IT'S leaner, meaner and intends to give the opposition a real run for its money - that's the latest generation of the BMW 3 Series.
The 3, in its various forms seems to have been around for ever.
Developing from the neat smart little original with handling qualities that did not tolerate fools gladly, the model has grown into a svelte executive express with some compelling qualities.
For a time the 3 Series lost its way with edgy, almost nervous styling that nobody quite understood. But all that has gone because the latest version, especially in its 320d Sport version really means business in today's management motoring environment.
This is the car that is at the heart of the BMW brand, responsible for a fifth of the company's global sales and aims to keep the laurels of the ultimate driver's car in its sector.
But in a world of economic strife and the green lobby breathing down the modern driver's neck it has to underpin its ancestry with a portfolio of logical business reasons for its acquisition.
This it achieves with an array of new powertrains plus EfficientDynamics fuel-saving and emission-reducing technologies.
With more space and enhanced comfort, the latest 3 Series takes on the likes of the Audi A4 2.0 TDi and the Mercedes-Benz 220 CD and is faster than both at 146mph and quicker off the mark to 62mph.
Although larger and more spacious than the previous model, the new 3 is lighter, quicker in many cases and certainly more nimble and agile.
It has a more businesslike appearance and ticks the boxes over the very necessary high expectations over safety.
Of course nobody expected the latest 3 to be cheaper and it is not, but increases are minimal, BMW wisely not making the car grow out of its sector.
It is based on an all-new chassis based on a longer wheelbase featuring the characteristic BMW design signatures of short overhangs to ensure maximum agility.
It does look very classy with strong, horizontal design language with a forward-pressing nose on a long bonnet with the familiar BMW grille.
Definitely one of the best looking management cars of the road, the £29,080 Sport version of the 320d is also a vibrant performer with 146mph available from it 184bhp four cylinder diesel of 1995cc displacement, plus a 0-62mph sprint factor of 7.5 seconds.
A big claim to fame is the combined economy figure of 61.4mpg with an emissions rating of just 120bhp.
Stacked with features as standard including BMW's twin power turbo system and attractive 17-inch twin spoke alloys this is a definite power statement which is remarkably easy on the pocket.