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First Look: Redesigned 2012 BMW 3-Series

Maker claims new model larger yet lighter, more fuel-efficient.

by on Oct.14, 2011

The 2012 BMW 3-Series is both larger and lighter.

BMW has pulled the covers off its next-generation 3-Series line-up, revealing a new compact line-up that it says is bigger – yet lighter and more fuel-efficient.

The new model features a revised front end that is more in line with its larger lines, including the BMW 5- and 7-Series models.

While final fuel economy numbers haven’t been released, the Bavarian maker anticipates they will be notably better than with comparable models in the outgoing 3-Series line-up – even though the 2012 versions should also deliver better performance.

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The 2012 3-Series body grows about 3.7 inches in length, with the wheelbase stretched just under 2 inches.  The front track is 1.5 inches wider, the rear 1.85 inches.  BMW claims that will be particularly obvious to rear-seat passengers, though the trunk is also more capacious.  The average model will be about 88 pounds lighter than the old 2011 3-Series versions.

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