BMW enhances flagship models as 318i makes comeback

318i dispenses with the 1.5-litre turbocharged three-cylinder motor in favour of the same 2.0-litre B48 used in the 320i and the 330i.

BMW has announced a series of revisions to the 7 and 8 Series, as well as the X5, X6 and X7, while also confirming the reintroduction of the 318i as the new entry-level 3 Series.

Officially set for introduction in March, the enhancements to the 7 Series and the entire 8 Series range, including the M8, will be automatic soft closing doors, while from April, the X5, X6 and X7 will have the option of Canberra Beige/Black Vernasca leather.

Unveiled in July last year, the X6 also receives the bulk of the mentioned trim updates with Cognac/Black Vernasca leather and four BMW Individual Merino finishes; Tartufo/Black, Ivory White/Night Blue or Black and Ivory White/Black. An all-leather Merino Coffee/Black and Tartufo/Black rounds the new upholstery choices off, along with two new wood veneers; open-pored Anthracite Brown and high-grade Poplar Grain.

Arriving soon after or at the same time as the 7 and 8 Series tweaks, the 318i dispenses with the 1.5-litre turbocharged three-cylinder offered in the previous F30 generation 3 Series, in favour of the same 2.0-litre B48 motor used in the 320i and the 330i.

Retuned to produce 115kW/250Nm, the blown-four will be paired to the eight-speed Steptronic gearbox as standard, which results in the 318i reaching 100 km/h from zero in 8.4 seconds and on to a top speed of 223 km/h.

Confirmed to arrive during the second quarter, the 318i is likely to carry a price tag of around R600 000 seeing as the 320i kicks-off at R643 036.

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