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Spy Shots: BMW 3 Series caught testing, interior revealed for first time


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Spy Shots: BMW 3 Series caught testing, interior revealed for first time

by Steven J. Ewing (RSS feed) on Nov 19th 2010 at 4:29PM

Lately, we've been hearing a lot about BMW's plans to expand its model line with more niche models like the X6 and 5 Series Gran Turismo. We've heard talks of a new X4 crossover, a 3 Series GT and even a hatchback M3. It's all a bit maddening, yes, but never fear – BMW has not forgotten about its core models, especially the all-important 3 Series sedan. After all, the four-door 3er is quite possibly the most important benchmark vehicle in the automotive marketplace. We do talk about it quite a bit.

Our sneaky spy photographers have just snapped this 3 Series prototype out testing on public roads, and while the exterior hasn't been altered too much from other development cars we've seen, our photogs managed to snap the 3er's reworked interior for the first time. Breathe easy, folks – it isn't too far removed from what we've come to know in the current E90 car. The dash has more sculpted lines, the steering wheel is beefier and has some more functional buttons and the center console features BMW's new remote-sized shifter.

We're still unsure as to what BMW has lurking under the hood, but we can expect the usual host of six-cylinder powertrains, both turbocharged and naturally aspirated. Of course, there's always the possibility of a four-cylinder option, too. Until we get the official word, we'll hug our current E90s and wait patiently. See the latest set of spy shots for yourself in the gallery below.

link:

http://www.autoblog.com/2010/11/19/spy-shots-bmw-3-series-caught-testing-interior-revealed-for-fi/

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Most GM haters b!tch if the same interior is used 3 years running.

BTW- are you sure it ONLY dates back to '98?? Seems they've looked the same bland & uninspired way for decades...

I'd venture to say the interiors are no longer as evolutionary as of the current generation, but it has been a pretty evolutionary process even before that. It's more a continuation of the current generation's theme, which started with the Bangled BMWs, for better or worse.

1975-1983:

1980_BMW_320i_E21_Blue_Plate_California_Survivor_For_Sale_Interior_1.jpg

1984-1991:

1988_BMW_e30_M3_Interior_1.jpg

1992-1998:

eurp_0909_04+1995_bmw_m3+interior.jpg

1999-2005:

BMW3Series-medium-1671_9.jpg

2006-Now

2009-bmw-m3-sedan-interior.jpg

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I'm sure the interior will be fine, and BMW fans like what they know. But interior doesn't sell this car, driving dynamics does. And the Corvette has had the same interior theme since 1980 never changed it either, and they use the cheapest plastic that can be found. At least BMW uses metal, wood, and leather. I don't like the E60 5-series interior or exterior styling but when I drove it, the driving experience is so good, the handling and steering so precise, the engine note sounds perfect, that you forget about the stupid gear shifter, the iDrive that you can't work and all the other shortcomings.

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I'm sure the interior will be fine, and BMW fans like what they know. But interior doesn't sell this car, driving dynamics does. And the Corvette has had the same interior theme since 1980 never changed it either, and they use the cheapest plastic that can be found. At least BMW uses metal, wood, and leather. I don't like the E60 5-series interior or exterior styling but when I drove it, the driving experience is so good, the handling and steering so precise, the engine note sounds perfect, that you forget about the stupid gear shifter, the iDrive that you can't work and all the other shortcomings.

Which car magazine did you pick those lines from? :P

Sorry, but being a current BMW owner, there is a certain limit up to which I buy that "driving experience" crock over the interior aesthetics.

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LaLaLand Gatekeeper ~ >>"I'm sure the interior will be fine, and BMW fans like what they know. But interior doesn't sell this car, driving dynamics does."<<

Driving dynamics used to be a relative exclusive, but their far from that now. Time to design an interior befitting the exorbitant prices BMW charges- they cannot continue to sell on badge alone (MOST of their sales here).

>>"And the Corvette has had the same interior theme since 1980 never changed it either, and they use the cheapest plastic that can be found."<<

I'm sure the interior will be fine, and Corvette fans like what they know. But interior doesn't sell this car, driving dynamics does. :P

>>"At least BMW uses metal, wood, and leather."<<

Interiors are PRIMARILY plastic & vinyl.

Just like the grilles aren't metal, but plastic.

Plastic plastic plastic !!

:P

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>>"And the Corvette has had the same interior theme since 1980 never changed it either, and they use the cheapest plastic that can be found."<<

I'm sure the interior will be fine, and Corvette fans like what they know. But interior doesn't sell this car, driving dynamics does. :P

That is the pwnage of the day.

I think Corvette interiors are bashed more than they deserve to be and no its seats are nearly not as uncomfortable as perceived. They are just fine till you start seeing 1.0g on the HUD. Again speaking through the butt of someone who owned that vehicle for a while.

Besides, BMWs have been less and less about the driving experience and more and more about how much tech they can stuff into a car.

BMW has lost its driving dynamics mojo. A hardcore BMW fan knows that. The new 5er is a 7er lite rather than 3er heavy.

