Leaked earlier today, the new facelifted F30 BMW 3 Series (Life Cycle Impulse or LCI in BMW speak) has finally been officially unveiled. As we’ve mentioned before, the benchmark compact executive fighter gets very minor aesthetic changes, but there’s quite a lot different under the skin.
First up, the looks – the face has been mildly-restyled with squared-off corners and a reprofiled lower air intake featuring different trim items according to the trim line: silver horizontal slats and gloss black trim on the Sport Line, chrome trim on the Luxury Line. The standard reflector halogen headlights add new LED daytime running lights; full-LED items are available as an option, replacing the previous bi-xenons.
At the rear of the car, full-LED tail lights are standard and come with reshaped light guides, while the rear bumper has been given a more angular design, with a full-width trim piece in black, chrome or body colour depending on the trim line. There are also new wheel designs on offer, available in sizes up to 19 inches. The optional M Sport bodykit remains unchanged.
Equally minimal changes can be found inside – the audio and climate controls feature a new gloss black surround, while chrome accents feature around the air vents, window switches and even the controls for the power-adjustable seats. The accent strip on Sport Line, Luxury Line and M Sport models also expands beyond the dashboard and into the four doors as well.
Elsewhere, the cupholders in front of the gear lever finally receive a sliding cover; previously you had to stow the lid in the glovebox compartment. An additional storage compartment now exists ahead of the cupholders for loose items such as a smartphone.
The optional BMW Navigation system Professional has also been updated, with quicker startup, faster route calculation, more realistic 3D city visualisation, over-the-air map updates (free for three years) and, most impressively, LTE support when equipped with the extended smartphone connectivity option.
Upholstery and trim choices have been expanded with the LCI – Corner Anthracite fabric and Oyster semi- and full-leather on standard models, Veneto Beige and Saddle Brown leather for Sport and Luxury Line as well as M Sport; the latter variants also receive a new “ash black” veneer option with metal inlays. Mediterranean Blue, Platinum Silver and Jatoba (brown) paint are also new, as is a Champagne Quartz Individual exterior colour.
But it’s under the bonnet where the LCI 3er starts to differ greatly from the pre-facelift – the new engine lineup derived from BMW’s latest modular engine family is fully Euro 6-compliant. At the base of the range sits a new 136 hp/220 Nm B38 1.5 litre petrol three-pot that powers the 318i, reducing CO2 emissions by more than 13% over the previous 316i.
Higher up, the new B48 2.0 litre petrol four-pot in the 184 hp/290 Nm 320i and the 252 hp/350 Nm 330i (née 328i) is either torquier (320i) or more powerful (330i) than before, yet it’s also cleaner and more efficient. Topping the cooking range for now is a new 326 hp/450 Nm B58 3.0 litre straight six in the 340i, replacing the current N55 unit in the outgoing 306 hp/400 Nm 335i.
2016 will see the introduction of a new 330e plug-in hybrid, mating a 184 hp 2.0 litre engine with an 80 kW (108 hp) electric motor to produce a combined 252 hp and 420 Nm. It goes from 0-100 km/h in 6.3 seconds before hitting a 225 km/h top speed, yet uses just 2.1 litres of fuel per 100 km and emits just 49 grams of CO2 per kilometre. Maximum all-electric range is pegged at 35 km.
On the diesel side, a new B47 2.0 litre four-pot comes in 116 hp 316d and 190 hp 320d flavours – the latter has six more horsepower, produces 400 Nm between 1,750-2,500 rpm, is two-tenths of a second quicker to 100 km/h at 7.2 seconds and yet produces just 106 grams of CO2 per kilometre. Other oil-burning variants include a 218 hp/450 Nm 325d, 258 hp/560 Nm 330d and 313 hp/630 Nm 335d.
Power is sent through new six-speed manual and eight-speed Steptronic automatic transmissions – the latter gets a new Proactive Driving Assistant that anticipates road conditions based on navigation information – that improve efficiency still further, and xDrive all-wheel drive is optional as before. The chassis has also been revised, adding improved damping, stiffer suspension and retuned steering for better handling without compromising on comfort.
LCI F30 BMW 340i Sedan M Sport
LCI F30 BMW 340i Sedan Sport Line
LCI F30 BMW 320d Touring EfficientDynamics Edition Sport Line
LCI F30 BMW 320d Touring Luxury Line
LCI F30 BMW M3