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Sporty makeup for BMW

How do you make a 3 series stand out from the crowd? BMW has the answer and a price tag for an expensive makeup that will add sporty glitter to your rig. By Adrian Ion

July 2013 - From the Print Edition

4 Photos
The 3 series is without doubt the leader every manufacturer follows when it comes to building a sporty mid-class sedan. The current 3 series has been around for more than a year, and it seems that it will follow in the footsteps of the previous generations, a worthy successor for this iconic brand. At the moment, one in three BMWs sold worldwide is a 3 series so the expectations are high in this very competitive class.
BMW understood the demand for a highly personalized car and has introduced three spec levels to suit every taste. For those seeking a sportier look beyond the standard version, a whole world of personalization options is up for grabs.
The M Performance accessories will make a normal BMW stand out. The local importer of BMW took a rather dull white 328i version and personalized it with a bunch of M Performance pieces worth about EUR 10,000, which make the car look like a more civilized DTM track version.
The carbon fiber ornaments on the spoiler, rear view mirrors and grille combined with the special double spoke wheels complement the sporty behavior of the twin turbo engine. This two-liter engine produces 240 Hp and will hit the 100 km/h mark from standstill in less than six seconds.
The engine is linked to ZF's new eight-speed automatic, which works like a charm and complements the engine power band. The sound is not as pleasant as you would expect, though, and to be honest I miss the superiorly balanced six-cylinder used in the previous version. In terms of handling there is not much to complain about, maybe just the fact that it has become a bit softer than the previous generation. The engine is quieter, the steering is electrically assisted and the exhaust whispers, rather than screams, when the throttle is floored.
The M Sports Package that the tested 328i was fitted with along with the variable sport steering greatly improved the dynamics of the car when the right buttons are pushed. It is amazing what electronics will make out of a car. Highway cruising as expected is a breeze, with the suspension setup in the comfort mode.
The price for a standard 328i version starts at around EUR 35,000 + VAT, but the price tag of the tested car amazingly doubled with the optional equipment and M Performance parts fitted. Yes, it is a lot of money but the looks are awesome. ■



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