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2012 BMW 3-Series: Bigger, Bolder And More Fuel Efficient Page 4

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M Sport Package and xDrive add to the fun

Once again there will be a performance themed M Sport Package, which adds a new aerodynamic package, 18- or 19-inch light alloy wheels, an M Sport suspension, a blacked-out kidney grille, special interior pieces with blue accenting, an M Short-shifter (on manual models), M door sill covers, an M driver’s footrest and a new M leather steering wheel.

And for those in snowy climates, BMW offers its all-wheel drive xDrive option. In addition to the typical benefits of all-wheel drive, the electronically controlled xDrive system--which can fully vary the power split between the front and rear wheels with split-second speed--ensures surefootedness in the wet or snow.

The M Sport Package and xDrive option will be available next summer.

Another performance option is a new variable-ratio steering system. This system provides different steering gear ratios depending on the turning situation, so that the car responds either more directly or more softly to the driver’s steering inputs.

This reduces the number of steering wheel rotations required for bigger turns by up to 25 percent and makes for easier, more convenient parking and turning since less effort is required from the driver. The best part is that the variable-ratio steering is a purely mechanical system, meaning you don’t have that lack of feel many electronic systems can have.

Look out for the 2012 BMW 3-Series’ showroom appearance early next year and stay tuned for our first drive report.

While you wait for its arrival, click here to read up about the new high-performance M3 variant that’s still in the works.

Also, click here for our mega-gallery of all the different 2012 BMW 3-Series model lines.

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Comments (5)
  1. It's not bad.. but I can't say it looks good either. And seriously, I think this car could have been better with a 1.6 turbo and 2.0 turbo alone.

    I don't see why you need two models that can do 0-60 in around 5.5 seconds. Leave those speeds for the M3.

    Does power and acceleration still sell? I wonder..
     
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  2. It is a beautiful car, it maintains an individual look whilst darwing on other cars in the BMW lineup such as the 5-series and the Z4. BMW still cares about dynamics and driver enjoyment whilst catering to the environment. Performance sounds as great as it has always been, all in all a seemingly great car to take BMW into the future.
     
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  3. I think BMW is making a mistake and taking Audi's lead in making model lines look almost identical except for size. Don't get me wrong, it looks good, but there is more to a 3 than size. With this car, it loses it's unique identity.
     
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  4. Totally agree here. And it doesn't help that the interiors are so similar as well. This 3 really seems just like a downsized 5. And the 7-Series is no longer the elegant luxury barge I always hoped it would be, just more of the same. At least Mercedes differentiates its cars, inside and out.

    It's sad when I think that the most exciting BMW right now, at least for me, is the 1-Series M Coupe. Hopefully the 3-Series Coupe and eventual M3 will address this.
     
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  5. it's so cool, i like it.
     
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