2019 BMW 3 Series (G20)

FiestaST

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DRIVEN | BMW M340i xDrive the perfect seat warmer until hotter M3 arrives in SA

In summary

It is easy to say, then, that the BMW M340i xDrive is not a good car. Well, you'd be wrong. It's a fantastic machine that dishes up plenty of joy from a driver's point of view. It always conjures a smile, and a sense of 'damn, that was fun!' Despite the extra weight that unsettles the ride quality during spirited driving, most owners will never push the car to its limit.

In that regard, the drivetrain and suspension will always appeal to the average driver and have them applauding the car for its straight-line prowess and sturdiness through corners.

But for others who thought this car would be the perfect sports machine until the M3's arrival, it's a case of yes and no. If BMW had made this car perfect – the way we envisioned it to be - it would render the M3 pointless. At R1 079 300, this car is damn good and an ideal indication of what to expect from the forthcoming M3. If this is what you can afford, then it would be an investment worth making.

While good to a point, the BMW M340i xDrive will rarely put a foot wrong.


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FiestaST

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BMW M340i Touring vs Mercedes-AMG G63 v Audi RS Q3 Sportback vs VW T-Roc R: drag race - Carwow

 

FiestaST

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New BMW M3: G80-gen sedan’s ‘secrets’ drop in first official teaser video

BMW has released a video teaser that includes the first official driving shots of the new M3 sedan as well as confirms a handful of development “secrets” about the G80-generation model.

The six-minute clip is entitled Shaping the icon and shows the new M3 being put through its paces at Nürburgring Nordschleife (as well as on surrounding roads).

Christian Flessa, head of driving dynamics systems development at BMW M, talks us through the “secrets” behind developing the new model, while also riding shotgun with Peter Schmid, head of driving dynamics systems for the new M3 and M4.

Flessa confirms the new M3 will be offered in both “standard” rear-wheel-drive form and with the Munich-based firm’s “new M xDrive” all-wheel-drive setup (the latter with a “friction coefficient meter”). The two engineers also talk about the braking system, aerodynamics and the M differential.


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FiestaST

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New electric BMW 3 Series spied testing

Camouflaged test mule hints at Munich's plans for executive EV sibling to the i4, set to launch by 2023

BMW is understood to be developing an electric version of the 3 Series to sit alongside the 523bhp i4 EV by 2023 - and an early prototype has been spied testing.

A camouflaged prototype spotted by our photographers is almost identical to the current G20-generation 3 Series, although the addition of mandatory ‘electric test vehicle’ stickers and subtly reshaped front and rear ends reveals that it's an early test version for a zero-emissions model.

The forthcoming i4 will be BMW's first electric saloon, and the firm is yet to officially confirm plans for an electric 3 Series. A BMW spokesperson declined to comment on the test pictures but in a statement said: "By 2023, the BMW Group portfolio will include 25 electrified models, and half of those will be fully electric.”

Munich will officially launch its new iX3 electric SUV later this year, with the 4 Series Gran Coupé-based i4 arriving in dealerships in mid-2021.


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FiestaST

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DRIVEN: BMW 320i Steptronic

At R700 562, the 320i faces stiff competition not only from its traditional rivals such as the Audi A4 and the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, but from the increasingly popular premium SUV. With buyers eschewing the traditional three-box saloon in favour of trendy crossovers, the 3 Series has to fight even harder to tempt would-be buyers from their cherished off-roaders. While it may not offer the status of a high-riding SUV, the luxurious ride of a C-Class or the bank vault-like interior quality of the A4, the 320i is an excellent all-rounder. It delivers everything a buyer in this class could possibly want, especially if said buyer prefers their premium saloon with a sporty streak.

Fast Facts
Model:BMW 320i Steptronic
Price:R700 562
Engine:2,0-litre, four-cylinder, turbopetrol
Power:135 kW @ 5 000 – 6 500 r/min
Torque:300 N.m @ 1 350 – 4 000 r/min
0-100 km/h:7,10 seconds (claimed)
Top Speed:235 km/h
Fuel Consumption:6,30 L/ 100 km (claimed)
CO2:144 g/km
Transmission:eight-speed automatic
Maintenance Plan:five-year/100 000 km

 

FiestaST

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First drive: 2020 BMW M3 prototype

Munich's favourite performance export is fast approaching a new generation. We get behind the wheel of a test mule to see how it's shaping up

It’s always tricky attempting to form an accurate impression of a new car from a handful of miles on a smooth-surfaced circuit. In this case, though, we’re confident BMW M has succeeded in injecting its highly revered performance saloon with an added dose of performance and handling prowess. There’s still a lot to learn about it, but in back-to-back runs with the old model, it felt not only a good deal faster in a straight line but also a more accommodating car to drive at or near its limits thanks to a new-found sense of handling delicacy.

We’ll know for sure when we get to test a production version on the road later this year, but you might just be looking at the most dynamically accomplished M3 yet – one that’s bigger and heavier than ever but, on the strength of this first encounter at least, also inherently more exciting to drive.