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If BMW and Mercedes were so easy to beat, why hasn't Cadillac (or Lincoln, or Acura, or Infiniti) done it yet. Lexus beats BMW in American market sales, but isn't even close globally, and what percentage of Lexus sales are below $42,000? 85%? At the $50,000+ price point, Mercedes and BMW are basically unchallenged. I think Mercedes and BMW are quite strong now and still will be in 10 years. If Cadillac, Lexus or anyone else is waiting for them to fall, they are mistaken; if anyone is going to challenge them, they better step their game up.

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And there it is again : 'sales = better car in every arena of comparison'.

I KNOW there's no way you (smk) would ever admit Cadillac was "so much betterer" than mercedes & BMW when they sold nearly 400K units in the U.S. while the other 2 were at a tiny percentage of that.

So once again- my point is proven : shift the points of comparison to suit the desired outcome, and pin Cadillac's efforts primarily on sale numbers.

Sorry; wrong.

-- -- -- -- --

>>"I think Corvette interiors are bashed more than they deserve to be..."<<

Agreed. I looked for a long while at a Corvette interior in '09. I wasn't overly impressed, but it certainly wasn't horrible like so many harp about repeatedly.

By the same token, the BMW interiors that so many gush over (usually the same eggs) fail utterly to impress and carry the undertones of a 1980s econobox in the presentation.

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I've always liked their interiors, until the current generation of 3 series...they were always serious, no-nonsense driver focused interiors. The '99-05 is probably the best, and in some ways the high water mark for the 3-series so far, IMO.

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And there it is again : 'sales = better car in every arena of comparison'.

I KNOW there's no way you (smk) would ever admit Cadillac was "so much betterer" than mercedes & BMW when they sold nearly 400K units in the U.S. while the other 2 were at a tiny percentage of that.

So once again- my point is proven : shift the points of comparison to suit the desired outcome, and pin Cadillac's efforts primarily on sale numbers.

Sorry; wrong.

Cadillac hasn't really been strong in a long while, they declined through the 80s and 90s in the US, and they never got it going in foreign markets. And sure in the 1950s Cadillac was a powerhouse, but Bell Telephone used to be big, so did TWA and Pan Am Airlines, and Blockbuster was a market leader at one point too. The automotive landscape has changed, I think Cadillac needs to be adaptive and more global to keep up.

It isn't just sale numbers it is price point, brand image, global awareness, automotive reviews/ratings/awards, etc. Cadillac will probably never beat Mercedes-Benz, but I think Cadillac could be doing better than they are now.

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God- BMW just SUX at interiors.

And '75-91 is the same thing to my eye (16 years). Wow.

They all look so uninspired & cheap.

Seeing them in pictures is one thing...sitting in them is a different story. For the longest time I never really gave much thought to the e36 3-series interior, and I always felt it was incredibly cheap looking. Then I sat in one and to my surprise it was of far higher quality than I ever imagined. Despite its appearance, It is a rather solid interior...it just photographs horribly. I also drove my boss's brand new 7-series around for a bit, and while I can't stand the interior in pictures, there was no question as to how nice and luxurious it was in person. Instead of driving a car it kind of makes you feel like you're sitting in front of a high quality desk/entertainment center in one of those fancy chairs that also massages your ass. It drove like a boat, though.

Hell, I even had a stint in an e21 for about a week...but having driven nothing comparable I can't really judge. The e46 interior is probably the most aesthetically pleasing in my opinion. Again, it is a very solid feeling interior with nice materials. I'd say it is similar to my car, actually. In pictures it doesn't look too interesting, but it works, it is high quality, and it is nice to sit in...The radio/hvac controls (in my car anyway) aren't very ergonomic, but the steering wheel controls are a godsend.

(I'm such a sucker for the fully wrapped leather interior in the e39 M5 :drool: )

interior1.jpg

interior2.jpg

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Besides, BMWs have been less and less about the driving experience and more and more about how much tech they can stuff into a car.

Sadly, true..they've gone overboard w/ the electronics and gadgetry and strayed from the serious driver's car nature that made them so compelling for so long..

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And FWD now.

Yes, a disgrace.. of course, non RWD/front engine drivetrains and layouts are nothing new for BMW--they did have rear engined models in the 50s-60s.. and the great midengined M1. But FWD is just so damn mainstream...

Edited by Cubical-aka-Moltar
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Sadly, true..they've gone overboard w/ the electronics and gadgetry and strayed from the serious driver's car nature that made them so compelling for so long..

E-46 was the true last driver's car with BMW mantra and without tech nannies. The new ones are just tech focus. In some ways I cannot blame BMW because given the price and clientèle, its cars are being bought more for show-off than true driving experience.

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By the same token, the BMW interiors that so many gush over (usually the same eggs) fail utterly to impress and carry the undertones of a 1980s econobox in the presentation.

I got shouted down for saying the same thing a while ago when I tried to argue that there was nothing particularly "luxury" about BMW and Mercedes below the flagship in the early '80s besides the price.

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