What you see here is not a trick, unlike BMW’s attempt on April 1 to hoodwink New Zealanders into thinking it had developed a special cot for babies called the ‘ZZZ Series Cot.’
The BMW people quickly ‘fessed up about the April Fools’ Day trick, tagged the ‘ultimate sleeping machine.’ It was lined in leather and came with an illuminated BMW badge that served as a night light. There was a smartphone app to work the moisture detection sensor, a remote Cot-Cam, and integrated climate control, they said.
But while the New Zealand office in Auckland enjoyed unveiling the ruse, it isn’t volunteering any information about these pictures from spy agency Automedia of the facelifted 3-Series. Said corporate affairs spokesman Ed Finn: “I am not prepared to comment about future product initiatives.”
Those ‘product initiatives’ include BMW using the updated 3-Series to introduce a new range of 1.5-litre petrol and diesel engines – all with three-cylinders, says Automedia. In the future the three-piece units will be available in models ranging from the new Mini to the BMW 1-, 2-, 3- and 4-Series, even in the next 5?series and i8.
The current 3-Series has only been on the market since 2012, but it’s BMW’s most important model and the early makeover is seen as necessary in the face of rivals from Mercedes Benz, Audi and Volkswagen.
Although there will be a few visible changes to the exterior – like a new front bumper with modified air-intakes and optional full-LED headlights instead of Xenon lamps – the majority of modifications will be under the bonnet.
In addition to the new engine range, the 2015 3-Series will be given new or updated driver assistance systems and comfort features such as the traffic-jam assistant from the 5-Series.
What BMW is prepared to talk about is the new M4 convertible (pictured). It will be officially unveiled at the New York motor show this month before arriving in New Zealand either late this year or early next. The M4 coupe is expected here mid-year.
Both variants share the same engine: a straight-six, twin-turbocharged 3.0-litre generating delivering 317kW and 550Nm, or 8kW and 150Nm more than the 4.0-litre V8 it replaces.
Peak power in the new engine arrives at 5500-7300rpm, while maximum torque is delivered from 1850-5500rpm, a much wider rev range than the V8.
The M4 drop-top weighs in at 1750kg, around 60kg less than the model it replaces, and its extra power helps it sprint from 0-100km/h in 4.4 seconds. Also to be unveiled in New York is the X4 SUV.