Paris 2018: 2019 BMW 3 Series

Paris 2018: 2019 BMW 3 Series
2019 BMW 3 Series

The G20 2019 BMW 3 Series is finally here. Unveiled at the Paris Motor Show, it’s bigger, cleaner and packed with new technologies. And it’s the basis of several forthcoming performance cars.

The seventh-generation 3 comes as the nameplate’s sales passed the 15 million mark. That’s a lot of Threes. Three times five million, in fact.

In typically modest fashion, BMW says the new 3 Series “moves the game on once again in its segment in terms of driving dynamics, premium quality and innovation.”

Right. We best have a look, then.

2019 BMW 3 Series Exterior

2019 BMW 3 Series
2019 BMW 3 Series
2019 BMW 3 Series
2019 BMW 3 Series

Let’s not muck about – from the side, the G20 looks barely different. Yesterday’s leak didn’t do the car any favours, but on the show floor and in these official pics, it looks a bit tougher.

A new, wider and sometimes lairy kidney grille is framed by new, more shapely headlights with a bit of a Peugeot slash to break up the lens. The lumpy bumpy front bumper is quite busy and the details differ between model specs.

The G20 is built on BMW’s new rear-wheel drive platform known as CLAR – cluster architecture. With the imminent demise of the rear-wheel drive 1 Series, the Three will be the smallest CLAR car.

The new car is longer by 85mm (4709mm), wider by 16mm (1827mm) and 1mm taller (1442mm). A 41mm longer wheelbase should deliver a bit more rear legroom and a better ride. Interestingly – and significantly – the front track is 43mm wider at the front and 21mm at the rear.

2019 BMW 3 Series Drivetrain

2019 BMW 3 Series

BMW is kicking off the non-M models with a bunch of engines and the option of all-wheel drive xDrive in the 320d.

2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol

320i – 135kW (184PS)
330i – 190kW (258PS)

2.0-litre four-cylinder turbodiesel

318d – 110 kW (150PS)
320d and 320d xDrive- 140 kW (190PS)

3.0-litre six-cylinder turbodiesel

330d – 195 kW (265PS)

While none of these machines has outstanding M-style power outputs, they’re not particularly slow. The 320d will crack 100km/h in 7.1 seconds.

BMW is offering a six-speed manual (hooray!) and an updated version of the eight-speed ZF auto. Only the 320d offers all-wheel drive, but there’s more to come, including the Mini’s (and 1 Series’) 1.5-litre turbo triple and a 368kW (500PS) M3.

2019 BMW 3 Series

Also on the way – according to the photos – are plug-in hybrids.

2019 BMW 3 Series Chassis

We don’t know a huge amount about the new car’s details, but BMW threw in a couple of interesting bits.

Optional adaptive dampers make a welcome return but BMW reckons the standard dampers are pretty clever. BMW calls them “lift-related dampers” which means that the rates vary depending on the spring compression. That means fewer compromises in the ride and handling department. Apparently.

As ever, the M Sport suspension option offers 10mm lower ride height and stiffer springs and dampers.

The new cars are up to 55kg lighter and in their slipperiest form, BMW claims a drag coefficient of just 0.23. Much work went into the aerodynamics, including a tricky air curtain around the fog lights (where fitted) to keep them clean.

You can also specify an M Sport differential with new torque vectoring software, new variable rate steering and M Sport brakes.

2019 BMW 3 Series Interior

2019 BMW 3 Series

Just like the exterior the cabin is bigger and it’s packed with some new stuff. iDrive 7.0, a brand new optional digital dashboard and some other bits and bobs. Looks good too.

The 2019 BMW 3 Series will go on sale around March 2019, depending on where you are. We’re hoping to drive it as soon as we can. In M Sport form, of course…