The 1-Series Gran Turismo, or 1-Series GT for short, is the more radical of the two as it will see BMW offer a front-wheel drive model for the first time. However, the larger 3-Series GT is still an important vehicle for BMW as it reaffirms the automaker’s commitment to expand current model lines with even more offerings.
According to Autocar, the 3-Series GT will sit on a slightly longer wheelbase than the regular 3-Series and will follow the form of the existing 5-Series GT. This means that it should feature an innovative ‘bi-modal’ trunk and raised seating position.
As we’ve seen in our own spy shots of prototypes, BMW will be attempting to differentiate the 3-Series GT with a much sleeker look. This will be crucial for stealing sales from the svelte Audi A5 Sportback, which has proven quite popular in markets where it is sold.
Some of the options likely to be available on the new 3-Series GT are a panoramic glass sunroof, more entertainment features and possibly even a high-performance M Performance model. A dedicated M model is unlikely to make it given the car’s positioning towards families.
At this time it’s unclear if the vehicle will be offered in the U.S. given the low popularity of the 5-Series GT and recent announcement of the 3-Series Sports Wagon for local sale. If it does come, expect it to be powered by the same slate of engines as the regular 3-Series, meaning a duo of turbocharged four- and six-cylinder units.
Press days for the 2012 Paris Auto Show commence on September 27, so we don’t have long to wait now.