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Geneva 2013: BMW

  • 3 Series Gran Turismo debuts
  • i3 production model set for 2013 launch
  • Facelifts for Z4 and 5 Series

New cars on show: 3 Series GT, i3 revised Z4 and 5 series

3 Series Gran Turismo

While the 5 Series Gran Turismo may not be the UK success that BMW wanted it to be, it expects the new 3 Series GT to rectify that position. This hatchback/estate crossover promises to be more luxurious and spacious than the 3 Series Touring on which it is based on.

Two hundred millimetres longer than that car, the 3 GT also extends its wheelbase by 110mm and adds an extra 72mm to rear legroom. Passenger space is more generous on the whole, while the 520-litre boot is 25-litres larger than in the 3 Series Touring. A Smart Opener option means the wide tailgate will open at the merest swing of your leg, while the 40/20/40 split folding rear seat means awkward loads are easily handled.

The frameless windows and coupe-like roofline stay true to the design language set out by its larger brother, but the 3 Series GT's smaller proportions lend it a far more balanced stance. There'll be three petrol and two diesel TwinPower engines at launch, with power outputs ranging from 141bhp to 302bhp, while all models will benefit from Stop/Start, Air Curtains and the firm's ECO Pro driving mode.

For more on the 3 Series GT click here.

i3 concept Coupe

It seems the concept i3 has been around for an age now, so we were hoping for a production debut at Geneva. Instead though we have to make do with an i3 minus the rear coach doors, as the Swiss event showcases the new i3 concept Coupe.

While there's a range extender coming, the car seen here is a pure electric model. The 168bhp motor will sprint from 0-62mph in under seven seconds, and the i3 will be exclusively rear-wheel drive. Nineteen inch wheels will be standard fit, and their narrow profile combiend with absence of engine or ancillary components up front mean the front wheels can turn at greater angles; the result is a turning circle of less than 10 metres.

On a full charge the i3 will be able to travel 80-100 miles in real world driving. The specially developed lithium-ion batteries are housed in the 'sandwich style' floor of the aluminium Drive Module and can be recharged using the household mains, though special fast chargers can boost battery levels to 80 per cent in only 15 minutes.

Due for launch later this year, the i3 is expected to cost around £40,000.

Z4 and 5 Series facelifts

Predictably there's a new nose for both models and a refreshed interior. Some say this updated 5 Series is more mature looking, but that new prominent lower front section hasn't changed its character that much.