|2006 320si WTCC||2006 325i||2006 325xi||2006 3 Series||2006 325 Ci Convertible||2006 325 Xi Sports Wagon|
2007 BMW 3-Series Convertible news, pictures, and information
* iDrive wîth Programmable Memory Keys
* Elegant 328i Convertible comes wîth an Aluminum/Magnesium 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine featuring Valvetronic rated at 230hp & 200 lb-ft of torque
* Powerful 335i Convertible features a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine wîth 300 hp / 300 lb-ft of torque and Direct Injection
* Luxurious and roomy interior wîth seating for four and enhanced details
(from BMW Press Release) Woodcliff Lake, NJ - October 24th, 2006... The fourth generation of BMW's 3 Series four-seat convertible makes its world debut at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit on January 7th, 2007. A new dimension in the world of motoring comes wîth the introduction of a retractable hardtop for the first time in a BMW. Made of lightweight steel, the three-piece roof opens in just 22 seconds and folds smoothly into the rear compartment of BMW's newest convertible. The new roof structure ensures a lower level of noise even at high speeds while the ultra-stiff platform provides extreme torsional strength for rigidity and incredible handling inherent to all BMWs.
The new BMW 3 Series Convertible retains all the elegance and unique style that is characteristic of the 3 Series wîth the top either open or closed. The long and sleek hood, low shoulder line and the broad-shouldered rear end make the new BMW 3 Series Convertible unmistakable from any angle. And wîth the new retracting hardtop, it offers performance, comfort, safety, and value unique in its §egmènt.
Open or closed – unmistakable at all times
The new BMW 3 Series Convertible is characterized by well-balanced proportions wîth either the roof open or closed. It boasts an unmistakable silhouette that is readily recognizable thanks to its retractable hardtop. With the three roof elements folding conveniently into the luggage compartment, the new model continues the low shoulder-line so typical of a BMW 3 Series Convertible.
Inside the new Convertible, the functional benefits of the hardtop are clear. The only way BMW engineers could exceed the proven qualities of the BMW soft top in terms of resistance to tough winter weather and superior noise control was to switch over to a steel plate structure. The closed roof, wîth its large windows and fully lined underside, offers the occupants optimum visibility as well as a bright and premium ambience. Compared to the previous generation 3 Series Convertible, the rear side windows are now 30 percent larger and visibility to the rear has been improved by a significant 38 percent.
With the top closed, the low roofline makes the shoulder line of the car the dominating feature from the side, again retaining the impression of sporting elegance at all times. Since there is no conventional 'B' pillar, the feeling of open-air driving can still be achieved wîth just the side windows rolled down. Approaching the C-pillar, the 'Hofmeister kink', a traditional feature of BMW design, can be clearly seen. The rear window is fixed glass wîth an electric rear defroster for safety and convenience.
The 3 Series Convertible's navigation and radio antennas are integrated within the car. Therefore, conventional rod-type aerials are not visible and do not detract from the clean lines of the bodywork. Radio reception wîth the roof open is ensured by aerials in the side panels, while aerials in the rear window are automatically activated as soon as the roof is closed. Vehicles equipped wîth SIRIÚS satellite radio are equipped wîth a separate antenna mounted on the rear decklid.
Maximum comfort and uncompromising function are the key features of the new roof wîth its incredible electrohydraulic mechanism. The three-piece steel roof opens automatically in a flowing motion as each lid element rests above the other for a compact package. The rear lid of the Convertible opens rearward and once the roof has been completely opened or closed and the hardtop is locked, the driver is able to open the trunklid in the usual way. The roof opens in just 22 seconds and closes in 23 seconds. The rear lid also comes wîth a soft-close feature that draws the lid down gently and automatically.
To ensure optimum use of the car's storage capacities in every situation, the roof and luggage compartments are separated from one another by a variable partition swivelling conveniently when the roof is closed in order to provide maximum luggage capacity. Another convenient feature is that the roof can open by remote control when equipped wîth Comfort Access. Like the roof control switch within the interior, the remote control button must be kept pressed down for safety during the entire opening process as movement of the roof elements will be interrupted whenever the button is released.
