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BMW has spent big on new 3 Series

BMW is pushing back and hitting out with more technology, better value and a car that is sure to work ...

Thousands of production line workers form a guard of honour as the first of the sixth-generation Threes emerge into the light for the first time, and every member of BMW's board of directors fronts to sprout the message.

What's clear is that BMW has spent big on a car that promises more luxury and comfort without losing the driving spirit that's come as standard in the 3 Series since its birth in 1975.

It's not particularly adventurous in design, but the detailing is everything you expect.

When we get behind the wheel we're expecting much more efficiency and technology, but still with the driving dynamics you expect in any new BMW.

After all, this car has to work. Benz has just done a great job on a mid-life update of the C-Class that includes more than 1000 new parts, Audi is pushing harder and harder with its A4 and A5 models, and even Lexus wants more BMW buyers in its showrooms.

So BMW is pushing back and hitting out with more technology, better value and a car that is sure to work for the vast majority of its existing owners and a growing group of cashed-up shoppers buying their first premium car in lots of new countries - led by China - which are joining the luxury class.

The signature tune for the advertising campaign for the new Three sums things up pretty neatly: it's 'Dancing with Myself' by Billy Idol.