Auto

BMW 3 Series

soars to newer heights

By Rory Daley
Observer writer
daleyr@jamaicaobserver.com

Friday, April 05, 2019

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THE rooftop of ATL Automotive's state-of-the-art Lady Musgrave Road showroom in St Andrew was the venue for last Saturday's unveiling of the 2020 BMW 3 series.

“The car has improved drastically over the previous generation. We expect that more customers will come back to BMW, some of whom went and explored, experimented with other brands. Their experimentation is over; they can come back to BMW and the best machine in the world,” Sloane Jackson, head of business at ATL Autobahn, told the Jamaica Observer's weekly Auto magazine.

ATL Autobahn is the division of the ATL Automotive Group responsible for the BMW and MINI brands.

The 3 series is one of BMWs most successful offerings, having clocked up 17 million in total worldwide sales to date. Currently, it represents around 20 per cent of the company's sales, making each introduction of a new model very important. For 2020, BMW has made sure the 3 series is more than capable of standing toe-to-toe with rivals.

Externally, the new 3 series sports a new design language with the signature kidney grill. The car is now longer, increasing interior space to that of the larger previous generation 5 series sedan. This means more passenger comfort and cargo-carrying options. There is also more luxury and technology as the car now comes for the first time with Apple CarPlay connectivity and the BMW Assistant, a voice-recognition system that allows significant control over vehicle functions in a more conversational manner. Already able to park itself with Park Assist, the new vehicle takes it even further with Reversing Assistance. Using this system, the car will record the low speed steering inputs for the last 50 metres of travel to stationary. Once activated, it can use this data to steer the vehicle in reverse with the driver handling throttle and braking.

“The Reversing Assistance is actually a big deal. If you live or work in an area with tight multi-storey parking, getting in and out of those parking spaces can be tricky, but the car remembers the last 50 metres of your drive and will reverse you out to a safe area where you can take control of car,” said Jackson.

Driving the 3 series is even better. Despite the increase in dimensions, the new BMW is 50 kilogrammes lighter and more aerodynamic allowing it to be more stable at high speeds. The car may have lost weight, but chassis rigidity is up. The combination keeps the 3 series nimble and more comfortable. Driving the rear wheels, as usual, is an updated version of the 2-litre Twin-Power Turbo giving it class-leading performance and economy. Putting out 258bhp, it makes a big jump in torque over the previous generation carrying the 3 series to 100km/h in just under six seconds and still delivering 48.7 miles to the gallon.

Buying has also become much simpler as there are three trim levels: Executive package; Sportline; and M Sport. There is only one engine option at launch.

The 2020 BMW 3 series starts at just under $8 million.

“Engine options are now just the 330i. We will have a 320i and an M340i which is the new M Performance model. Diesel options are available on order,” Jackson added.


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