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      07-02-2009, 10:14 AM   #1
Second Lieutenant

Drives: F10 eventually...
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Diamond Bar CA

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Exclamation 3-series GT (gran turismo) confirmed for production

Also reported on homepage.

MUNICH, Germany BMW has confirmed its plans for a 3 Series hatch called the 335i Gran Turismo, which follows in the footsteps of its bigger relative the 2011 BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo. It's slated to hit the streets in 2011.

Like 5 Series GT, the 335i GT will carry a price premium, settling in between the standard 3 Series and 5 Series. It is meant to rival Audi's A4 Avant lineup as well as the new Q3 SUV, which is an interesting point considering the compact X1 crossover is similar in size to the 335i and already set to come to the States in 2011.

With comparable models like the X1 and 5 Series GT, BMW offers proof that a global recession is not hindering its production plans: "We haven't cancelled the crossover of the 3 Series, as it is considered a volume builder with which we can earn good money," said BMW CEO Norbert Reithofer.

Like the 5 Series Gran Turismo first shown at this year's Geneva auto show, the 3 Series GT will have a unique two-stage tailgate, giving owners the option of opening just a small part of the trunk or the complete tailgate (including the rear window) if more space is desired. Remember, BMW does sell a wagon version of the 3 Series in the U.S., so the Gran Turismo will bring the model's body style count to five (coupe, convertible, sedan, wagon and the GT five-door).

Sources also tell us that two seating configurations will be offered, a four-seat or a more practical five-seat setup, and BMW's latest turbo and diesel engines will be offered. As far as we know no M3 version is planned. --


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