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The F30 BMW 3-series - Too evolutionary and not revolutionary enough

By Rigval on 26 Oct 2011

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By now most of you would have known that BMW has launched the replacement for the E90 BMW 3-series. This new model, code named F30 internally and what most BMW enthusiasts will call it, is basically an evolution of the E90. All one has to do is graft on the new nose from the A-pillar onwards and keep the whole rear end and you get a F30 bmw 3-series.

Critics are calling it a minor update of the 3-series and not “BMW's most ambitious program to date” as claimed by BMW. That statement was made by BMW's R&D Chief Klaus Draeger and it seems that not many people are buying it as automotive journalists, forums and people here and there claim it to be otherwise when it comes to its styling.

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I suppose BMW wants us to look at the complete package and not only the F30's styling. It IS larger, longer and it also is claimed to have the handling and vehicle dynamics that a BMW should have. But it does look like the E90(above) actually. BMW Chief designer Adrian van Hooydonk admits that the F30's design as "evolutionary" and said that there was a responsibility to maintain a consistency within the brand.

Van Hooydonk also claims that it is very recognizable as a BMW even if one were to take the badge off. But he goes on to say that the BMW 3-series is the “core of the brand" or in layman's terms, the bread and butter model. This means that this is the cash cow for BMW and it need not be overtly adventurous. And that is why we're getting something that we've basically seen for the past six or so years. It only gets a new front end and keeps everything from the A-pillar rearwards.

While the car is longer, therefore slightly bigger and sports a whole lot of change under the skin, I cannot help but think that the car is an E90.5 instead of a 3-series called the F30. But then again, the last time BMW went and did a total change they came out with one of the ugliest luxury sedans ever produced – the E65/E66 BMW 7-series. Nearly everyone who had good taste felt their stomach churn and their tastebuds go sour at the mere sight of that car (people still bought it nonetheless).

So maybe it was wise that BMW has played it safe kept to a tried and true formula for the F30 3-series.

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Rigval
Written by Rigval
Born in 1972. Married with a kid. Loves B-road drives and have driven cars from the 1950s to date.



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Mecontle Oct 26 2011 09:49 PM
imagine altis that is no longer an altis look, many unsophisticated uncles will be fustrated bcos they paid for not what they hd intended, likewise with the 3s, better cash cow thn poor cow
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Mecontle Oct 26 2011 09:49 PM
imagine altis that is no longer an altis look, many unsophisticated uncles will be fustrated bcos they paid for not what they hd intended, likewise with the 3s, better cash cow thn poor cow
Heartbreakid Oct 27 2011 04:17 AM
I would have to agree with the critics. Styling-wise, BMW is trying too hard to make the 3-series stand out, front portion (B-pillar onwards), the A-pillar seems like it has been bent under an accident, over-long front nose (Does it really needs that as it eats much of the increased wheelbase for style that liberate out more room?) the rear portion looks mis-match with the front, and finally the headlights are a joke. Interior-wise, the dashboard looks like its design to look like after-market thought. Why does the passenger portion seems like cut half?

3-series is a serious sake in the BMW family but this is a disappointing effort. By far, the best effort made is by the new 5-series. Good proportional styling and elegant. Interior is finally the traditional BMW angled centre console design. Glad Chris Bangle left the design team.
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