New BMW 3-Series Strikes First Ahead Of Cadillac CT531
The latest in a long lineage of sport-luxury sedans as bowed. The new BMW 3-Series made its debut at the 2018 Paris Motor Show on Tuesday, and it has struck first ahead of Cadillac’s reimagined take on the same segment with the upcoming CT5.
While we don’t have details on the Cadillac CT5, which will likely debut sometime next year, we have the skinny on what Cadillac should be taking into account from the new BMW 3-Series. First, the G20 3-Series begins life on BMW’s latest CLAR platform, which makes for a lighter and leaner car. However, the new 3-Series is marginally larger: 2.9 inches longer and 0.6 inches longer.
An uprated turbocharged four-cylinder engine makes 255 horsepower and 295 pound-feet of torque, up 7 hp and 37 lb-ft over the current car, and an updated inline-six engine pushes 382 hp and 369 lb-ft. An eight-speed automatic is on hand for shifts, and no manual transmission will be offered. At least not yet. And of course, the 3-Series is loaded with the latest technology. The infotainment system (standard 8.8 inches) boasts new voice recognition devices, a 5.7-inch digital cockpit houses (awful looking) gauges, and the systems are compatible with Microsoft Office and smartphones for digital-key technology. The screen sizes can be upped to a 12.3-inch digital display and a 10.3-inch screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
But, the 3-Series’ secret sauce has always been in the driving characteristics. The new 3-Series features aluminum mounts and control arms to keep unsprung mass lower; the frame is 44 pounds lighter; and optional suspensions provide a driving feel for different buyers. The standard suspension has been tuned for comfort, while an M Sport layout stiffens the ride and drops the car by about half an inch. Adaptive dampers are also available.
BMW promises this 3-Series is the 3-Series fans will love and remember.
That poses a credible challenge to Cadillac’s forthcoming CT5. BMW essentially created the segment and Cadillac has been nothing but an emulator. We’ll soon know if the CT5 can beat the new 3-Series at its own game.
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Couldn’t help but notice that as a prelude to the new 3-Series reveal last night, BMW highlighted their new 8-Series, Z-4, X5, and finally, the new 3-Series. That’s four all new products launched in the last few months. Meanwhile over at GM, they’re still crowing about a “new Cadillac” every six months, which so far hasn’t materialized.
If XT4 launched in New York in April, then their six months is up for the next new product.
As to the new 3-Series specifically, no matter good it might be, I’m hugely disappointed by the loss of the manual transmission option. How can it still be ‘The Ultimate Driving Machine’ without a gearbox that the driver can control.
Because you’ll still have the option to pick your own gears with shift tabs behind the steering wheel. You still have the power and control you get with a manual, with the automatic simulating everything. I personally believe it’s great.
Not a bash, but a real question; have you ever driven a good manual transmission car? I drive one daily, and have driven dozens of automatics, including the new 10 speed, that claim to always be the fastest at shifting, more control, etc. Never. They cant and they wont be able to, because you cant control the rate at which you let out the clutch, the finesses at which you shift, etc. Can’t compare.
I personally drive a manual transmission car now and as cool as BMW’s GPS system is that “knows” the road that’s upcoming, a driver with two eyes and a manual can do the same thing. BMW’s system, borrowed from Rolls Royce, reads the map for the road ahead and can adjust the car accordingly. A driver with a manual likewise can downshift at the sight of an upcoming incline or curves.
“I drive one daily, and have driven dozens of automatics, including the new 10 speed, that claim to always be the fastest at shifting, more control, etc. Never.”
Really now? You, personally, can shift faster and more accurately than a DSG?
Manual transmissions are going away for one reason only, nobody buys them, or, not enough people buy to warrant the development cost. Companies are in the business to sell cars, and if they could sell 15 or 20% of their cars with MT, they would still be available. If all the people who complain about MT going away were really buying MT cars, every company would continue to offer them
55?!? or is that a typo?
TFLcar recently put out a video where they were driving the new Nautilus…. That’s right, the new Lincoln NAUTILUS! Not the MKXqzr….. And after watching TFL for quite awhile, I can confidently say that most of the crew are real performance nuts, love “sporty” cars; the typical automotive journalist. However, Roman Mica had nothing but praise for Lincolns return to good ol’ American luxury. I highly suggest watching the video for yourself, but while Lincoln may not be moving a ton of cars at the moment, they are sure doing something right. If only the quality was there.
