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by Brett Davis

BMW has pulled the wraps off the all-new 2012 BMW 3 Series. The sixth-generation 3 Series was unveiled at a special premiere event at the company’s headquarters in Munich, Germany.

As predicted, the new 3 Series takes on BMW’s latest design language also seen on the BMW 5 Series and the new BMW 1 Series. It shares similar lines and panel proportions to these models, including a long V-contoured bonnet with a pronounced nose and grille area. There’s also an interesting new headlight design that extends inwards to meet with the traditional kidney grilles.

At the back and the sides it’s easy to spot the resemblance with the 5 Series, with big red taillights and swollen rear guards that blend around and form into a matching mould for the rear bumper. The lower rear bumper also gets new fog lights/reflectors sandwiching a discrete little diffuser.

Like the currently line-up, the new BMW 3 Series will come with a range of engines. There will be a new BMW 316d and BMW 318d, possibly set for overseas markets only, coming with a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel engine producing 85kW and 105kW respectively.

The initial range will consist of a BMW 320d, BMW 320d EfficientDynamics, BMW 328i and a flagship BMW 335i.

Starting with the entry-level variant, BMW has introduced a new super-fuel-efficient 3 Series called the BMW 320d EfficientDynamics. It will be powered by a 2.0-litre TwinPower turbo-diesel four-cylinder engine producing 120kW of power and 380Nm of torque.

Thanks to an array of fuel-saving technologies such as Stop-Start, Brake Energy Regeneration, and on-demand control of engine ancillary components, it’s average fuel consumption rating is just 4.1L/100km. The EfficientDynamics model is also fitted with low rolling resistance tyres.

The new base model BMW 320d will come with a similar powertrain package, only the engine will produce 135kW of power and 380Nm of torque and showcase an average fuel consumption figure of 4.5L/100km.

Next up in the new range is the BMW 328i. It will be powered by the all-new 2.0-litre TwinPower turbocharged four-cylinder engine, producing 180kW of power and 350Nm of torque. BMW says the new 320d will be able to accelerate from 0-100km/h in 5.9 seconds.

Finally, the new BMW 335i will come with the same 3.0-litre TwinPower turbo six-cylinder producing 225kW of power and 400Nm of torque. BMW says thanks to various fuel-saving technologies and slight revisions, fuel consumption for the 335i has been reduced from 9.6L/100km to 7.9L/100km.

BMW will release a BMW ActiveHybrid 3 hybrid version of the new 3 Series sometime down the track, as our previous spy shots hinted. The new hybrid will be powered by the 335i 3.0-litre petrol engine and a 40kW hybrid electric system. Performance and official specifications are yet to be finalised.

The 2012 BMW 3 Series will go on sale in Australia early in the second quarter of next year. The new wagon will follow, while the new coupe and convertible versions – expected to be called the BMW 4 Series – should arrive late in 2013. Pricing on the specific variants headed our way is yet to be announced. We’ll keep you updated.




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