The pilot production of the upcoming 3-series GT has started at BMW’s production plant in Leipzig. The GT would be the first new 3-series body style to be released since the short-lived Compact came out in 1994. We get an idea of what this vehicle is through an artist impression released by Autocar. At the Paris Motor show this September, the GT will be previewed as a lightly veiled concept car.
The new five-door liftback will start selling in the second half of next year. It will be based on a long-wheelbase version of the newest 3-series platform. BMW has yet to divulge its exact measurements but the GT is expected to have a wheelbase that’s a bit shorter than that of the Chinese market 3-series Li, which has an extra 110mm to the 2810mm length of the standard 3-series saloon.
This is the same platform structure that will probably be used on the 4-series Gran Coupé, a new four-door, 3-series based variant that may be launched in 2015 but has yet to be confirmed. The 3-series GT is internally referred to as the F34. It has the same form as the 5-series GT but with a higher roofline and wider waistline than the current 3-series models, together with four frameless doors and a heavily angled tailgate.
The upcoming 3-series GT’s wheelbase is longer than its siblings. It has a bigger rear legroom and more load space than the newest 3-series saloon and Touring models. This is a feature that BMW thinks would be attractive to families. The new car has most of the interior fittings with other models. But if you want a unique cabin ambience, you could get the optional glass roof that goes well with its large windows.