While our turn will come with the F30, the first reviews are starting to pour in from the European and US press. The general consensus? It ‘s as good as we ‘ve hoped. Michael Taylor from Insideline at this to say:
>The chassis is easily the highlight of the car, and that ‘s partly because of the damper control system, but mostly because the car is 88 pounds lighter, has a longer wheelbase and runs a 50:50 front-to-rear weight distribution. It steals what is already an impressive show by being so nimble and light on its feet that it feels like a featherweight when you want it to dance. It ‘s a chassis that overachieves, one that might have been saved up for the next Z4, but here it is beneath BMW ‘s stock in trade.
Promising no? Let ‘s move from the US and to seasoned UK automotive journalist Steve Sutcliffe from Autocar:
>If Superman drove a car, in fact, he’d probably drive a new BMW 320d. And the rest of us would be more than happy with any other member of the range. Because be in no doubt, a new world leader has arrived – and it may take a while for the others to catch up.
Sounds great but let ‘s get into more of the specifics.
Here ‘s more from Steve and Autocar:
>The first thing you become aware of when driving either car is that there’s an incredible lack of inertia when on the move.
>…Select Sport and it instantly feels even more alive, not just beneath your backside and feet but at the tips of your fingers as well. And if you’re feeling truly in the mood there’s a Sport+ setting available in this model as well, which brings yet crisper responses from the steering, gearbox and throttle, and turns the traction control to a fruitier setting for good measure.
You can read the entire review here.
Yet we wanted to read more about the F30 ‘s new electric steering system. It would see even Porsche wasn ‘t able to fully conquer the problem of a lack feel that electric systems have with the new 911. Could BMW have possibly solved it with the F30? We turn to Motor Trend ‘s review for their take:
>Once the traffic clears and the road turns twisty, the F30 feels as nimble and agile as the E90. It attacks corners as ardently as ever — perhaps more so, given its broader stance and 10-percent more rigid structure. The 19-inch Bridgestone Potenza S001s (225/40 front, 355/35 rear) cling to the smooth, dry tarmac like election-year politicos to dogma, and the (still-optional) adaptive damping system provides noticeably tighter roll control in the Sport versus Comfort settings. Fans of BMW ‘s once legendary steering feel will mourn the passing of the fuel-thirstier hydraulic assist. Our test car had the optional variable-ratio electric-assist rack, which provides a 14.5:1 ratio on-center, quickening to 11.2:1 as the wheel passes about 100 degrees in either direction. The effort and heft feel natural enough, but on these smooth, dry roads it transmits no wiggles or twitches to suggest subtle variation in the grip level of the road surface, and the ratio transition feels unnatural in the tightest corners.
That last part will be interesting to experience for ourselves. You can read the rest at Motor Trend.
We ‘ll withhold final judgement of the steering and the car as a whole until we drive it ourselves. Look for our review soon.