What you are seeing here is the refreshed 2016 BMW 3-Series. You would be correct to think that is is pretty much the same as the 2015 3-Series, and aside from some minor differences you would be right. But wait... now you can have “sport” badges, more power, and a numerical model designation that continues to defy logic.
To make a long story short, the six-cylinder 335i is now the 340i. The four-cylinder 328i is now the 330i. Get it? Of course you don’t.
The 320i, the only designation that actually makes sense and otherwise known as the “lease special” here in the US, retains its name. BMW increased the horsepower by exactly one horse for a total of 181 HP, but torque is up to 214 lb-ft.
The 328i also gains some ponies, now up to 249 HP, but torque remains the same at 258 lb-ft. Those extra nine horses also means the 328i will be now called the 330i globally, but will keep the 328 designation in the US. It remains powered by a 2.0-liter four.
To continue the numbers ending in zero theme, the 335i is renamed the 340i, and also gets a power bump to 326 HP and 332 lb-ft of torque. It’s still a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline six, but an all-new one, named B58. It’s more powerful and more efficient than the outgoing six. BMW estimates the 340i with the 8-speed automatic should do 0-60 in 5.1 seconds.
There are some diesel motors as well, starting with the 116 HP 316d all the way up to the 335d with 309 HP. We probably won’t get either one of those, as BMW will just stick with the 180 HP, four-cylinder 328d for the American market. A six speed manual will be available in addition to the ZF 8-speed automatic.
While we won’t get a variety of oil burners, BMW will offer the first plug-in hybrid 3-Series ever called the 330e (“e” for electric, get it?). It will crank out 249 HP and 310 lb-ft of torque. BMW claims the hybrid will get up to 112 mpg on the U.S. cycle. Other updates include revised LEDs, a new navigation system called “Professional,” LTE mobile technology, and an automatic parallel parking assist. BMW has not added a feature that will automatically avoid illegally parking in handicapped spots. Gadgets aside, the 3 series has also added a “Track Handling” package that consists of: Variable Sport Steering, Adaptive M Suspension, M Sport Brakes and larger wheels.
However, in an actual bit of news, the 3-series will be now available with a 134 HP turbocharged three-cylinder motor currently found in the new Mini Cooper. Imagine that, a 3 with a 3 banger! I wonder if BMW will also offer a three-on-the-tree as a special order?
There’s no word as to whether that car, the entry level 318i, will make it to the U.S. Probably not. I think it is safe to say that most Americans would not be interested in a BMW sport sedan that hits 60 in about 9 seconds.
The 2016 3 series should be hitting dealer lots sometime in the Summer. So for those of you that have a 2013-2015 3 series, don’t worry, our car will still look like the new one. And your friends will still have no idea what the numbers on the back mean.
If you have a question, a tip, or something you would like to to share about car-buying, drop me a line at AutomatchConsulting@gmail.com and be sure to include your Kinja handle.