The BMW F30 3 Series has received its Life Cycle Impulse (LCI) treatment (fancy BMW lingo for facelift), and it brings a host of new engines from the BMW EfficientDynamics family to go with the subtle styling refresh. Available in both sedan and touring guises, the 3 Series LCI range now comprises of the petrol 318i, 320i, 330i, 340i, and diesel 316d, 318d, 320d, 325d, 330d, and 335d.
Unlike the LCI on the previous generations of the 3 Series, the facelift on the F30 is very minor in terms of visual appearance. Pay close attention to the official images here because if you blink your eyes you might miss what has been changed. The styling updates at the front include a new bumper and a new pair of headlamps with distinct pattern for the LED DRLs.
BMW pointed that on models that are equipped with the Active Cruise Control (ACC), the radar in the front bumper is now less prominent too. Full LED headlamps is available as an option, featuring BMW Selective Beam that automatically adjusts the light cone depending on the road condition. The sides are left intact but the rear receives a new bumper and LED tail lights.
Similarly on the inside, the updates are limited to a redesigned center console with a sliding cover for the cupholders, and some chrome highlights for the controls on the dash. Want more? Well, BMW claims that the navigation system (optional, of course) has been updated with new and more realistic graphics for the 3D map and it is now quicker to respond to your input. More optional items include a full colour Head-Up Display and Parking Assistant to facilitate those who find parallel parking a bit too tedious.
Several trim lines are also available to suit different buyer requirements that brings a choice of material and finishes for the interior and styling packs for the exterior, as shown on these official press images. While current F30 owners can contemplate to retrofit the new bumpers and LED lights to their rides, they will not be able to change what’s under the skin as easily.
Under the bonnet, every engine in the 3 Series lineup is equipped with BMW’s TwinPower Turbo technology. A 2.0-litre 4-cylinder diesel is used in the 316d, 318d, 320d, and 325d with varying states of tune. In the 316d it develops 116 hp and 270 Nm, in the 318d it gives you 150 hp and 320 Nm, 190 hp and 400 Nm in the 320d, and in the 325d it delivers 218 hp and 450 Nm. Even better is the lusty 3.0-litre straight-six diesel in the 330d and 335d. It dishes out 258 hp and 560 Nm in the former, and 313 hp and a whopping 630 Nm in the latter.
The 318i gets a compact 1.5-litre 3-cylinder that churns out 136 hp and 220 Nm, replacing the 1.6-litre 4-cylinder in the outgoing 316i. Powering the 320i and the 330i is a 2.0-litre 4-cylinder. It generates 184 hp and 290 Nm in the 320i, but in the 330i it delivers 252 hp and 350 Nm. Topping the petrol 3 Series range is the 340i that packs a 3.0-litre 6-cylinder with 326 hp and 450 Nm.
Depending on engine, buyers can choose from a six-speed manual with what BMW refers to as “engagement speed control“, which will automatically match the revs upon shifts; or the excellent and proven eight-speed automatic transmission. Drive is sent to the rear wheels, but the xDrive all-wheel drive system is available on some models too.
BMW also announced that there will be a plug-in hybrid variant called the 330e. Combining a 2.0-litre 4-cylinder from the 320i with an 80 kW electric motor, it will have a total output of 252 hp and 420 Nm. Set to launch in 2016, the 330e will accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 6.3 seconds and all the way to the top speed of 225 km/h; and it’s claimed to return just 2.1 l/100 km. Best of both worlds? Let’s hope the 330e make its way here so we can give you the full AutoBuzz.my review.