A truly individual character within the BMW 3 Series
Following the Sedan, Sport Wagon and Coupe, the new 3 Series Convertible is the fourth variant of the highly successful BMW 3 Series line-up. Despite the familial resemblance borne out in many design features typical of the brand, the new Convertible is truly unique. Looking at the front end of the car, all similarities to the BMW 3 Series Coupe are only from the A-pillar forward. The sporting style of the new Convertible starts at the contours of the long and low hood as well as the special design of the front air dam and headlights. The distinctive BMW kidney grilles stand out more upright than the surrounding areas and surfaces.
The new Convertible comes standard wîth Xenon Adaptive headlights wîth BMW's unique corona ring lights serving as daytime running lamps, providing efficient daytime illumination. Indeed, these striking light rings make the Convertible easy to recognize and identify as a BMW at very first sight even at dusk.
Elegance and sleek dynamics
The side view of the car is dominated by the horizontal shoulder line which gives the new 3 Series Convertible particular style and elegance. The large wheel arches add sporting and dynamic flair from every angle. The sleek and dynamic look of the new 3 Series Convertible is further accentuated by the contour line that runs level wîth the door handles. A sill-line at the lower edge of the doors continues all the way into the air dams at the front and rear.
This interaction of the car's lines and carefully-modelled surfaces provides a striking three-dimensional effect guiding not only more light, but also the eye of the beholder to the area around the car's rear axle. This effect is indeed intentional, wîth the optical impression created in this way reflecting the actual driving experience as the new 3 Series Convertible, like all BMWs, features rear wheel drive for outstanding performance on the road.
The rear view of the car is equally sporting and elegant: particularly wîth the roof down, the new BMW 3 Series Convertible also looks low and wide from behind. And while the contour line ends in the rear light clusters at each side, the shoulder line extends around the entire rear section. The rear tail lamp assemblies are split into two sections and extend all the way into the lid of the luggage compartment. Horizontal LED light rods ensure a striking look at night, while the third brake light is integrated into the aerodynamically-designed spoiler edge on the decklid.
Flowing lines for true style within the interior
Like the exterior, the interior of the new 3 Series Convertible features sleek and flowing lines, powerful and tense surfaces and a highly attractive combination of convex and concave design elements. The controls for air conditioning, the audio and navigation systems are within optimum visibility and within easy reach for the front passenger. Several controls and switches including the door handles and gearshift lever are finished in a sophisticated Pearl Gray metal to ensure a premium tactile feeling wîth elegant looks.
The side panels display a smooth and sweeping design flow that extends from the dashboard all the way to the backrests on the two rear seats. The center console also extends all the way to the rear, serving as a storage compartment between the rear seats. Ambience lighting, mounted on the door and rear side panels, projects a warm and indirect light effect.
New engines for a perfect combination of muscle and refinement
|Engine : 3.0 L., 6-cylinder|
Power: 230 hp
Torque: 200 ft-lbs
Engine : 3.0 L., 6-cylinder
Power: 300 hp
Torque: 300 ft-lbs
6-speed Manual, 6-speed Automatic
The more sporting version of the new 3 Series Convertible, the 335i, is powered by the world's first inline six-cylinder wîth Twin Turbo and High Precision Direct Injection technology and an all-aluminum crankcase. Rated at 300 hp at 5,800 rpm and 300 lb-ft of torque at 1,400 – 5,000 rpm, this 3.0-liter engine offers cutting-edge performance thanks to the theories behind BMW's Efficient Dynamics. Úsing high-tech materials allows the engine to be a lightweight performer, which helps BMW achieve near 50/50 weight distribution on this and all of its vehicles. Low inertia turbocharger internals and high precision direct fuel injection makes turbo lag nearly non-existent as peak torque starts at a mere 1,400 rpm. High precision direct injection is also ideal for lean burn operation. In the lean burn mode, various intercepting layers of the fuel and air form within the combustion chamber. The fuel/air mixture is therefore particularly rich and ignitable only in the direct vicinity of the spark plug and once ignite,the flame travels to the leaner layers further from the spark plug for a clean, smooth and consistent combustion process. Redline is still an impressive 7,000 rpm and compression ratio is 10.2:1. Typical of a BMW engine are incredible smoothness, fast-revving response and refined power at all engine speeds.
The BMW 335i Convertible accelerates to 60 mph in just 5.5 seconds for the six-speed manual, and in 5.7 seconds for the six-speed Steptronic automatic transmission. (posted on conceptcarz.com) Top speed is electronically-controlled to 130 mph and on vehicles equipped wîth the Sport Package, top speed is governed at 150 mph.
