BMW 3/20 PS

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BMW 3/20 PS
BMW 3/20 PS   1932 1934
1932 1934

BMW engineers worked hard to develop their first automobile, the 3/20, which entered on the assembly line in 1932 after it ended the license-based 3/15 DA4 “Dixi.”

After starting with baby-steps its automobile industry, BMW decided that it was time to walk alone. Its engineers were already made progress in developing a car from the ground up while they were upgrading the Austin 7 model built under license with the name BMW 3/15. The 3/20 might be considered as the first genuine car built by the German carmaker, even though there were obvious connections between the 3/15 and the 3/20.

The exterior was still similarly shaped as the Austin 7, but the carmaker mounted the headlights on a transverse bar mounted in front of the radiator, unlike the British-based model that had them mounted on the engine bay’s sides. BMW built the 3/20 as a sedan with two doors, convertible, and roadster. Its chassis was not the same used for its predecessor, and it featured a longer wheelbase. The bodyworks were made by Mercedes-Benz. All models featured front-hinged doors and only one windshield wiper mounted in front of the driver.

BMW offered the 3/20 with either two or four seats inside. Since their inspiration model was the Austin 7, it was still a small vehicle and difficult to use by four grown adults. It was more suitable for a family of four, with two children.

Technically, the 3/20 featured independent suspension in all corners, with a swing-axle in the rear. It was an unusual solution for those times but proved to be very useful. Under the hood, BMW installed an 0.8-liter engine that developed 20 hp mated to a 4-speed manual gearbox.

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