BMW launches all-new 3 Series (F30) in India

Ever since it set shop in India, BMW has been dominating the luxury segment with no signs of threat from its fellow German competitors Mercedes-Benz and Audi. But, it all changed last month when Audi overtook BMW for the top spot with the tiniest of margins. With Audi snapping at its heels now, BMW couldn’t have found a better time to launch the all-new 3 Series, it's most popular model on sale in India. Following a series of aggressive promotional campaigns across various Indian cities, the new 3 Series was officially launched in Mumbai today with none other than Sachin Tendulkar himself gracing the occasion. Yes, the ultimate cricket star would be endorsing the ultimate driving machines henceforth. Priced between INR 28.9 Lacs for the base 320d diesel variant to INR 37.9 Lacs for the range-topping 328i petrol variant, the new 3 Series comes with a choice of 5 variants for the customers to pick from.
To perfectly utilize the seemingly never-ending demand for diesel-powered cars in India, four variants of 320d are being offered – Base, Sport Line, Luxury Line and Luxury Plus while the 328i comes in just one trim level. Both the engines are turbocharged 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder units with the diesel churning out 181 bhp of power and 38.74 kgm of torque and the petrol pumping out 241 bhp of power and 35.69 kgm of torque. While both the engines are mated to a 8-speed automatic transmission and are known to be pretty quick, it is the diesel that is going to create an impact in India with the fast and free-revving petrol catering to the rich and creamy enthusiasts. As with all other cars wearing the BMW badge, we are sure that the new 3 Series would be second to none when it comes to handling and cornering. That is one area where neither the C-Class nor the A4 have been able to beat or even match the 3 ever.

We feel that none of the previous generations of the 3 Series, with the lone exception of the 1998 model designed by the legendary Chris Bangle, has looked as stunning as the 2012 model. As a matter of fact, the new 3 Series is endowed with such clean and sharp lines giving it a very aggressive look. Yet, more importantly, the car hasn't lost even a wee bit of it's elegance. Highlights of the F30 model, as this generation is referred to internally, includes headlights with squared off corona rings that extend into the kidney-shaped grille and the high-set rear end that gives the car a menacing stance. The rear end is reminiscent of the 5 Series in more ways than one thus incorporating a clean family look. The interiors are vastly improved as well and are more spacious than ever before, especially at the rear, the additional 50 mm wheelbase helping matters here.

All the variants of the new 3 Series gets BMW's iDrive technology and the full complement of safety features including driver, front passenger, side and curtain airbags, Dynamic Stability Control and Dynamic Traction Control. The 328i variant comes fully loaded with quite a lot of exclusive features like front parking sensors, paddle shifters, electric sunroof, stunning 18-inch alloy wheels and BMW's brilliant Head-Up Display that flashes critical information on the windshield, thus negating the need for the driver to take his eyes off the road. While a total of 7 colors are offered, the Melbourne Red stands out from the rest. The Sport Line can be identified by gloss black finish in the grille and tailpipe in place of the chrome accents that Luxury Line comes with. Auto Start Stop and Brake Energy Regeneration that are part of BMW's EfficientDynamics technology improves fuel-efficiency and emissions.

The 3 Series was first introduced in the year 1975 and since then has gone through a full 5 generations. This sixth generation 3 Series starts from where its predecessor left, which is right at the top of its segment. Just like the Mercedes-Benz S Class that always sets the benchmark in the high-end luxury segment, the 3 Series has always been the car to beat in the compact luxury segment. With this all-new model, BMW has just ensured that the benchmark moves a few notches higher. So, what's going to be your next move Audi?

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