Chris Bangle’s flame surfacing continues. And that’s a good thing. (Read More…)
No car has defined and dominated a segment like the BMW 3-Series. It is the compact sport sedan everyone else has been gunning for since the origin of the line over 30 years ago. So when the 3er is redesigned, as it has been for 2012, everyone wonders: have they once again raised the bar, or have they lost their way, perhaps even choked? An answer, in two parts. First up: a “Luxury Line” 328i automatic. Next month: a three-pedal “Sport Line” 335i.
People form lasting impressions at an early age. This might explain why, among the general population over 35, neither Audi nor BMW can match the mystique of a Mercedes. Even the bottom-of-the-US-range C300 raises eyebrows from people who’ll give an Audi A7 nary a passing glance (and who’d view spending an extra $8,000 for a hatchback as lunacy). But will this continue to be the case with subsequent generations, or will Mercedes follow in the footsteps of Cadillac? A brand is only as strong as its weakest link. Does the C300 justify the cachet attached to its three-pointed star?
Today, at 4pm in Munich, the sixth generation 3 series was launched to the press. Usually, this happens in an exotic place. Today, BMW picked a super-exotic place: Its plant in Munich. More than 10,000 people work here, and the launch in the factory was meant to underscore how important BMW’s volume model is in keeping the 10,000 employed.
First to see the daylight was a 320d, followed by a 328i, bunches of additional 320d, a 328i, a 330i, and finally a 335i. You’ll see lots of pictures after the jump … (Read More…)
For years, my wife and I have enjoyed the carefree enjoyment of running around without a care in the world. Then we had a baby, who is soon going to go from an only child to a big sister. The wife has owned the same car that she bought new when she graduated college: 2000 Honda Insight. Regardless of which side of the hybrid fence you are on, as a car guy, this car continues to amaze me with almost 230,000 miles and no major problems. I have on the other hand gone through a few more cars: Saab 9000, Saab SPG, Ford Bronco, VW Jetta, Nissan X-Terra. My current ride is the X-Terra chiefly bought so I could arrive on muddy construction sites and be taken a little more seriously than my European sports car driving bosses.
You can already buy a BMW 3-Series in sedan, coupe, station wagon and X3 “cute-ute” bodystyles, and for some automakers that might be enough. For niche-crazed BMW though, it’s just the beginning. A 3-Series GT is planned in the mold of the 5-Series GT, as a midway-point between the coupe, sedan and station wagon versions. You know, in case you can’t decide which you want. “This has never existed!” screamed Autobild… back in 2008. Of course, now it does exist in the form of the 5-series GT, which could actually end up replacing the 5-series wagon in the US market. And as the march of the niche vehicles rolls onward, there’s one more segment that the 3-series architecture still hasn’t capitalized on: the jacked-up midway point between coupe and SUV. That’s right babies, the X4.
We’ve seen photos of the refreshed BMW 3-Series coupe and convertible, but shots of the sedan have proven somewhat more elusive. Luckily TTAC has eyes everywhere. Commenter dinu01 spied this updated 3-Series testing near Toronto. “Both front and rear emblems are taped,” he reports. “The driver did not want to be photographed and went between 150-160 km/h.” Have a spy shot of your own? Share it with our contact form, and we’ll share it with TTAC’s readers.
With a brand new BMW 3 Series in development, BMW has updated the current-generation coupe and convertible. Or has it? Say what you want about the Bangle era, in those days a mid-cycle refresh was a mid-cycle refresh.
Starting January 1, 2010, Chinese buyers will get the rare chance to buy a genuine, Made-in-München (or Regensburg) BMW 3 Series at the price of a Made-in-Shenyang BMW 3 Series, while the Chinese BMW/Brilliance joint venture updates its production facilities.
BMW Brilliance will import BMW 3 Series in large quantities starting January 1, 2010. The BMW venture in China will stop manufacturing the series temporarily to upgrade its production line, Gasgoo reports.
Customers in this segment want emotional appeal, sporty design and dynamic driving properties. The S60 has it all. We are convinced that it will be one of the strongest contenders around
Volvo CEO Stephen Odell explains in the press release for the new S60 why people who buy 3 Series sedans don’t cross-shop Volvo… and why he wants to expand his brand so that someday they might. But leaving aside the sad fact that every luxury brand wants to build “the new 3 Series,” we’re having a hard time figuring this move out. Considering that Volvo is about to get a Chinese-style upscale overhaul, expect the “dynamic driving properties” part of the “what does Volvo stand for this week” exercise to fall off the radar with haste. And really, Volvo makes a lot more sense as a Euro-tinged, safety-forward alternative to Lexus and (in China) Buick than a BMW wannabe.