BMW’s 3-Series has traditionally been the benchmark for the executive sport sedan. In recent years its top perch has been crowded out by impressive alternatives such as the Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Cadillac ATS.
The fact has not been lost on BMW, which is why the automaker is working extra hard to ensure its redesigned 3-Series, the G20, sets the new standard in sport sedan qualities such as ride and handling when it hits showrooms next year, probably as a 2019 model.
BMW says a particularly extensive Nürburgring test program is currently underway for the new 3-Series. This is crucial since the car has a new platform (CLAR modular design) with suspension, steering and brake designs significantly different to what was used in the outgoing model.
Just some of the key changes include a 10-millimeter lower ride height, a wider track. Also increased wheel camber, increased rigidity (for the body and suspension), and a weight reduction of 120 pounds. Active suspension damping has also been made standard on the new 3-Series. BMW says you can really notice the effects when driving on a track like the grueling Nürburgring-Nordschleife. Its damping forces are 20 percent higher than the stock setup.
The new 3-Series will have speed-sensitive steering
The new 3-Series will have speed-sensitive steering too, and buyers will also be able to add BMW’s Variable Sports Steering. The various steering ratios system react to the angle of the steering wheel independently from the speed of the vehicle. It also has been refined for the new 3-Series.
Just one unit has been confirmed so far: an inline-4 that BMW says will be its most powerful 4-banger yet. It means more than the 248 horsepower the outgoing model’s inline-4 generates. The fuel consumption will be around 5.0 percent lower than the inline-4 in the outgoing model, thanks mostly to further tuning of the new 3-Series’ eight-speed automatic transmission.