If you’re in the market for the 2013 BMW 3 Series Sport Wagon and are sitting on the edge of your seat, eagerly anticipating the five-door’s return to the U.S., we have some disappointing news. It’s been delayed until at least February 2013 for our first look at it on our shores, which will likely affect its anticipated spring debut.
Confirming that at the 2013 BMW press preview this week were BMW M Product Communications Manager Matt Russell and product manager Alanna Bahri, who said the car would likely be previewed at the 2013 Chicago Auto Show in February. BMW has not yet firmed up the dates of its new product releases for the upcoming show season.
But if there’s any consolation to be found, it may be that BMW might expand the engine and transmission options available to the wagon beyond what we had originally anticipated. In early press materials, BMW detailed bringing only the 328i wagon to the U.S., equipped with the same 2.0-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder engine found in the sedan model that makes 240 horsepower. The only mention of a transmission was BMW’s eight-speed automatic; the traditionalists in search of the six-speed manual found in the sedan would be out of luck.
But this week, BMW’s head communications manager for the U.S., Tom Plucinsky, said engine and transmission options our market is to receive have not yet been finalized. He added that it would be a logical assumption to think the sedan and wagon models would receive similar options.
In the past, BMW has offered the 328i wagon in the U.S. with rear- or all-wheel drive and the option of a manual or automatic transmission. The high-dollar six-cylinder 335i and former diesel powerplants were never offered in the U.S. in a wagon body style.
We would be surprised if the six-cylinder makes it to the wagon this time around, but it wouldn’t be beyond the realm of possibility for BMW to offer the manual transmission or a diesel engine in the five-door. With the premium, fuel-efficient top-price role in the 3 Series’ lineup now going to the ActiveHybrid 3 Series instead of the defunct 335d, it is expected that BMW will try to position a smaller diesel engine between the 328i and 335i in the model’s lineup, likely a four-cylinder this time around. BMW already offers such an engine in Europe–a 2.0-liter engine that makes 184 horsepower and nets more than 40 mpg. But it also has the stump-pulling six-cylinder still available overseas that makes 258 horsepower and delivers nearly the same fuel economy with acceleration on par with the 335i’s.
As it stands, BMW won’t have any major U.S. announcements for several months, but we anticipate it’ll have something up its sleeves in other parts of the world. Look for more 3 Series spinoffs, or the front-wheel-drive 1 Series models, to see light for the first time at September and October’s Paris Motor Show.