Don’t get me wrong; I am, and will be a Cadillac (and Chevy) fan. There is definitely an XTS, an XT5, or an Escalade in my future. I have come to appreciate what Cadillac has done with the new XT5, and the XT4. Apparently the world was supposed to end because the XT4 was FWD biased. Well, to be honest; after watching many videos and reading multiple reviews, the only complaint I have heard was how expensive the price can get with options.
FWD, RWD, AWD….. I want American cars to be American; big, opulent, nice, reliable, fast, comfortable. As Roman has said; we need to stop trying to out German the Germans!
“I want American cars to be American; big, opulent, nice, reliable, fast, comfortable. As Roman has said; we need to stop trying to out German the Germans!”
This has nothing to do with Germany vs. America, and everything to do with making Cadillac an object of desire for those who exercise conspicuous consumption.
What you want is from a time period that simply isn’t fashionable in luxury circles anymore. It also isn’t what your fellow Americans want when they buy a luxury vehicle if crossover sales and market figures are to be believed.
The difference between what you personally want and what really is shouldn’t be ignored.
Also, I once said to Drew ages ago that the Germans already make “big, opulent, nice, reliable, fast, comfortable” cars, so if you still insist on believing that Cadillac’s problems lie at the heart of its efforts emulating the Germans, I can simply point to the S-class as being the very kind of car that should appeal to you.
The same thing I told Drew is the same thing I’m going to tell you: There is no such thing as German luxury or American luxury. There is just ‘luxury’, period.
A luxury is something exclusive or hard to obtain that makes living sumptuous or indulgent to the few that can afford it. It’s not dependent on country of origin, nor is it something that one country can do better or worse than another. Luxury consumers are people willing to spend more than average for a product or service that grants them exclusive use or access to features that others products or services don’t have. With that purchasing power, they get bragging rights and pride of ownership knowing that they have something special that others don’t.
If you can understand that, you’ll know why Cadillac doesn’t have as many desirable qualities as other luxury brands. Any luxury automaker (not just Cadillac) can make “big, opulent, nice, reliable, fast, comfortable” cars, and nowadays it’s not particularly amazing that any luxury automaker can do it.
This isn’t like a human characteristic whereas someone comes from a family where everyone is over 6 feet in height. That’s governed by DNA and it’s hardwired into a person. Car companies don’t have DNA. They have a revolving staff of engineers, stylists, designers, managers, and marketers that jointly work together over many years to present a car company as a desirable offering to the public. In Cadillac’s case, it needs to present itself to the public as a desirable luxury offering, but so far none of staff appears to be walking together in the same direction.
They sure as hell don’t need to be misled even further by holding onto the Germany vs. America fantasy. If they just made a straight-up luxury product that fit within the market (like the XT5 and XT4), that kind of thinking would go away.
TL;DR: Anyone can make a big comfortable car, and there is no such thing as American or German luxury; just luxury.
The problem with Cadillac as most of GM is that they are awful slow from show to the sale floor. I guess I should say one of the problems. I can only hope the CT5 and the rest of the slow stream of products are worthy of the wait.
BMW can only dream of the money GM makes on it’s truck-line, probably that’s why there’s no rush from Caddy.
GM is in an excellent spot now with the CT4/CT5 since the Germans showed their cards this product cycle. The CT4/CT5 can have the “Caddy” 2.0t at around 275-300 hp and the wonderful 3.0t as an option, both with either 10-speed or manuals. The 3.6 can continue only if it’s been revised like the 2.0t and low/no-cost option over the 2.0t.
Why some folks want Cadillac to return to 1991 with uncompetitive couches is beyond me.
BMW always under rates their numbers. For Example ATS 2.0t produces 270 hp and current gen 3 series is 245 hp. 3 series beats ATS in both straight line and around the corner.
Well, in fairness, BMW’s full ft. bls. of torque is immediate before it reaches 2000 RPM. BMW has a wonderful setup of engine and transmission that works in harmony.
The ATS beats the BMW around the corners and handling in sedan, coupe and V-Series form.
Whenever you see a BMW engine rating, add at least 10 – 15% to the power output. Alternately, I’ve heard BMW gives you RWHP.
Either way, no way their 4-banger is making only 255 at the crank.
They did a good job inside & out.
BMW clearly took notes from the Mercedes C-Class & worked on their interior, Lots of metal!
