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As a fan of motorsports and high-octane performance, you’re likely familiar with the BMW 3 Series. For six generations, the sports car has been consistently improved and revised to better meet the needs of its current driving population. Now slated in its seventh generation, the BMW 3 Series has entered a novel chapter in its lifespan with a full roster of state-of-the-art tech features, smarter engineering, and nifty driver-assistive systems. Yet, the 3 Series still evokes the same familiar charm of its predecessors that made it such an appealing option in the first place through a well-balanced design centered around the German automaker’s ethos of providing track-ready performance to the masses. The world around the BMW 3 Series continues to evolve and rapidly change, but you can count on the Bavarian automaker to remain stoic in its mission to inspire thrill behind the wheel of every model crafted on its manufacturing floor.
Acquaint yourself with this history of the BMW 3 Series and this year’s model before connecting with a passionate sales professional at our BMW dealership in Seattle over the phone to discuss the sports sedan’s unique perks in greater detail.
It was 1975 that the world first laid eyes on the BMW 3 Series. The passion project of Paul Bracq, the then-current Director of Design for BMW, the 3 Series was virtually unrivaled in the arena of responsive driving dynamics and available bank of power under the hood. Its unveiling established it as a cornerstone in the motorsports world as the 3 Series would continue to push the limits of what the industry had previously accepted as “sporting performance”.
Easily recognized for its raised tail end and strong crease stretching the full body length, the first-gen BMW 3 Series sported a collection of details that now are recognized as unique staples that have lived on through decades of design. These include the classic double-kidney grille, angled dashboard, and Hofmeister crease at the C-pillar.
Now boasting up to 238-horsepower, the BMW stepped up its sporting credibility with a healthy assemblage of seven body styles to choose from. Second-gen models manufactured all included twin headlights, an exterior element that still continues to help distinguish the 3 Series from its peers.
Significant revisions are evident in the model’s third generation through a stronger roof angle, an additional body style; the BMW 3 Series Compact, a three-door hatchback variant that proved to be a hot-selling option for city dwellers.
It’s during this era that BMW saw the need to give the model’s exterior a slight refresh through a stronger curve line resulting in a distinctive profile and more second-row headroom. With up to 360 horsepower available, fourth-generation BMW 3-Series models remain as to be trumped in the automaker’s sales history.
As the BMW 3 Series’ most notable variant of this generation, the BMW M3 Sedan merged a the Coupe’s snout to the sensible rear end of the Sedan. This revamped aesthetic and the offered available 450-horsepower ensured the M3 Sedan’s success in the marketplace.
Available in four variants, the sixth-generation BMW 3 Series extended outstanding levels of performance to a wider population of shoppers than ever before. For the first time ever, the BMW 3 Series ran with a full lineup of turbocharged engines and further offered a pair of cutting-edge hybrid options. The newest body style to hit the lineup, the 3 Series Gran Turismo, boasted a longer wheelbase granting better head and legroom for those in the second row. Customization was given more weight as the 3 Series could be had with new colors, upholstery, equipment, and a trio of trims.
BMW continues to steer the 3 Series toward new horizons as evidenced by the latest model to hit our showroom floor at BMW Seattle. This year’s model tips its hat to its predecessors and rich history with the same functional kidney grille, twin headlamps, and elongated crease line while alterations come largely in fields of connectivity tech, driver-assistive aids, and powertrain offerings. New BMW 3 Series sports sedans ride with a reserve of 255-horsepower available underfoot. Capable of reaching a zero-to-60 mph time in as little as 5.3-seconds, the model still offers thrilling track-like qualities to those looking for a bit more out of their Seattle commute. A standard moonroof, user-friendly iDrive 7.0 Operating System with an available 10.25-inch touchscreen, and included three-zone climate control system all help bolster the 3 Series’ reputation in the field of luxury. Add in the fact that the BMW 3 Series can be had with the brand’s world-renowned xDrive All-Wheel-Drive system, and it becomes clear why the 3 Series continues to dominate its segment.
With decades of revisions under its belt, the 3 Series has quite literally re-engineered what experts and consumers alike come to expect from their sports sedans. Successfully merging past and present, we’re certain the BMW 3 Series will continue to surprise us with its future generations.