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BMW 3 Series F30 2012 M Sport in detail
BMW has shown the most important new 3 Series edition for the UK, the M Sport, at the international press launch of the new car in Barcelona prior to its market launch in the UK next autumn.
M Sport is a key trim line for the UK, traditionally accounting for two sales in every three. Its arrival will give the new 3 Series range a double boost following the market launch of the new model on February 11 2012.
The F30 M Sport trim will be the sportiest mainstream line of all, and is now appreciably more focused even than the current M Sport trim. Key styling cues are the heavily restyled front and rear bumpers, with bold sculpting and aero-look design that pays homage to the current M3.
There are bespoke 18-inch double arm M Sport wheels, and the BMW Adaptive Damping system is also standard for all M Sport derivatives. Gloss black window surrounds, chrome exhausts, deeper side sills and a 10mm ride height drop add the finishing touches.
A choice of six body colours will be available including the unique Estoril Blue II pictured here. ‘It’s a variation of our famous Estoril Blue’, said a BMW engineer: ‘this colour is darker than the existing shade’.
In the metal, it looks very special indeed, every inch the junior BMW M. The front and rear bumpers are striking and, unlike before, onlookers will be left in no doubt this is an M Sport variant. Of course, this also means the future M3 will have to be even more extreme…
Inside, the M Sport is again strongly differentiated from standard 3 Series. Sports-style seats are trimmed in a hexagonal Alcantara trim, with blue stitching picking out the detailing in the seats. The dashboard also has a blue accent line, which matches a blue-trimmed ignition key specific to the M Sport.
‘The red-coloured parts of the existing Sport trim are changed to blue for the M Sport,’ said the BMW engineer. ‘But this is a really big step on from the Sport with many more differences besides this – it’s much more sporting in style and appearance.’
BMW has also given the new M Sport a unique three-spoke sports steering wheel that the engineer said is ‘really very special indeed. We have modelled it on that in the original E30 M3 and it feels fantastic in the hands.’
The M Sport trim line will be offered with all engines in the UK. BMW will fit a short-shift gearlever to manual gearbox versions, while automatics have paddleshifts mounted behind the heritage-style steering wheel.
The arrival of M Sport trim, of which production begins in the summer, will take the number of 3 Series variants up to six – more than at any point in the car’s history. It’s all part of BMW’s intent to make this the best selling 3 Series variant ever.
Given how the 3 Series is a firm UK top 10 best seller, with 2010 sales of over 24,000 cars, expect the M Sport trim to quickly become a familiar sight on UK roads from next autumn.
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