BMW released the first images and information on the next generation BMW F31 3 Series Sports Wagon and announced that, as with the two previous generations, this model will be offered in the US. Unlike anything else on the market, the all-new 3 Series Sports Wagon will again offer the flexibility and utility one would expect from a premium wagon combined with the driving dynamics of the quintessential sport sedan, the BMW 3 Series. The new BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon will launch in Europe later this year and is set to arrive in US showrooms in Spring 2013. Powertrain details for the US as well as pricing, specifications and standard/optional equipment will be announced at a later date.
Like its Sedan sibling, the new 3 Series Sports Wagon is slightly larger than its predecessor, most notably its wider track (front + 37 mm/1.46 in., rear + 48 mm/1.85 in.). The car's length (+ 97 mm/3.66 in.) and wheelbase (+ 50 mm/1.96 in.) also accentuate its sporting promise. Inside the new BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon, rear passengers will appreciate the noticeable increase in space made possible by the larger dimensions. These larger dimensions also pay dividends in utility with nearly ten percent more cargo volume both with the rear seats up and when folded.
The new 3 Series Sports Wagon will be the next model to offer BMW Lines as a way to tailor the car to individual tastes, just as with the Sedan, by choosing from a trio of trim and equipment variants – the Sport Line, Luxury Line and Modern Line. Each presents its own individual take on the character of the Sports wagon, with exclusive, high-quality trim and material combinations. For the enthusiast who wants to go beyond even the Sport Line, the M Sport Line will also be offered because it is, after all, a BMW 3 Series at its heart.
Striking face with precise contours and multi-faceted surfaces
Characteristically, the sporting nature of the new BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon is made apparent to the eye by its wide track. By accentuating the width of the car, the multi-faceted surfaces of the expressive front fascia give the 3 Series Sports Wagon a more athletic face than ever.
A three-dimensional interpretation of the upright, slightly forward-slanting BMW kidney grille emphasizes an assured presence. LED accent lights positioned like eyebrows above the traditional four round headlights with corona rings (if Adaptive Xenon headlights are specified) lend an extra intensity to the classic BMW focused look. Clearly defined headlight surrounds now extend up to the frame of the kidney grille, merging the headlights and grille into a single stylistic element and adding further emphasis to the car's broad-set stance. The 3 Series Sports Wagon replaces the central air intake of its predecessor with two larger intakes, which are positioned underneath the headlights to the outer edges of the front fascia and add extra depth to the car's sporty look. On the left and right edges of the main ducts are small vertical intakes which help create the "Air Curtain". This new technology improves air flow around the front wheels, enhancing aerodynamic efficiency and reducing fuel consumption at higher speeds.
The closely spaced, squat openings of the kidney grille, with their eye-catching surrounds, form the most prominent element of the new BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon's front design. It is also where the precise lines of the dynamically contoured hood begin at the base of the A pillars and flow over the full length of the hood. The result is a front that appears lower-slung, giving 3 Series Sports Wagon a clear sporting edge when viewed head-on.
Precise lines produce a silhouette that enhances the car's dynamic impact
Powerfully taut surfaces with sweeping lines dominate the side view of the BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon, stretching the car visually and lending extra verve to its dynamic stance. The flanks of the car are shaped by an eye-catching double character line running alongside each other. The higher character line emerges out of the low-slung nose and flows over the front wheel with an understated sweep, in a nod to the wagon's fleetness of foot. The second character line develops lower down behind the front wheel and follows a delicately arching path towards the rear. Together, they reinforce the dynamic wedge shape of the car's flanks. As well as providing a discreet increase in muscularity in the rear section below the character line, these styling cues also create vivid light and shade effects, which draw further attention to the car's wide track.
The car's athletic overall impression is emphasized by the steeply raked D-pillars, the angle of the rear window and the subtly wedge-shaped geometry of the window surfaces. The roofline – which slopes downwards slightly to the rear and is extended visually by a spoiler – and the "Hofmeister kink" at the foot of the D-pillar also generate a sense of dynamic tension. The finely balance between the greenhouse and the body lends the new BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon a sporty, elegant and nimble look, while the rear lights extend well into the sides of the body and combine with its flowing lines to create a harmonious transition between the flanks and rear section.