BMW M3 prototype

Where Germany Price £65,000 (estimated) On sale 2021 Engine 6 cyls in line, 2993cc, twin-turbocharged, petrol Power 473bhp at 5950-7200rpm Torque 443lb ft at 2600-5950rpm Gearbox 8-spd automatic Kerb weight tbc Top speed 155mph (governed) 0-62mph tbc Economy tbc CO2 tbc Rivals Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio, Mercedes-AMG C63 S


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FiestaST

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New BMW M3 and M4: fresh teaser drops and peak outputs confirmed!

BMW has released a fresh teaser image (and shots of camouflaged prototypes testing) previewing its new M3 and M4, while also confirming the peak power outputs of both the standard and Competition variants.

Scheduled to be fully revealed in mid-September 2020, the Munich-based firm’s high-performance G80-generation M3 sedan and G82-generation M4 coupé will boast what BMW describes as a “significant increase in performance” versus their predecessor models.

The Bavarian brand has confirmed the standard models will be offered with a twin-turbo 3,0-litre straight-six petrol engine delivering 353 kW via a six-speed manual gearbox. The Competition derivatives, meanwhile, will make 375 kW (like the X3 M Competition and X4 M Competition) and be mated with an eight-speed M Steptronic transmission.


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FiestaST

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BMW M3 (2020) International Prototype Drive

The new BMW M3 and its M4 coupe sibling are just months away from production, but international correspondent Greg Kable has already been behind the wheel of a very-nearly finished version of the business-class performance sedan. He drove it on the Sachsenring circuit in Germany back-to-back with the old model. Has the new version moved the game on? Find out here...

Summary

It’s always tricky attempting to form an accurate impression of a new car from a handful of miles on a smooth-surfaced circuit. In this case, though, we’re confident BMW M has succeeded in injecting its revered business-class performance sedan with an added dose of performance and handling prowess. There’s still a lot to learn about it but, in back-to-back runs with the old model, it felt not only a good deal faster in a straight line – but also a more accommodating car to drive at or near its limits thanks to a new-found sense of handling delicacy. We’ll know for sure when we get to test a production version on the road later this year, but you might just be looking at the most dynamically accomplished M3 yet – one that’s bigger and heavier than ever before but, on the strength of this first encounter at least, also inherently more exciting to drive.

 

FiestaST

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Alpina B3 2020 review

Should I buy one?

The B3 is one reason not to opt for the new M3 when it arrives here early next year. With that magnificently muscular engine and a superbly sorted chassis, it is a spectacularly compelling car to drive.

It may look subtle inside and out, but its speed and performance are exceptional while its ride and handling possess the intrinsic magic only a truly enthusiastic group of engineers working closely together can conjure. By remaining small in a world of automotive giants, Alpina has managed to remain faithful to what it does best: build a great driver’s car from the basis of an existing BMW.

The hardest decision is whether to choose the saloon or the Touring.

Alpina B3 specification

Where Germany Price £73,000 (estimated) On sale September Engine 6 cyls in line, 2993cc, twin-turbocharged, petrol Power 462bhp at 5500-7000rpm Torque 516lb ft at 2500-4500rpm Gearbox 8-spd automatic Kerb weight 1785kg 0-62mph 3.8sec Top speed 188mph Economy 25.4mpg CO2, tax band 252g/km, 37% Rivals Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio, BMW M3, Mercedes-AMG C63 S


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FiestaST

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Alpina D3 S Touring 2020 review

Should I buy one?

If you’re after a performance diesel, the D3 S is well worth a look.

It doesn’t possess quite the same responsive change of direction as its B3 petrol sibling, but you get outstanding in-gear performance and excellent refinement. Its economy and range also promise to be quite exemplary, making it the perfect everyday car for just about any driving conditions. Be aware, though, that its CO2 emissions of 199g/km are 40g/km more than the M340d on the WLTP cycle.

Alpina D3 S Touring specification

Where Germany Price £55,950 On sale September Engine 6-cyl, 2993cc, turbocharged diesel Power 350bhp at 4000-4200rpm Torque 538lb ft at 1750-2750rpm Gearbox 8-spd automatic Kerb weight 2010kg Top speed 168mph 0-62mph 4.8sec Fuel economy 37.2mpg CO2 199g/km Rivals BMW M340d Touring


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FiestaST

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2020 BMW M3 to share radical front end with new M4

Next-gen M3 will make a dramatic departure from the design of the standard 3 Series

The next-generation BMW M3 – due for launch in September – has been snapped with minimal disguise, confirming at last that it will wear the same vertically oriented front grille as its M4 sibling.

The performance saloon has been spotted many times before - and we've driven it in prototype form - but it has always shielded its nose from view. Speaking at the unveiling of the standard 4 Series, BMW design chief Domagoj Dukec said the "polarising" design will become a "brand shaper" but implied it would not make its way to the M3. He said: "The 3 Series has a very horizontal one because it’s a more rational, serious car. A coupé like the 4 Series should express the exotic part of BMW.”


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ToxicBunny

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*spit*

The G20 in its normal guise is a gorgeous car... this M3 is now bloody fugly. WTF is wrong with BMW?
 
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