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It's that time of the year, when new cars start rolling into showrooms for the new model year of 2009. BMW isn't the odd one out either. The 3 Series sedan has been updated for 2009. Here's a rundown on some of the goods available.

24 Nov 2008

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Any well-adjusted top flyer would know that resting on your achievements isn't such a good idea. Likewise, we weren't surprised that barely two years into its new run, the hugely capable 3 Series has been given a once-over.

After all, there's always competition from Mercedes' C-Class, the undeniably competent Audi A4 and at the other end of the spectrum, the Lexus IS, and so on.

Exterior design

BMW aimed for the appearance of the new 3 Series Saloon to be more dynamic and muscular all round. Athletically taut-looking surfaces were an order, and instructions were to endow the overall design with something bursting with performance potential.

Currently, this new model looks as if it's squatting on the asphalt with a new, wider track. BMW claims that the modifications to the front, side and rear were aimed to give a single brushstroke-like effect, as well as emphasising its width.

Starting from the front, arrow-like character lines diverge from the engine compartment lid and the front apron. The enlarged air inlets trace an upward sweep towards the outside. The track of the front axle has been widened by 6 mm, and the rear axle by 24 mm by means of a new wheel carrier.

Its signature double kidney is now deeper and with new, chromed and contoured edges. A more technical-looking headlamp design gives way to more graphically looking signal indicators. In oblique orientation, it seems to contribute to the impression of width.

The corona rings on its headlamps are now used as daytime running lights when used in conjunction with bi-xenons, and with halogen ones, they act as parking lights.

Its side profile is undoubtedly flatter than before, with three main lines. The first one runs back from the front wheels via the side skirt to the rear, where it tapers off just before the rear wheel arches in the surrounding spaces. While present in the outgoing E90, it is now more emphasised, and placed higher up on its sides.

The second one is your "typical" line that gives every BMW its signature character. This one runs from the upper area of the front wheel arches and stretches as far as the rear lights, while the third acts as the supporting shoulder element that blends into the rear.
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