The BMW 3 series is a design, engineering and performance icon. One of the few cars that are on par with the Mini’s similarly long history. An engine mounted behind the front wheels gives the car a perfect 50/50 weight distrubtion and a composure at the limit unheard of in most consumer sedans. All this makes for an automobile that is as at home on the track, as it is around town.
Beyond the obvious reasons to take a 325i out for a drive, the next MINI will also share quite a few components in and outside of the car. So with the 2007 MINI just six months away from initial production, it seemed like a good time to get aqauinted with some of this new technology. Now it’s worth noting that I’ve spent a good amount of time in various versions of the new 3 series. And as it would happen the particular car that I used for the audio review was the most plainly specced one I’ve driven. No manual and no sport package meant the car wasn’t quite the thrill that some 3 series (including the one in my garage) can be. But that aside it’s a quick preview of a few new key technologies we’ll see next year.[ BMW 325i Podcast Review ] (MP3 / 3.7MB / 8:05)
An official photos BMW 325i, identical to car test but with Sport Package:
3 series interior sans navigation. The radio interface in the next generation MINI will be vaguely similar to what is show below:
Notice the almost complete lack of front overhang. BMW mounted the inline six behind the front wheels for perfect distrubution of weight. It hurts packaging but helps make the car the benchmark of performance that it is:
The actual car tested (without sport package):
The BMW 330i with the sport pack (the one to drive if you can):