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BMW unveils 3 Series Touring

Power of three: BMW has revealed the wagon version of its new 3 Series.

New 3 Series Touring revealed, arriving in BMW Australia showrooms early next year

BMW logo14 May 2012

BMW Australia has confirmed that the new 3 Series Touring wagon unveiled in Europe overnight will not arrive here until early next year, almost one year after its sedan sibling.

As part of a staggered overseas launch, the new Touring range will be launched in Europe with two diesel variants, the 320d and 330d, and one petrol version, the 328i, with entry-level 316d, 318d and 320i models to follow towards the end of the year.

Final Australian specifications are not finalised, but BMW Australia product communications manager Scott Croaker told GoAuto the company will not offer the full range, and will likely target the smaller engine options first.

Expect the local line-up to eventually include the 135kW/380Nm 320d and 105kW/320Nm 318d diesel variants, as well as the 135kW/270Nm 320i petrol.

While all variants are offered in Europe with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, expect BMW Australia to exclusively provide the eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters, as it does in the sedan.

As with previous Tourer variants, the new model will command a several thousand dollar price premium over the equivalent sedan.

BMW Australia offers the new sedan in 320d (from $60,990), 328i ($66,900) and 335i ($91,900) guise, with the entry-level 318d ($56,400) and 320i ($57,600) to follow later this month.

In the meantime, BMW Australia will continue to sell the previous-generation E91 Tourer until at least the middle of this year, with production set to cease in June and stock levels likely to last for several months after that.

14 center imageLike the sedan, the new Touring is longer, wider and taller than its predecessor, with an extra 50mm of wheelbase, helping it achieve a class-leading 495 litres of cargo space – 35 litres bigger than the old model.

This figure exceeds that of key rivals like the Mercedes-Benz C-Class Estate (485 litres) and Audi A4 Avant (490 litres), while folding the 40:20:40 rear seats flat increases the capacity to 1500 litres.

All variants will feature an automatic tailgate with a separate rear window opening and a stainless steel protective strip, while the loading sill is a low 62cm from the ground.

The new range of engines, new eight-speed automatic, aerodynamic improvements, electric steering system from the sedan, and standard idle-stop, regenerative braking and Eco mode bring about fuel economy improvements of between 10 and 15 per cent over the old model.

Automatic versions of the 320d Touring achieve European combined cycle economy figures of 4.7 litres per 100km, while the 328i TwinPower petrol achieves 6.5L/100km. Both of these figures are 0.2L/100km shy of the equivalent sedan.

BMW claims the new wagon improves on the dynamic prowess of the old model courtesy of weight reductions of up to 40kg, wider front and rear track and a balanced axle-load ratio.

The compact revised five-link rear axle is also said to free up extra cargo space, improve underside aerodynamics and increase noise suppression.

The standard features list mirrors that of the sedan, while the range of options includes features such as a detailed head-up display in full colour, lane-change and lane-departure warning, an automatic emergency braking system, surround-view cameras, adaptive cruise control and a range of ConnectedDrive internet connectivity options.

As with the sedan, the Touring is also available with Luxury Line, Modern Line and M Sport cosmetic and performance packages.

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