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Behold - the 3GT
A baby 5 GT from BMW to cater for that bigger market that wants a hatch BMW, coming to a showroom near you......
BMW has added a new model to the BMW 3-series line-up for the first time since the short-lived Compact was launched in 1993.
The new high-riding 3-series GT follows the template of the larger 5-series GT. It is longer, wider and taller than the 3-series Touring on which it is based. BMW claims the 3-series GT mixes the dynamics of the 3-series saloon with the practicality of the 3-series Touring and the looks of a coupť.
The five-seat 3-series GT will be offered with five engines from launch, including a 302 bhp 335i range-topper, and the likely best-seller, the 320d. It is set to go on sale in the UK in late spring, priced at around £1500 more than an equivalent 3-series Touring model.
At 4824 mm long, 1828 mm wide and 1508 mm high, the 3-series GT is 200 mm longer, 17 mm wider and 79 mm taller than the 3-series Touring. The wheelbase is also 110 mm longer at 2920 mm, the upshot of which is 70 mm more legroom for rear passengers, more than in a 5-series saloon.
Boot capacity is also increased in the 3-series GT over the 3-series Touring by 25 litres to 520 litres. The split rear bench folds 40/20/40 to further improve the carís LED strip light-illuminated loading area up to 1600 litres. A low-loading lip and wide boot opening also improve the carís ability to carry bulky loads. An electric tailgate is standard.
The design of the 3-series GT is much sleeker than that of the bulky 5-series GT. A sloping roofline, frameless doors and an active rear spoiler that automatically raises at speeds above 68 mph are among the design traits over and above the basic 3-series themes that carryover from the saloon and Touring models.
Inside, the driving position is raised by 59 mm over the standard 3-series. BMW claims three adults can sit on the rear bench in comfort.
The launch line-up of the rear-drive 3-series GT includes three petrol models (320i, 328i and 335i) and two diesels (318d and 320d). A turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine is offered with 181 bhp in the 320i and 242 bhp in the 328i.
A 302bhp turbocharged 3.0-litre unit powers the 335i model, which can crack 0-62mph in 5.7sec when equipped with the standard six-speed manual gearbox. An eight-speed automatic is optional with all engines.
BMWís familiar 2.0-litre turbodiesel is offered with 141 bhp in the 318d and 181 bhp in the 320d. In the 320d, combined economy is rated at 57.6 mpg and CO2 emissions are 129 g/km.
The Sport, Modern and Luxury trims from the 3-series saloon and Touring ranges will be offered on the 3-series GT in addition to a base spec. M Sport models, which will ride 10mm lower and include adaptive dampers as part of the dynamic and cosmetic upgrades, are set to be introduced from July 2013