A series of tease pictures of the new BMW 3 Series have surfaced taken at the renowned Nordschleife at Nürburgring. The camouflaged pics show BMW’s mid-sized sedan being honed for production. The section of track is sure to challenge a new take on the suspension/damping, steering and brakes. According to early information released by BMW the centre of gravity is now 10 millimetres lower and the typical 50:50 weight distribution will be maintained. The new 3 is set to be up to 55 kilograms less with a more ridged body structure and suspension set up.
The 3 Series is usually regarded as the benchmark for agility in this premium segment, so there’s little doubt BMW’s dynamic boffins will be hard at work. Track widths have been expanded along with increased wheel camber levels.
Under the bonnet will be the most powerful 4-cylinder engine ever to be fitted in a BMW series production model. Fuel consumption is being promoted as being 5 per cent lower with a reworked eight-speed Steptronic transmission.
The key behind clamping the 3 Series to the ground even better is its new damping system. Lift-related dampers are a first to be fitted in a BMW model and function on the run to keep the car well planted.
“We’re using the lift-related dampers as an active set-up element so as to create supreme driving properties in all conditions,” explains Peter Langen, 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.”
There will also be a specific M sports suspension, that sees the car sit 10 millimetres lower.
“This means the difference from the standard suspension is much more perceptible than before,” says Peter Langen.
“We’ve also made the M sports suspension much sportier, with more rigid bearings and stabilisers, harder springs and additional body struts.”
An Australian launch is yet to be announced but speculation suggests an international reveal towards the end of the year.