You see GM? This is what a real product assault looks like. In the past 4 months BMW revealed an all new 8-series coupe, an all new X5, an all new Z4, an updated i3, an all new 3-series & they still have an all new X7 & an updated 7-series to go before the year is out.
Cadillac better bring their A game.
Not sure if Cadillac has an A game.
Unfortunately, I have to agree.
“worked on their interior, Lots of metal!”
You say it as if that’s a good thing.
This article could do with some proofreading.
Would you rather have cheap plastics instead?
Because there’s no such thing as high quality plastics?
I should point out that metal has visual advantages over plastic, but in certain tactile conditions (say where an bare arm or leg have to rest up against something), I don’t think it could beat higher end plastics.
I thought it was obvious that I was referring to the bright work & trim pieces, not arm rests & lower panel pieces.
High quality plastics still have their uses, there’s no denying that.
That gauge cluster looks way better than anything GM has put into any of their vehicles lol. Everyone here will be bitter because BMW beat GM to the punch.
I saw the CT5. This Bmwexus will be outclassed by the CT5. Inside and out.
Hope so! The CT6 dash and instrument cluster is a vast improvement over my ATS, so if they can maintain the same direction the CT5 should be as well.
On a GM site, there’s clearly going to be a lot of Tesla hate, yet we can’t ignore the sports sedan Tesla Model 3 Performance which is receiving rave reviews by the media…
Love that interior. Simple, restrained, and high quality, no tacky flourishes to the controls or gaudy trims. The angular dashboard could fit right in with Cadillac’s Art & Science exterior design language.
I wonder how the manufacturing cost of BMW’s 3 series interior compares to that of Cadillac’s ATS/CTS interiors. It wouldn’t surprise me if the BMW actually cost less to make. Study this one, Cadillac!
Well, I will say this (truth) Cadillac has come a mighty long way from distancing itself from a tumultuous, recent decade. However, it is time now for Cadillac and GM in general to stop playing “catch-up”, stop being “conservative” and return to being the Innovators and trend setters from it’s early 116 years of existence. Every concept vehicle that has been shown should ALREADY be out in the market. Cadillac should have taken the LEAD with revealing the new crossovers, instead… they have been playing catch up. Pust the Envelope and make the CUSTOMERS DESIRES the priority, not just the Corporate strategists. And finally, truly Innovative Marketing, Marketing, Marketing of each and every vehicle is needed to increase.
If the same clean, angular interior was in a Cadillac would we perhaps be calling it austere, or even dull? The BMW roundel can have effect on people that inhibits critical thinking; maybe deservedly so. They earned it.
Indeed it is austere. That’s what’s so awesome about it. The instrument cluster communicates information clearly and instantly. Controls are easy to operate. Materials are unobtrusive and do not distract one from the joy of driving. It’s made to be timeless.
It’s not going to matter what BMW does with this car because the CT5 will be better! Nobody will give credit to Cadillac when it comes to market for being better. They will always dig and find one thing they dont like about the CT5 and then say it’s a failure.
BMW, Benz, Audi can do no wrong in most people’s minds even though they are far from it! Cadillac CT5 will be a better drivers car just like it is today. The interior will just as nice, and the cost will be competitive. But none of that will matter because someone will point out the back has 1/4 inch less leg room or 1/2 less trunk space, or the BMW just feels better to drive even though the CT5 runs circles around it, or something crazy like that!
Cadillac is going to slowly climb the luxury market ladder over the next few years.
Its sadly true. Look, the current CTS/ATS V’s are one of, if not the oldest vehicles in their respective segments. Yet they still are very competitive with the much newer German models. Recently someone put out a video comparing a current gen CTS-v to a brand new E63 AMG. The CTS was only RWD (among a bunch of other “shortcomings”yet it still won.
Finally Cadillac is going back to tweener models which worked best for them in the first place. Cadillac gave first best efforts competing with the small and midsize segments full time, with the ATS and CTS, and was in the middle to near the top on average in comparison tests. With the V-Series, they mostly took first place finish.
The CT5 will be bigger than the 3 Series but it will offer more technology, interior efficiency, luxury at a competitive price but a little higher. The future Cadillacs are going back to basics that they offer more roominess and cargo spaces in their respective segments back in the day. However, Cadillac will continue that formula that made them famous and well-known with luxury performance in the mix.