Despite the lukewarm reception that the bigger 5 Series GT has received from critics and BMW fans since its debut, BMW is pushing to expand its GT model lineup even further and has taken the veil off of its latest GT model the 2014 3 Series GT which aims to bring versatility to buyers that might find the bigger 5 Series GT unsuitable for their needs.
Following the theme set by its bigger 5 Series sibling, the 3 Series GT represents a radical departure in overall styling from the sedan version thanks to its hatchback like profile as well as several features exclusive to the GT model. The familiar dual function lift gate that first debuted on the bigger 5 Series GT gives the car a hatchback like profile with a traditional trunk lid to accommodate a wide variety of loading configurations. Another GT-exclusive feature is the company’s first ever rear active spoiler, which improves the car’s aerodynamic profile and also reduces lift at freeway speeds. The front fascia of the 3 Series GT retains many of the cues seen on the sedan and Touring variants of the 3 Series, but BMW designers have tweaked the headlamp and lower bumper assemblies slightly to give the 3 Series GT a sportier and more purposeful look.
The wheelbase of the 3 Series GT has been stretched when paired side by side with other 3 Series models to achieve maximum utility and passenger comfort. When compared to the equally versatile 3 Series Touring in particular, the new GT is 8 inches longer, which allowed BMW engineers to increase rear seat room by 3 inches as well as add an extra cubic foot of cargo space for a grand total of 18.3 cubic feet which is slightly higher than the figure wielded by the Touring.
Performance hardware for the 3 Series GT is shared with other 3 Series models so expect base 328i models to be powered by the company’s familiar turbocharged 2.0 liter four cylinder engine which is good for 240 horsepower and 255 lb-ft of torque with up-level 335i variants continuing to be powered by a 3.0 liter turbocharged inline six which is good for 300 horsepower and an equally stout 300 lb-ft of torque. Either engine’s muscle is transmitted through an 8-speed STEPTRONIC automatic transmission which delivers smooth shifts and increases fuel efficiency at the same time. The lone performance-oriented omission is the lower-output 2.0 liter four cylinder from the recently unveiled 320i model which will not find its way into the 3 Series GT in the near future.
The 2014 BMW 3 Series GT will make its official debut at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show in March with pricing and other detailed information expected to be revealed closer to its formal launch.