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BMW reveals first 4WD 3 Series for UK
BMW will launch the first UK 3 Series to be fitted with four-wheel drive later this year, with the introduction of the 320i xDrive range.
The new model will be a first for BMW in the UK – previously, four-wheel drive versions of the 3 Series range have been restricted to left-hand drive markets, due to engineering issues.
The new F30 3 Series platform is, however, sufficiently flexible to allow right-hand drive production, so BMW is testing the water with the petrol-engined new variant.
It will be offered in SE, Sport, Modern, Luxury and M Sport trims, with prices starting from £27,400 for a 320i xDrive SE. This represents a £1,535 premium over a rear-wheel drive model.
Its direct rival, the Audi A4, costs from £29,170 in 2.0 TFSI 211 quattro SE guise, although this car does have 27hp more.
The new BMW 320i xDrive produces 184hp and accelerates to 62mph from rest in 7.4 seconds, just 0.1 seconds slower than the regular rear-wheel drive 320i. It averages 41.5mpg, compared to 44.8mpg, and CO2 emissions still dip under the 160g/km CO2 barrier at 159g/km.
This is the first time a 3 Series has been offered with BMW’s advanced xDrive four-wheel drive system. Previous four-wheel drive ‘xi’ 3 Series used a less advanced setup – and it was the bulky design of this that precluded sale in right-hand drive countries.
BMW is launching the all-wheel drive 3 Series softly, though. Currently, the petrol-powered model is the only four-wheel drive saloon car BMW offers in the UK. However, if the 320i xDrive is a success, expect more models to get a four-wheel drive option.
BMW has already confirmed that a 320d xDrive is in development, which almost certainly will follow in the UK should the reaction to the 320i xDrive be positive.
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