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Finally, the Gran Turismo version of the popular BMW 3 Series is out. Set to be unveiled this weekend at the 2013 Chicago Auto Show, the 3 Series Gran Turismo will come in the form of 328i and 335i and offers a coupe-like profile with its sloping roofline and large tailgate as well as an active rear spoiler, which is a first on a BMW.

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At 4,824 mm long, 1,489 mm tall, 1,828 mm wide and with a 2,920 mm wheelbase, the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo is notably larger than the Sedan and Sports Wagon variants of the 3 Series family. The trademark design of the 3 Series is featured on the outer side of the car. The front face features the usual 3 Series look with the headlamps and kidney grille. What makes the Gran Turismo different from its siblings is the clever use of proportions, surfaces and lines to make it look relatively low towards the ground.

 

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The extended L-shaped rear lights stretch into the side of the car to further emphasize the large rear profile of the 3 Series Gran Turismo. The large tailgate does not only contribute to the looks of the car, but also to the functionality. Access to the 520 litres of rear trunk space is now easier thanks to the generously sized aperture.

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The cockpit of the new 3 Series Gran Turismo fits the same template as the new 3 Series sedan and wagon. The driver-oriented design features crystal clear circular instruments with a black-panel display and a freestanding iDrive flatscreen monitor. Apart from that, BMW offers a host of storage compartments for an utmost convenience of the passengers – there is pair of cup holders in the centre console large front and rear door pockets for drink bottles.

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The 328i Gran Turismo is powered by the 2-litre, 4-pot petrol engine with TwinPower Turbo. The turbo comes with High Precision Direct Petrol Injection, Double-Vanos variable camshaft timing and Valvetronic variable valve timing to churn out 240 hp at 5,000 rpm and 345 Nm, available from 1,250 rpm. Meanwhile, the 3-litre 6-cylinder unit in the 335i Gran Turismo features the same technology, only that it produces more power, inline with the engine’s bigger displacement – all 300 hp is available at 5,800 rpm while the 406 Nm is on stream between 1,200 and 5,000 rpm.

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Standard assists features include Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Automatic Stability Control (ASC), Dynamic Traction Control (DTC), Dynamic Brake Control (DBC) and Cornering Brake Control (CBC). Each feature is integrated with one another.

After its unveiling at the Chicago Auto Show this weekend, the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo will go on sale this summer as a 2014 model.

 



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