The rear of the new BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon also boasts a blend of sporting elegance and modern practicality. The horizontal lines and L-shaped lights set far to the outer edges accentuate the subtly flared fenders and the wider track. Two integrated bars of LEDs allow a slim light design and ensure they maintain an appearance that is instantly recognizable as a BMW both day and night. The positioning of the lights at the outer edges of the rear underline the car's hunkered-down stance on the road. The large tailgate opening and low sill make loading and unloading bulky items that much easier.
The new BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon again features a rear window that opens separately from the tailgate. The window is unlocked electrically via a button on the rear window wiper arm and opened by hand. This practical function makes it easier to load and unload smaller items – especially when space is tight, as the rear window opens up rather than out.
In order to make access to its generous cargo area easier, a power tailgate will be offered for the first time on a 3 Series Sports Wagon. Getting into the cargo area can be done at the touch of a button, either on the remote key or from inside the interior. Access is made even easier when Comfort Access is ordered, which will include the Hands Free Opening Tailgate. If one approaches the new 3 Series Sports Wagon with hands full, one need only stick a foot under the rear bumper and the tailgate automatically swings open.
Practicality and versatility: Hallmarks for the new 3 Series Sports Wagon
The new BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon offers remarkable flexibility. A net as well as an additional strap along the right side panel can be used to help secure cargo. Four tie-downs are integrated into the cargo floor. A net along the left-hand panel will also be available. A pair of coat hooks and an addition 12-volt outlet add an extra measure of flexibility. A storage tray under the load compartment floor and a deep stowage compartment on the left-hand side of the cargo area can accommodate smaller items. Another neat twist, the luggage compartment cover can be stowed away under the load compartment floor, allowing it to be kept in the car even when not in use. Also standard is a separate partition net, which can be employed in a variety of ways even when the rearseat backrests are folded down. The rear seats can be folded down in three sections in a 40:20:40 split. The large through-loading facility allows the new 3 Series Sports Wagon to carry four adults and longer items, such as skis or snowboards, at the same time.
In addition to the flexibility and utility offered by the interior of the new BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon, other features unique to this model includes roof-rails to accommodate all manner of storage racks for everything from bicycles and skis to cargo boxes. It will also be available with a full glass panoramic sunroof.
BMW ConnectedDrive: The latest in safety and infotainment
With its broad range of driver assistance systems and mobility services, all offered as part of BMW ConnectedDrive, the new BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon sets a new benchmark when it comes to safety, convenience and infotainment. To ensure that the available features deliver the maximum benefit, the exchange of information between the passengers, the vehicle and the outside world is managed by BMW ConnectedDrive.
The new BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon is available with a full-color Head-Up Display. It projects key information in sharp resolution onto the windshield in the driver's direct field of vision. Depending on the vehicle specification the speed limit is noted in addition to the car's speed. The driver can also see navigation instructions and various alerts in the Head-Up Display. Thanks to the wide variety of driver assistance systems available in the new BMW 3 Series range, more information can be placed in the driver's direct line-of-sight while their eyes remain squarely on the road.
State-of-the-art camera technology provides the potential for new levels of safety and convenience. Active Safety options include Lane Departure Warning as well as Blind Spot Detection. Backing up and parking both are made easier with the available Rear-view Camera with Top View which provides a bird's-eye view of the car. Another convenience-enhancing assistance system is the BMW Parking Assistant, which takes charge of maneuvering into parking spaces making parallel-parking a breeze.
BMW Assist, a globally unique mobility service, comprises among other features a telephone information service and BMW's industry-leading enhanced Automatic Collision Notification function with automatic detection of the vehicle location. BMW Assist also includes Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity.
Other innovative technologies allow the integration of the Apple iPhone and other smartphones as well as music players, including the use of Internet-based services. The Apps option enables iPhone users, among other things, to receive Internet radio stations and to display Facebook and Twitter posts on the onboard monitor. With BMW Apps, iPhone users can access and listen to music streaming services like Pandora and MOG today with Stitcher coming soon.
The all-new BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon again brings the versatility of a wagon with the driving dynamics of the quintessential sport sedan. The new 3 Series Sports wagon will be arriving in US showrooms in spring 2013. Powertrain details for the US as well as pricing, specifications and standard/optional equipment will be announced at a later date.
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