The top-range 3-Series model that BMW has produced to celebrate the original sports sedan’s 40th birthday is unlikely to be available in the facelifted line-up for New Zealand.
“Not yet, anyway,” BMW corporate communications officer Ed Finn said of the strictly limited 40-year premium 340i model, pictured above. “We are concentrating on the mainstream 3-Series models at the moment.”
Asked if the specially badged 340i might make it here further down the line, Finn said: “We never say never. But for now we want a successful launch of the 3-Series LCI.”
The LCI range celebrates 40 years of the 3-Series and consists of six new models – three sedans, three wagons – that will go on sale in NZ on October 24. LCI stands for ‘Life Cycle Impulse’, BMW-speak for ‘facelift.’
The birthday-boy 340i missing from the NZ line-up gets a new 3.0-litre turbocharged straight-six engine which delivers 240kW/450Nm and replaces the pre-update 335i.
It is available in Australia but limited to 40 examples in all – 20 painted blue with white leather interior and 20 white with black leather, each with M Sport wheels and exterior trim and a ‘40 years of 3-Series’ badge.
Australia also gets the standard updated 340i with the new six-cylinder engine. NZ instead gets four-cylinder 320i and six-cylinder 330i petrol models and four-cylinder 320d and six-cylinder 330d diesels, freshened inside with trim enhancements and driver-assistance aids and outside with sharper styling cues and LED lights front and rear.
A variety of BMW Lines packages are available, consisting of Sport, Luxury and M Sport, all with a range of new alloy wheels.
BMW New Zealand managing director Florian Renndorfer expects the 320i and 320d to attract the most sales. “But it’s anticipated there will be significant interest in the two (330i and 330d) range-topping models,” he said.
The 330i sedan features an all-new four cylinder engine delivering 185kW of power, while the 330d xDrive Touring wagon makes 195kW and 560Nm of torque.
The new 3-Series range starts from $72,000 for both 320i and 320d sedans, with the 320i Touring from $75,000.
As with all models in the BMW line up, the new 3 Series range comes standard with three-year scheduled servicing, five-year warranty and five-year roadside assistance.