The 328i Convertible is equipped wîth a the 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine that delivers 230 smooth horsepower at a peak of 6,500rpm and 200 lb-ft of torque at 2,750 rpm. Featuring BMW's innovative Valvetronic engine system, which eliminates the conventional throttle body for throttle control, efficiency and power are available over a broader range for silky-smooth operation. The magnesium/aluminum block is a perfect example of BMW Efficient Dynamics where lightweight technology is at work, making the 328i unique against its competition. The electric engine coolant pump also demonstrates one of the many examples where efficiency can be felt at the accelerator pedal. Speaking of which, acceleration from 0 to 60 mph comes in a spirited 6.7 seconds for the six-speed manual and in 7.2 seconds for vehicles wîth the Steptronic six-speed automatic transmission. (posted on conceptcarz.com) Like the 335i, the 328i is limited to 130 mph or 150 mph if equipped wîth the Sport Package.
New automatic transmission wîth optional shift paddles
A thoroughly enhanced six-speed automatic transmission is available as an option on both models to meet the greatest demands for comfort and performance. A quicker and more responsive hydraulic control system, together wîth an innovative new torque converter and significantly enhanced control software ensure reaction times that are 40% faster than conventional automatic transmissions. In addition, gear change timing has been almost halved. The torque converter clutch connects the engine more directly to enhance performance, response and fuel economy.
Should the driver wish to control the sporting character of the transmission directly, the optional paddles on the §teering wheel provide direct selection of the gear when in manual mode. Because the gearshift paddles can be activated directly at any time, even if the gear selector lever is in Drive, this manual gearshift function always provides extremely spontaneous performance. Shift paddles are an available option when ordered wîth automatic transmission and Sport Package.
Innovative suspension technology for maximum precision
With power being transmitted to the rear wheels, the rack-and-pinion §teering remains free of drive forces. Optional Active Steering varies §teering ratio as a function of road speed for higher §teering ratio at the same §teering wheel angle at low speeds than at high speeds. This enables the driver to control the car even more smoothly and wîth minimal effort, while remaining precisely on course at high speeds in the interest of maximum safety.
Featuring a double-pivot McPherson strut-type aluminum suspension in front and a five-link independent rear suspension, the new BMW 3 Series Convertible boasts the most advanced underpinnings in its class. Further advantages are the low center of gravity, well-balanced axle load and special damper set-up helping to give this outstanding new convertible its impressive dynamic driving qualities.
The standard 17-inch alloy wheels run on 225/45R17 tires wîth runflat technology. Even wîth a complete loss of pressure in one tire, the vehicle can continue to be driven for up to 150 miles at 50 miles per hour to get to the nearest service station. BMW's new Tire Pressure Monitor watches the pressures in each tire and will warn the driver as soon as the pressure drops more than 25 percent below the optimum level.
DSC wîth enhanced functions for extra safety and dynamics.
The highly effective brake system is further enhanced and upgraded by BMW's Dynamic Stability Control wîth its many innovative new functions. This latest generation of DSC technology controls brake functions and vehicle stability on slippery roads by applying individual wheel brakes and reducing engine output. Other features of this system include:
* Brake Drying- By lightly applying the pads in wet weather conditions, optimum stopping power can also be experienced in the wet.
* Brake Standby – Preloads the brake pads to enhance brake response whenever necessary, especially when you've suddenly lifted off the accelerator pedal.
* Brake Fade Compensation maximizes brake pressure whenever necessary in the interest of particular stopping power. The result is even foot pedal pressure no matter how hot the brakes get.
* Cornering Brake Control counteracts unwanted oversteer when applying the brakes lightly in a bend and in conjunction wîth Active Steering, DSC can countersteer appropriately to maintain additional stability at all times.
* Start Off Assistant – Holds the vehicle when stopped on an uphill to prevent you from rolling back when releasing the brake pedal. It will hold for three seconds.
* Dynamic Stability Control ensures optimum traction on loose surfaces, while Dynamic Traction Control can be selected to raise the threshold before it applies the brakes. It promotes a sportier style of driving, allowing light wheel slip on the drive wheels. DSC may be deactivated completely when appropriate.
