It was supposed to make a grand debut at the Geneva Motor Show in March, but the 2014 BMW 3-Series Gran Turismo instead showed its face Wednesday after photos leaked online. Responses have been, well, mixed.
With the all-new 3-Series Gran Turismo, BMW takes their iconic 3-Series sedan and basically turns it into a crossover. It may carry the 3-Series name, but it does not carry its legendary characteristics. Longer and taller than ever the 3-Series wagon, the 3-Series Gran Turismo is a bloated version of the 3-Series sedan meant to capitalize on the trend of diversifying model lineups with one crossover after another.
That doesn't stop BMW from trying to sell the car as a true-to-form 3-Series. It has similar design qualities and the traditional kidney grille, plus sophisticated suspension and familiar engine choices. But the BMW 3-Series Gran Turismo is intended to strut through Laguna Beach shopping districts, not provide years upon years of true driving excitement.
When it reaches U.S. dealerships later this year, both a 328i Gran Turismo and 335i Gran Turismo will be available with their respective twin-scroll turbo 4-cylinder and TwinPower turbo inline-6 engines. An eight-speed automatic transmission shifts gears for you, and paddle shifters are available with the Sport Line and M Sport trims. With all that extra size and weight, the 3-Series Gran Turismo isn’t fooling us as a performance car. Still, expect to see some version of an M3 Gran Turismo on the horizon in coming months.
The 2014 3-Series Gran Turismo will feature the first active rear spoiler in BMW history, and also sports automatic Engine Start-Stop and regenerative brakes as standard equipment An ECO PRO driving mode may cut fuel economy by as much as 20-percent.
It will be interesting to see more details when the 2014 BMW 3-Series Gran Turismo makes its official debut in a few weeks. For some, the added utility and space may be appealing – but why make this when BMW already offers a range of crossover and SUV models, and with more than four seats? The rest of us will see the car as the 3-Series poseur it is, and find our sports sedan kicks elsewhere.