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by Tim Beissmann

The BMW 3 Series GT has been officially revealed ahead of the premium mid-sized hatchback’s Geneva motor show debut next month.

Stylistically, the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo follows the lead of the larger 5 Series GT, offering a midway point between the sedan and Touring wagon derivatives, although size-wise, the new third variant in the sixth-generation BMW 3 Series range is the largest so far.

At 4824mm long, 1828mm wide, 1489mm tall and riding on a 2920mm wheelbase, the BMW 3 Series GT is 200mm longer, 17mm wider and 60mm taller than the identically sized sedan and wagon variants, and is 110mm longer between the wheels.

A 520-litre boot gives the hatchback a 40-litre advantage over the sedan and 25 litres over the Touring, while BMW says an additional 70mm of legroom places the 3GT between the 5 Series large car and 7 Series limousine for rear accommodation. Cargo space expands to 1600 litres with the 40:20:40 split rear seats folded forwards.

Like the 5GT, the 3 Series GT features a bigger kidney grille and bolder headlights, while larger intakes and a smoother bonnet further differentiate the hatch from its siblings.

Double swage lines and pronounced door sills add character to the profile, which is made even more distinctive by ‘Air Breather’ vents behind the front wheel arches and the coupe-style sloping roofline. The muscular rear end features a high bootlid and broad L-shaped LED tail-lights.

The cockpit largely mirrors the design of the sedan and wagon, although BMW says its elevated seating position, which perches the driver 59mm higher, creates better visibility and aids ease of ingress and egress.

The BMW 3 Series GT will be offered with all of the powertrains already available in the sedan and Touring line-ups, including the 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrols and diesels – the 105kW/320Nm 318d, 135kW/380Nm 320d, 135kW/270Nm 320i and 180kW/350Nm 328i – and the flagship 225kW/400Nm 3.0-litre six-cylinder 335i. BMW will expand the line-up with the mid-range 160kW/450Nm 325d diesel model by midyear.

BMW Australia product communications manager Scott Croaker confirmed the 3 Series GT was on track to arrive in local showrooms during the third quarter of this year.

He revealed the line-up would include the 320i and 328i petrol variants as well as at least one entry-level diesel. The 335i has not been confirmed for our market at this stage, and Croaker said BMW Australia had no indication if the 325d could also be introduced at a later stage.

Croaker said the 3 Series Gran Turismo variants would command a premium of “well under $5000” over their Touring counterparts, suggesting a price of around $65,000 for the 320i GT.

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