The BMW 3 series has always been a flagship car. Now at its 7th generation, it represented the Brand’s identity for more than 40 years: introduced in 1975 with the E21 series, it was sold in 12 million copies worldwide, counting for the 30% of total sales of BMW group in 2018.
The 3 series has been the model that gave new life to BMW, and helped it reach the present status. As a matter of fact, the early 70ies were tough times for the Company as it was still struggling to recover from the hardships of the 50ies and 60ies. BMW was in desperate need to produce a car able to total in great sales numbers: the famous Neue Klasse, BMW’s flagship at the time, which was introduced in 1961 wasn’t able to keep up with its competitors and it lost its appeal, especially to younger buyers. What BMW needed was a medium sized car that could be affordable and refined enough to catalyze more interest towards itself.
Introduced in September 1973 at the Frankfurt Auto Show, the E21 3 series rapidly became the most interesting 2 door compact on the market of that time. It was presented with 4 different engine options (1502, 1602, 1802 e 2002) and was fitted with a spacious cockpit and a very likable design: the style was the work of Paul Bracq, the widely respected designer of the wonderful Mercedes Benz Pagoda. It was a fresh, dynamic motorcar which had plenty of character. Also the 3 series came to the world in a moment when BMW was entering the North American market: this allowed the E21 to be sold in 1,36 million units.
Despite not being known for a blistering performance in the early years, the introduction of the 2.0 and 2.3 six cylinder engines and the adoption of a limited slip differential and close-ratio gearboxes turned the early 3er in a true driver’s car. It was on th E21 that BMW begun to propose more extreme cars such as the Tii and the famous Turbo. Since the beginning, the 3 Series was one of the most-loved BMW’s: it is not by chance that the most representative car of the Brand, the M3, was developed from this car.
At the 2018 Paris Motor Show, the new G20 represented the 7th generation of the 3 series showing the World that this is a success story that doesn’t want to end. What better way to celebrate a car that has been hailed as the quintessential BMW driving experience? Simple, a trip from Brescia down to the Vallelunga track, to take part in the first appointment of the BMW M Driving Experience.
A saloon destined to be a daily driver must offer driving pleasure in every moment. From the new chassis, which is 50% stronger than the previous F10 generation, the new aerodynamic bodywork and the new Twin Power Turbo engines, the 3er is set up to deliver the classic BMW feeling. A trip is always the best occasion to retrieve lost sensations and re-discover the true pleasure of driving.
The most part of the highway is made up of twists and turns and short straights, giving the impression of a giant playground. With 285hp, the M suspension set up and the M Differential, it is responsive, precise and great fun. The accuracy and great feedback from the steering wheel give a remarkable feeling of control, proving that the original E21 idea was right since the beginning. The 330i behaves like a genuine rwd saloon, with a slight understeer at the corner entrance and a progressive and easy-to-control drift on the way out. It is very confidence inspiring and encourages you to push the car towards its limits even more.
If the idea of the new 330 is to bring the pleasure of driving to our everyday lives, it makes a lot of sense to drive it down to Vallelunga to test another of BMW’s icons, the new G29 Z4. A classic 2 seater roadster, it represents the Company’s ultimate driving pleasure machine. This car celebrates the joy of driving by giving you an immersive driving experience. Agile, light on its feet and tail-happy as a proper BMW shouldbe like, it is the quintessentil roadster according to BWW. This sneak peek left us impatient to have a much better glimpse at the new Z4, for which we hope to have an escape soon enough.
Both the 330 and the Z4 celebrate the pleasure of driving giving new generations the true thrill of driving.
Many thanks to Nanni Nember Bmw