The current BMW 3 Series may have evolved drastically from its predecessor, but one thing remains true: it still stands as the heart and soul of BMW’s entire model lineup, appealing to arguably the widest range of markets compared to other BMWs. For the longest time, the 3 Series has more than held its own in a market that dictates that a model should have a nice blend of luxury, sportiness, and performance.

Along those lines, AC Schnitzer has built a great reputation in the aftermarket scene, thanks in large part to embracing those same qualities in its tuning programs. No more is that evident than with its latest offering for the 3 Series.

The kit itself includes everything you’d want for your BMW 3 Series. It has cosmetic upgrades, aero components, interior modifications, and most of all, engine enhancements for close to the entire range of 3 Series models. The lack of any bombastic conversions on the exterior may be a sore spot for some, but by and large, this is as comprehensive a kit as there is for the 3 Series.

It certainly comes as no surprise that AC Schnitzer is involved in it.

Continue reading to learn more about the BMW 3 Series LCI by AC Schnitzer.

  • 2015 BMW 3 Series LCI by AC Schnitzer
  • Year:
    2015
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
    360
  • Top Speed:
    155 mph (Est.)
  • car segment:
  • body style:

Exterior

2015 BMW 3 Series LCI by AC Schnitzer High Resolution Exterior
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2015 BMW 3 Series LCI by AC Schnitzer High Resolution Exterior
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2015 BMW 3 Series LCI by AC Schnitzer High Resolution Exterior
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The 3 Series is no longer available in coupe form, but even if it’s now sporting the look of a sedan, it still exudes the same sporty aggression that would make its predecessors proud. Be that as it may, AC Schnitzer still installed a few aerodynamic parts to enhance its performance and handling capabilities. The new components include a new front spoiler, carbon mirror cover, rear roof spoiler, and rear deck spoiler. The German tuner is also offering these items in carbon finish as an option. On the cosmetic side, AC Schnitzer is offering design stripes and a rear skirt protective film. These additions are also available for both the 3 Series LCI Saloon and Touring variants.

Finishing off the exterior modifications are the new AC1 alloy wheel options. The wheels are available in either BiColor or anthracite and in 18-, 19-, and 20-inch sizes. Customers can also avail of the tuner’s Type IV and Type VII rims. Those Type IVs are available in a silver finish, but are only available in 18-inches. Meanwhile, the Type VII BiColor forged alloys are available in up to 21-inch sizes.

Interior

2015 BMW 3 Series LCI by AC Schnitzer High Resolution Exterior
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Don’t expect anything out of the ordinary inside the BMW 3 Series. Sure, there are some available accessories, but even when added, they don’t really do anything to push the interior’s style to a higher level. Customers are free to have a "Black Line" aluminium cover and brake handle installed. Same with the gear knobs, the redesigned aluminium pedal set and footrest, and velour floor mats. Other than these available accessories, there’s very little to see inside the cabin of the 3 Series.

Drivetrain

2015 BMW 3 Series LCI by AC Schnitzer High Resolution Drivetrain
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As expected, AC Schnitzer is offering a variety of engine upgrades for different variants of the 3 Series. Depending on the base powertrain, the diesel engines of models ranging from the 316d all the way to the 335d has been tweaked to receive anywhere from 139 horsepower all the way up to 360 horsepower. Meanwhile, gas variants of the 3 Series also have their own engine upgrades. The 316i base unit, for instance, could get as much as 204 horsepower while the 335i stands to receive 360 horsepower. As far as the 330i and 340i are concerned, AC Schnitzer said that upgrades for both variants will be available soon, since both are still “in development”. A high power charge cooler and a sports catalyst finish off the engine modifications. Each of these components play important roles in helping accommodate the increased power coming from the 3 Series’ 2.0-liter inline-four engine.

The last piece of this puzzle is the addition of silencers in twin tailpipe variants. Customers are free to choose the design of the silencers from "Racing Evo", "Sport" or "Sport Black".

Safety

2015 BMW 3 Series LCI by AC Schnitzer High Resolution Exterior
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AC Schnitzer is offering two types of suspension updates on the 3 Series. The first option is a fully height- adjustable AC Schnitzer Racing suspension with adjustable compression and rebound settings. This kit drops the height of the 3 Series by around 1.18 inches to 1.6 inches. The second option is a sports suspension kit that draws the body closer to the surface by 0.98 to 1.18 inches at the front and 0.79 inches to 0.98 inches at the back.

They may not be sexy updates, but rest assured, these suspension spring kits play important roles in improving the 3 Series’ drivability.

Prices

There’s no specific price tag for this program considering that a lot of items included in it are subject to a customer’s taste and preference. If a customer is looking for an answer, he can contact AC Schnitzer directly to get a specific price quote depending on what options are chosen.

Competition

Mercedes C-Class by Carlsson

2014 Mercedes C-Class By Carlsson High Resolution Exterior Wallpaper quality
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Let’s do an analogy for a second: BMW is to Mercedes as AC Schnitzer is to what? If you answered Carlsson, then give yourself a pat on the back. Carlsson is known for a lot of things, but it’s most popularly known for its programs for Mercedes-Benz vehicles. Back in 2014, the German tuner revealed a kit for the C-Class, which took a different approach than AC Schnitzer’s kit for the 3 Series.

Instead of focusing on engine enhancements, Carlsson turned its attention towards giving the C-Class the full aerodynamic treatment. There’s a carbon fiber front spoiler, redesigned air intakes, contoured head lights, and a new chrome grille. All that’s just in front of the car. Out back, the tuner added a two-piece rear apron with a diffuser insert. The tailpipes also received stylized "surrounds" and there’s also a trunklid spoiler.

