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2016 BMW 3 Series Facelift Officially Unveiled with New Engines and Plug-in Hybrid

We can finally put an end to all the speculations that have been going around for the last year and look at the new BMW 3 Series as the Germans decided to finally unveil it in all its glory. That’s right, as we told you nearly one year ago, the new range will be getting the 330i and 340i monikers alongside a new plug-in hybrid.
2016 BMW 3 Series Facelift 124 photos
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Those are clearly the highlights of the new range as the biggest changes happened under the skin rather than atop of it. When it comes to the design, these new models can be used in dictionaries to define the word ‘subtle’.

As you’re about to see in the 125 photos in the gallery below, the front, and the rear ends were improved by a smudge. Up front, we now have reshaped headlights that can be had with LED lighting for the first time (as an optional feature) while round the back the LED taillights have new lines, which are better defined.

This last change also brings into view the reported M3 facelift that will be launched this year. However, on the M car the changes will be limited to the taillights alone, everything else remaining the same. As you might very well know, M cars don’t get facelifts.

Inside the cabin, we get new materials and highlight options that are supposed to create a more premium feel according to BMW. The center console has a sliding cover for the cupholders while an even wider range of personalization possibilities will now be on the table.

As enticing as all of this might sound in PR lingo, we’re more interested in the technical details under the bonnet and, as expected, we’re greeted with the new B-family of engines.
3-cylinder, 4-cylinder and new 6-cylinder engines
The entry level model for both the Sedan and Touring alternatives will be the 318i and 316d versions, depending on your preferred means of combustion. The 318i will use a B38 1.5-liter 3-cylinder engine making 136 HP and 220 Nm (162 lb-ft) of torque. The 316d, on the other hand, has a 2-liter 4-cylinder diesel engine producing 116 HP and 220 Nm (199 lb-ft) of torque.

Going further up in the range the 320i remains unchanged while the 318d uses a new-gen 2-liter diesel engine that you might find familiar from other models. The B47 plant makes 150 HP and 320 Nm (236 lb-ft) of torque and is EU6 compatible.

The 328i will no longer be available, its place being taken by the 330i model that, unlike what you’d expect, has a 2-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine under the bonnet, making 252 HP and 350 Nm (258 lb-ft) of torque. This is the most powerful version of the B48 plant so far.

There will also be a new 340i model in the configurators, using the new generation B58 engine for the first time in the BMW range. It will have 326 HP at its disposal along with 450 Nm (332 lb-ft) of torque. Thanks to the new numbers, the car will do 100 km/h (62 mph) in 5.1 seconds with the automatic 8-speed transmission and 0.1 seconds slower with the manual 6-speed box. The xDrive version is 0.2 seconds faster.

Getting back to the more frugal side of things, the 320d, the most popular choice in Europe (that will probably be marketed as 328d in the US) now will be fitted with the new B47 engine too, but rated at 190 HP and 400 Nm (295 lb-ft) of torque.

The rest of the diesel range, the 325d, 330d and 335d will remain the same with their 218 HP, 258 HP and 313 HP outputs and specs. All cars are available with xDrive on demand, no matter if we’re talking Sedans or Tourings.

An interesting detail we caught was the lack of mention of the 3 Series Gran Turismo. The press release that you can consult below doesn’t even mention the model, possibly hinting at an early retirement for this particular version.
More technology to keep up with the rest of the platoon
The engines will be joined by other new tech as well. For example, manual gearboxes now have a rev-matching feature while the 8-speed automatic ones will now allow multiple sequential downshifts as well as an improved coasting function.

BMW also claims that the steering has been revised as well as the dampers to offer better dynamics and handling. To top it all off, LTE internet connectivity will now be given for more convenience inside the car.

Speaking of which, the Navigation system and ConnectedDrive features have been improved along with other tech bits. The Head-Up Display, for example, now is full-color like on more expensive models while the maps will be updated over the air free of charge for the first three years.
The 330e Plug-in Hybrid is finally here
After plenty of hints, teasing and so on, BMW finally let us know what the plug-in hybrid version will be bragging with. The 330e model will have a total maximum output of 252 HP and 420 Nm (310 lb-ft) of torque.

The two plants working together will be a 2-liter 4-cylinder petrol turbocharged unit under the bonnet making 184 HP and an electric motor rated at 80 kW or 107 HP. The acceleration to 100 km/h (62 mph) will take 6.3 seconds while the car will have a top speed of 225 km/h (140 mph).

At the same time, BMW claims that the fuel consumption will equal the i8’s figures at 2.1 l/100 km (134.5 mpg UK) while all-electric travel will be possible for up to 35 kilometers (22 miles). Unfortunately, the Germans plan to launch the plug-in somewhere in 2016 so we’ll have to be patient for a little longer before driving it. All the other cars will be available for purchase starting this summer, with prices to be unveiled soon enough.

 Download: 2016 BMW 3 Series Facelift press release (PDF)

 
 
 
 
 

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