Forget The Past, Look Into The Future

The Bavarian automaker has lost its patience with people criticizing the last few generations of the 3 Series. This has irked the automaker, and motivated it to aim for new driving benchmarks with its latest mid-size luxury sedan. BMW’s development chief, Klaus Frohlich, said that the latest G20 version had to be the best driving car in its class.

Did Bruce Banner Just Become The Hulk?

BMW Seriously Doesn't Want the 2019 3 Series Compared to the Older 3 Series
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Speaking to Motoring, Frohlich said that the latest BMW 3 Series generation “has to beat everybody in the segment in driving dynamics because all the Australian, UK, and American journalists say ‘ooh the E46 CSL was the last real 3 Series’”. “I do not want to hear that shit anymore.”

The chief said that BMW has worked hard on the dynamics and has achieved the intended results.

“First thing and this is for me the most important thing; you can drive fast and completely relaxed. You don’t feel how fast you are. Second thing and this thing is a big achievement; this car is much more valuable, it has much better materials, and it is solid like a rock.”

Still One Of The Most Important Model

BMW Seriously Doesn't Want the 2019 3 Series Compared to the Older 3 Series
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The 3 Series is the most important model in BMW’s stable, and the automaker has been more than vocal about it. Stressing on it again, Frohlich said, “I think it is about what is the brand standing for. Commercially, for example, the 5 Series is I think a bigger contributor; for example in China we would sell millions of cars of that type. But from the heart of the brand [the 3 Series] is still the most important car.

It is the right mixture of having the character and having the volume. You can have a super-sharp brand shaper very race equipped, but it will only sell some thousand units — it will not affect the brand.”

He also added that “This is a multiplier and it’s sporty.” “I think as a company BMW has a long history of compact four-seaters with a lot of power — 1600, 2002, the first 3 Series, the 323 with two exhaust pipes. This is BMW still in the minds of many people,” he said. BMW also changed the styling of the 3 Series from the 5 Series to make it more compelling and convincing to customers.

It’s A New Car In And Out

BMW Seriously Doesn't Want the 2019 3 Series Compared to the Older 3 Series
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The 2019 3 Series uses the new CLAR platform that sees a weight reduction of 121 pounds, despite the car being bigger than its predecessor. The new 3 Series also has 10mm lower center of gravity, wider tracks, and new passive dampers. “From the comfort, it is more like a 5 Series, because this cluster architecture is so, so stiff; for example 50 percent stiffness increase between front axle and bulkhead, 30 percent overall stiffness [increase]”. “You do not only feel it in driving, you feel it in ride comfort” said Frohlich.

The adaptive dampers from the previous generation get replaced by a new set.

When asked if the adaptive dampers will be given as an option, Frohlich said, “We still have it there because many customers like it and love it, but you don’t really need it”. The new dampers used have been developed jointly with a supplier that BMW refuses to name. Is this because BMW has been facing stiff competition lately from the Alfa Romeo Giulia, Jaguar XE, and Mercedes-Benz C Class, and wants to keep it a close-guarded secret?

Future Plans

BMW Seriously Doesn't Want the 2019 3 Series Compared to the Older 3 Series
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The 3 Series portfolio gets a slight shake-up this time.

The 330e finds its way as the plug-in car in the lineup, while the GT has been axed.

Initially, the 320d and the 330i will be launched, followed by the M340i and 330e later next year. A new BMW 3 Series Touring wagon will also make its debut.

Conclusion

BMW Seriously Doesn't Want the 2019 3 Series Compared to the Older 3 Series
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BMW created a furor at the Paris Motor Show with the launch of the seventh-generation 3 Series. Although it faced a lot of heat for the new design, BMW remained unfazed and, in fact, showed their displeasure publically. The model, however, looks competent and a good package overall. What are your thoughts on the new 3 Series? Is BMW forgetting that it’s more about what the customer wants and not what the brand wants? Let us know what you think in the comments section below.

Further reading

BMW Seriously Doesn't Want the 2019 3 Series Compared to the Older 3 Series
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Read our full review on the 2020 BMW 3 Series.

2016 BMW 3 Series High Resolution Exterior
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Read our full review on the 2017 BMW 3 Series.

Source: Motoring

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