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Lift off for BMW’s 3 Series lift-back

Change up: BMW’s lift-back GT is headed to Australia this October, about one year after the similarly refreshed 3 Series sedan and Touring variants.

330i to be the focus of BMW’s 3 Series GT attack in Australia


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1 Jun 2016

THE final piece of BMW’S 3 Series mid-life makeover jigsaw has dropped into place with the unveiling in Europe of the Gran Turismo lift-back bearing minor styling tweaks and a revised engine line-up that debuted in the facelifted sedan and Touring variants last October.

BMW's updated GT is scheduled to land in Australia early in the fourth quarter of this year. Pricing and final specification is expected to be announced by BMW Group Australia next week, with the new-look 330i GT the only certainty for this market.

Among the exterior design changes are new LED lights front and rear – including foglamps – and a new-look rear apron with twin tailpipes.

The interior gets more bling in the shape of more metallic, chrome, piano black, wood of leather trim pieces in a re-fit that BMW claims lifts perceived quality. This time, buyers can choose between Sport Line, Luxury Line and M Sport trim levels.

As before, the GT sits on an extended 2920mm wheelbase – 110mm longer than that of the sedan and Touring – that releases more rear legroom and 520 litres of luggage space (1600 litres with the rear seat folded). The overall length is 200mm longer than the two other body styles.

In Europe, 18 powertrain combo configurations are now available, including three petrol and five diesel engine choices offering fuel economy improvements of up to 13.8 per cent, thanks to the addition of idle-stop, brake energy regeneration, on-demand ancillary operation and a new Eco Pro driving mode.

Unlike the 3 Series sedan, however, no plug-in hybrid 330e or M3 GT variants have been foreshadowed.

Currently, the GT is available in Australia in three turbocharged 2.0-litre, four-cylinder, rear-wheel-drive flavours – two petrol (320i and 328i) and one diesel (320d) – all with eight-speed automatic transmission. Prices range from $68,100 for the 320i to $76,800 for the 328i.

If these variants are carried over, the 2016 range would include the 320i GT with 135kW of power and 270Nm of toque, 330i GT with 185kW/350Nm, and 320d with 140kW/400Nm.

The European range gets the new 3.0-litre twin-turbo six-cylinder engine in the 340i GT, but it remains to be seen if BMW’s Australian product planners tick that box, or the one for all-wheel-drive xDrive.

BMW Group Australia product communications manager Adam Davis told GoAuto that the range and pricing for Australia was still being finalised and was expected to be announced next week.

He said that of the models announced in Europe, the 330i would be the focus of the GT range in Australia.

Standard equipment on all GTs includes automatic climate control, keyless start, six airbags, high-resolution colour screen with iDrive controller, Bluetooth phone and audio streaming and a leather multifunction steering wheel.

Along with two new metallic colours, the new GT gets a wider range of options, including three new alloys wheels and more upholstery choices.

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