We have been the pondering that headlining question amongst ourselves here at BF for sometime. In the past, the 3 series has introduced new engines and technology but this go around we are a bit mystified as to what the new F30, destined to debut this coming fall as the E90 fades into oblivion, will introduce. When the E90 came to market it really used a lot of the items that the E81/2 1 Series had debuted years before- suspension, steering wheel, seats, switch gear and a whole lot more BUT it brought along with it an entirely new engine family. The N52 was and still is in many ways revolutionary- it used magnesium and aluminum to decrease its mass and to better handle thermal loads, thanks in part to an electric coolant pump. The engine increased efficiency and performance through technology over the outgoing engines and its free revving nature was positively reviewed throughout the automotive press.
Fast forward from yesteryear and rehashing the past to today- we already know that much of the F30 architecture, electronics and creature comforts will be shared between it, the newly revealed F20 1 series and recently redesigned F25 X3. What does that leave us to think about as being new and revolutionary? Not much considering the N20 twin turbo four cylinder has been revealed as coming to the US this fall in the E89 Z4 and will subsequently move to other models in the range. The N55 Twin Power inline 6 is too new to be replaced as well so we are left with no new power plants for the all new 3 series.
However, we know all too well, BMW ALWAYS introduces a new technology or something new with each model they launch and then use it in other models as time goes on. Will it be increased use of aluminum in the structure of the car, will it be increased use of Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymers throughout or simply will it be some new fangled software for iDrive? We are really not too sure at this point. On the other hand, there may be little in the form of groundbreaking news and the volume seller of the BMW line just gets the bits from other cars in hopes of squeezing every last bit of profit out of the model. The interwebs and sources have been overly quiet about the F30 3 Series- is it because things are so top secret and advanced few know about it or is there nothing really to talk about. The F30 will be a mini 5 series in looks with the guts of the X3 so it is anyones guess but as this fall approaches expect to see and hear more about what to expect in this next generation of the 3er.
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