Spinning the BMW 3 in Barcelona
We are at the Circuit de Catalunya, Formula 1's most favoured testing destination. Back in the day when F1¬ was an integral part of BMW, this was where the cars were brutally put to the test. Today, you won't find the blue and- white propeller on F1¬ nose cones (and thankfully no Ralf Schumacher, either), but sportiness is very much at the core of every BMW. This is why the doors of an F¬ track have been thrown open to us for an entire day - so that we can stretch the handling legs of the most popular BMW model.
But first, a quick walk around the car. With the 3 Series accounting for one in every five BMWs sold, there was no way the stylists were going to cock this one up. The boring, even bland, visual signature of the 7 and 5 Series was thus trashed, and the 3 now has more in common with the uncommon ¬. To be honest, it hasn't veered too far o the track: anybody with even the faintest idea about cars will still recognize this as a 3 Series. But there's a new slickness to it: There's a while of the Z4 in the bonnet line that gently drops to the nose; a new swage line running through the door handles and rising aggressively towards the rear that creates a wedge-shaped profile and the headlamps run into and abut the kidney grille, giving it a distinct visual signature. Overall, it is more thrusting and forceful, something that will appeal to the kind of guy who wants to be seen behind the wheel of a BMW.
Pertinently, the guy who sits at the back has now been paid special attention to. Length is up by 93mm and wheelbase by 50mm, which liberates more rear legroom and headroom, while also allowing for larger door apertures. Rear legroom is as generous as in an Audi A4, but that's not what makes it special: In a remarkable departure, I can't use the words "harsh ride quality" to describe a BMW anymore.
I loved the previous E90 3 Series to bits, but sitting in the back would break you to bits. Later variants were progressively softened, but it never re- ally came close to the ride quality of the Mercedes C-Class or Audi A4. With (optional) Drive Experience Control in Comfort mode, the new 3 Series is an absolute revelation; even in Sport trim on big 90-inch rims with low-profi le run-fl at tyres she rides smoothly, absorbing bumps and breathing over imperfections. Better still, Indian cars will get 17-inch rims with higher profile rubber that will deliver an even plusher ride.
Top 10 Sporting Events in 2011
Yamaha's New Superbike on the Block
Four Androids Phone We Love
14 Best Beers in India
Give Your Suit a Twist