With new dampers, a lower centre of gravity and more power.
BMW has begun the official tease of its next-generation 3 Series, releasing a set of camouflaged pictures of the crucial mid-size sedan taking on the Nurburgring.
Although we can't tell too much about the way it'll look, BMW has provided a few tantalising details about the car. For one, it'll maintain its 50/50 weight distribution, and have a centre of gravity around 10mm lower than the current model. It'll also be 55kg lighter on average.
Coupled with a more rigid body, wider tracks all around, and more camber, the car should be a sharper steer than the current model. Then again, on-paper specs don't necessarily translate to on-road fun, so we'll refrain from jumping to conclusions.
There's a fresh tune for the variable-ratio sports steering setup, along with a retuned M Sport suspension. BMW has gone to great lengths to highlight the new "lift-related" damping system, standard across the range, designed to deliver better body control in a range of conditions.
"We're using the lift-related dampers as an active set-up element so as to create supreme driving properties in all conditions," saif Peter Langen, BMW head of driving dynamics.
"With short spring travel, a sensitive damping response ensures comfortable vibration compensation. When the car passes over large bumps, the body movements are controlled by increased damping forces."
Under the bonnet, the 3 Series will be powered by the 'most powerful four-cylinder engine ever to be fitted in a BMW series-production model' in some guises, hooked up to an eight-speed automatic transmission. The company is claiming a 5.0 per cent drop in fuel consumption, in spite of the power bump.
BMW hasn't announced a reveal date for the new 3er, but we'd suggest later this year – maybe at the Paris motor show – is a good bet. Stay tuned for more in the lead up.
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