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Speech Dr. Norbert Reithofer and Dr. Herbert Diess at the 83rd International Geneva Auto Show

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Dr. Norbert Reithofer, Chairman of the Board of Management, BMW AG

Ladies and Gentlemen, Welcome to the BMW Group!

This is what individual mobility of tomorrow looks like and we will bring it to the road – as early as this year. This stands to show that we don’t just talk the talk. We walk the walk – because we are convinced that e-mobility is the technology of the future. We all know how the world is changing. In megacities, the car can only have a future if we take the right steps to lead it from low-emission to zero-emission technologies today. We strongly believe that sheer driving pleasure will also work without emissions.

The BMW i range offers a broad range of possibilities. What you can see here in Geneva is a variant of the BMW i3 – the BMW i3 Concept Coupe.

And I can tell you this much: Many of the components used for this Coupe are close to the series vehicle. This model highlights the great dynamics of the fully-electric BMW eDrive technology. Just like the BMW i3, the Coupe offers a maximum output of 125 kW or 170 hp. This e-drive is an in-house development – which is what customers expect from a company called Bayerische Motoren Werke AG. The underbody is fitted with lithium-ion batteries that provide the power to the e-drive.

We believe that customers will decide to buy an e-car if they receive compelling offers. Still, success is not guaranteed. But I am an engineer, and as such I know that technical progress and pioneering work require a daring approach. At the BMW Group, we have tackled the issue of e-mobility from a holistic perspective, and let me add: more so than any other automaker.

This means:
  • A completely new vehicle concept, consisting of Life and Drive modules.
  • New materials such as CFRP.
  • Sustainable production.

The media will have the opportunity to test-drive the BMW i3 this fall. I have already driven it quite a few times, and let me tell you: Cruising the city in this agile and noiseless sprinter is, without a doubt, sheer driving pleasure. Unfortunately, our stage is too small; otherwise, I would be happy to give you a little demonstration on the spot. Thank you very much to the BMW i3 Concept Coupe!

The BMW i range is one example of the foresight that we have at the BMW Group. We aim to provide our customers once and again with innovative solutions and attractive services, which meet their individual demands and offer them additional benefits. Proof of this is the vehicle we would like to present to you next.

Please welcome for its world premiere: the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo!

The BMW 3 Series has played a major role in establishing the great reputation of the BMW brand all around the world. From its first generation launched in 1975 to the current sixth generation, it has always been the most successful model series in the premium segment. Following the BMW 3 Series Sedan and the BMW 3 Series Touring, we are now complementing our 3 Series with an innovative, stand-alone model – the BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo.

This model demonstrates once more that we, at BMW, put the customer first.

So, who does the BMW 3 Series GT offer to customers?
  • A slightly elevated seating position;
  • Supreme seating comfort;
  • Generous space for loading;

And it is an offer for those who have been looking forward to a new vehicle concept in the sports compact segment.

One thing is obvious at first sight: The Gran Turismo combines the Sedan’s athletic dynamics with the great functionality of the Touring. Its generous dimensions give passengers a luxurious sense of space and plenty of legroom, both in the front and the rear.

The BMW i3 and the BMW 3 Series GT are only two of the new models that our brands – BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce – are launching this year. Following the record year 2012, we are planning to step up sales on Group level further this year. At more than 250,000 vehicles sold in the first two months, we have already recorded the best start of a year in our corporate history. In Switzerland, we have also delivered a new record number of cars to customers in January and February of this year.

The BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo will be available from mid-June onward.
My colleague Herbert Diess will now tell you more about this amazing model. Thank you very much!

Dr. Herbert Diess, Member of the Board of Management, Development

Ladies and Gentlemen,

BMW has created quite a few new segments before. Just think of the BMW X5, the BMW X6, the BMW M3 and the BMW 3 Series as a sports compact sedan.

Now, it’s that time again: The new BMW 3 Series GT does not have a role model in the automotive industry. And yet, it is a true BMW. Many exterior features give the 3 Series GT a look that shows its stand-alone character:
  • Typical BMW proportions;
  • A gently sloping, Coupe-like roofline;
  • frameless door windows; and
  • A large trunk lid that opens and closes automatically.

The new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo is 200 millimeters longer than the BMW 3 Series Touring, with a wheelbase extended by 110 millimeters. Furthermore, the new model variant is 81 millimeters higher than the Touring.

The seating position is elevated both in the front and the rear. This allows for a better view and facilitates getting in and out of the car. You can really feel increase in space in the rear, where passengers can enjoy an additional 72 millimeters of legroom.

The trunk offers 520 liters of loading space, an increase of 25 liters from the BMW 3 Series Touring. To make the loading of this generous space particularly easy, the 3 Series GT comes with a wide-opening rear lid. To make using the trunk even more convenient, a smart-opener is available as an option. This way it is possible to open the trunk hands-free. All it takes is a little motion from your foot.

There is also a 40:20:40 split rear seat bench; and the rear back rests can be inclined forward. As of the market launch, the new BMW 3 Series Gran Turismo will be available with three petrol and two diesel engines, ranging from a maximum output of 143 hp up to 306 hp. All five drivetrains are powerful, sophisticated and efficient – thanks to our BMW TwinPower Turbo Technology.

Driving pleasure and functionality were not the only priorities for us. Another focus was efficiency: This extends beyond the consumption-optimized petrol and diesel drives, to include intelligent lightweight construction and optimized aerodynamics with Air Curtains, the Air Breather and an active rear spoiler.

Additional features – such as the auto start/stop function, brake energy regeneration – also have an effect on reducing fuel consumption and emissions. The ECO PRO mode and the new ECO PRO Route function offer an additional savings potential of up to 20 per cent. All of these features fall under the Efficient Dynamics umbrella.

And there is more, namely a comprehensive offering of driver assistance systems and mobility services. They are available either as series equipment or as part of BMW ConnectedDrive. This is how the new BMW 3 Series GT sets new standards in terms of safety, comfort, and infotainment.

A USP in this class is the multi-color head-up display, which projects key information onto the windscreen in high-res quality. Apps as special equipment and the free BMW Connected application allow passengers to access social networks, internet radio stations and the calendar function of their iPhones.

You see: The 3 Series Gran Turismo is a thoroughly thought out package.

Sheer driving pleasure, efficiency, functionality and emotional design create a unique combination in this model.

See for yourself now.

Thank you very much!