Carlton also offered suspension spring modifications that drop the sedan’s ride height by 1.18 inches. Likewise, a variety of different wheels were offered in 18-inch, 19-inch, or 20-inch varieties.

The program also comes with a variety of interior updates, highlighted by a choice of leather options that come in a variety of types and colors.

Read our full review here.

Audi S3 Sedan By ABT Sportsline

2014 Audi S3 Sedan By ABT Sportsline High Resolution Exterior
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ABT Sportsline adopts a similar strategy as AC Schnitzer. Instead of tying itself up with complicated aerodynamic kits, it focuses on engine upgrades. Back in May 2014, ABT Sportsline built one for the Audi S3 and as expected, it combined massive performance upgrades with a subtle yet effective kit.

The German tuner installed fender inserts made from high-quality ABS plastic to add a more pronounced look to the front section of the S3. Integrated entrance lights, floor mats and air caps into the package are also part of the program. New DR wheels, measuring 18-, 19-, or 20-inch variants are also available in either Gun-Metal or Mystic-Black finish.

Moving to the S3’s 2.0-liter inline-four engine, ABT Sportsline used its very own power “New Generation" system, a state-of-the-art uprating system with its own control unit, to improve the S3’s output from 296 horsepower and 280 pound-feet of torque all the way up to 370 horsepower and 339 pound-feet of torque. The result of these modifications allowed the S3 to improve its 0 to 60 mph sprint time to 4.5 seconds. Top speed also went up to 165 mph, a 10-mph increase from the standard S3’s top speed of 155 mph.

Read our full review here.

Conclusion

2015 BMW 3 Series LCI by AC Schnitzer High Resolution Exterior
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This is the kind of program that doesn’t really do much in adding the face value of excitement to the BMW 3 Series. But, looking at it from that point of view would be missing the point. Like ABT Sportsline, AC Schnitzer prefers building tuning programs that are geared towards giving the donor vehicles improved performance capabilities. I’ve said it in the past. This is the type of tuning kit that prides itself on improving the one aspect about a car that really matters. A car can look as flashy as it wants, but if it doesn’t have the accompanying performance modifications, it’s going to be nothing more than bluster. With a performance upgrade like this, owners can enjoy the added power that comes with it. I’m a big fan of AC Schnitzer and kits like this confirm why I like the company so much.

  • Leave it
    • * Might not be for those who prefer styling upgrades
    • * Pricing can vary depending on the optionals
    • * Other tuning firms offer similar programs

Press Release

New to the market but already upgraded: the two 3-series LCI models, now even better thanks to the help of tuning specialists at AC Schnitzer.

2015 BMW 3 Series LCI by AC Schnitzer High Resolution Exterior
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The Aachen-based experts at AC Schnitzer have helped uprate the diesel power plants of the 316d - 335d, depending on base engine, to 102 kW/139 hp (316d) and 264 kW/360 hp (335d). The performance upgrades for the petrol-engined models of the 316i – 335i deliver between 150 kW/204 hp (316i) and 265 kW/360 hp (335i). Only the upgrades for the new 330i and 340i power units are still in development.

One thing is certain: all performance upgrades make the 3-series even more impressive and come with a 2-year warranty. And once again, the readers of "sport auto" magazine have voted AC Schnitzer currently the best engine tuner across marques, confirming the company’s position as a competent partner for performance tuning.

A high power chargecooler and sports catalyst complete the performance product range. But since appearances also count, the core values are again reflected in the AC Schnitzer engine styling.

The 3-series LCI models create an appropriate sound with the AC Schnitzer silencers in twin tailpipe variants in "Racing Evo", "Sport" or "Sport Black" design. For a purely visual conversion, the tailpipe trims are also available individually.

In the 3-series by AC Schnitzer, automotive life is experienced either with the fully height- adjustable AC Schnitzer Racing suspension with its adjustable compression and rebound settings, which lowers the 3-series by around 30 - 40 mm, or the sports suspension which draws the body closer to the tarmac by 25 - 30 mm at the front and around 20 - 25 mm at the rear. Conversion with the suspension spring kit ensures you never lose grip even on turbulent, twisty events.

2015 BMW 3 Series LCI by AC Schnitzer High Resolution Exterior
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Ground adhesion is improved above all with a combination of suspension components and the AC Schnitzer wheel and tyre sets. To achieve the perfect look, there is a choice of wheel designs which make up the wide range of wheelsets for the 3-series models.
The new AC1 alloys in BiColor or anthracite are available in 18, 19 and 20 inch. The same size range is also offered in the Type VIII design in black and silver, and the Type IV rims in BiColor. The latter also come in silver (18 inch only), while the Type VIII BiColor forged alloys can be fitted in sizes up to 21 inch.

The ACS3 shows its inner values with the AC Schnitzer "Black Line" aluminium cover for the BMW "i-Drive" system controller, a choice of gear knobs, the "Black line" aluminium handbrake handle, the redesigned aluminium pedal set and footrest, and velours foot mats. And if that weren’t enough:

The aerodynamic components from AC Schnitzer make the ambitious standard model into a vehicle with even more dynamism and sporting performance. AC Schnitzer front spoiler elements - also available in carbon as an option -, carbon mirror cover, rear roof spoiler and rear spoiler, together with design stripes and rear skirt protective film, are also available for the 3-series LCI Saloon and Touring with immediate effect.

1956 Mercedes-Benz 300 SC Roadster
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To request further details and high resolution images you may have a look in the press area of the AC Schnitzer homepage. For your personal assistance please do not hesitate to contact us anytime.

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