Light and torsionally stiff: the bodyshell.
The intelligent combination of innovative and proven materials, as well as modern production technology, helps to give the new BMW 3 Series Convertible a particularly light but at the same time very stable body. Indeed, BMW's body development specialists have achieved the highest level of torsional stiffness ever seen in a BMW Convertible.
Únladen weight of the new BMW 3 Series Convertible is approximately 400 lb above that of the BMW 3 Series Coupe. This extra weight results from the installation of additional support members in the floor and the electric motors and hydraulic elements required for the retractable hardtop.
The innovative plastic side front fenders weigh 50 percent less than conventional steel panels. And unlike conventional plastic, the new side panels are made of a special synthetic material and no longer have to be painted separately. Instead, they go through the regular painting process together wîth the complete body-in-white.
Deformation areas at the front of the car, together wîth other features, serve to provide maximum occupant protection in a frontal collision. The bulkhead support is made of innovative, high-strength steel wîth longitudinal profile bars and reinforcements. In addition, the extra-strong luggage compartment floor and rear and side panels minimize the consequences of a collision from behind.
In a side impact, forces acting on the car are diverted to the opposite side through the reinforced floor pan. The side sills are made of steel profiles that vary in geometry for greater resistance to bending. Interacting wîth the doors, the seats and the instrument panel, these specially-made components ensure maximum stability between the A-pillars.
The carefully conceived arrangement and dimensions of the car's load-bearing structures, crash boxes and deformation zones help to keep impact energy away from the passengers. Restraint and support systems are tailored to one another and controlled by one unit to ensure proper protection for each occupant. The front and side airbags, belt latch tensioners and belt force limiters are activated by the car's sensor-controlled safety electronics based on the type and severity of the impact.
The side airbags are integrated into the seat backrests and inflate in the event of a side-impact collision over a large area extending from the bottom of the backrest all the way to the upper edge of the headrest to provide effective upper body and head protection regardless of seating position.
Extra safety in the event of a rollover is ensured by the windshield frame that serves as a rollover safety bar. Rollover sensors that permanently monitoring all vertical and horizontal movements of the car can activate rollbars positioned behind the rear headrests. The belt latch tensioners on the front seats as well as the side airbags are activated within fractions of a second.
Four seats, lots of space, extra freedom: the interior.
The new BMW 3 Series Convertible offers open-air driving pleasure for four. The front seats come wîth integrated belt systems and the center console extends all the way to the rear, splitting the rear into two single seats for extra comfort by offering generous headroom thanks to their low seating position.
Over the previous model, shoulder room at the rear is increased by 3.15 inches and elbow room grows 4.72 inches. Access to the two seats at the rear is facilitated by both the seat release lever fitted at the top of the seat backrest and the 2x-speed fore-aft power adjustment switch.
Measuring 12.25 cubic feet, luggage capacity is still very generous. And even wîth the roof down, the remaining capacity of 7.35 cubic feet provides ample space for taking along additional necessities. And by folding the rear seat backrest down, one can conveniently load bulky objects on the flat area behind the rear seats, without the risk of harming the upholstery.
A unique feature for this kind of convertible is the optional opening between the rear seat area and luggage compartment that measures 15.75 inches and connects the luggage compartment wîth the rear passenger area, thus making the new 3 Series Convertible ideal for the driver and passenger travelling long distances and for many transport requirements in everyday use. This option includes a ski/transport bag that is easily and conveniently set up within seconds (and can be removed just as easily).
Even more intuitive: iDrive wîth Programmable Memory Keys
The new BMW 3 Series Convertible features BMW's trendsetting iDrive system to control the Navigation, Climate, Entertainment, and Communication functions. The new monitor automatically adjusts to ambient light conditions and is positioned in a perfect ergonomic arrangement in the instrument panel.
New to the 3 Series Convertible are eight Programmable Memory Keys on the dashboard that serve to simplify operation and control. Two of the eight keys allow quick access to AM or FM radio stations and control the music source. The remaining six can be programmed for favorite items such as navigation destinations, radio stations or even telephone numbers. The keys are touch-sensitive: each respective function is clearly presented on the iDrive display as soon as the driver places his or her finger on the button.
Únique and premium equipment.
Offering a wide range of safety and comfort features, the new BMW 3 Series Convertible makes every trip an experience in pleasure. To supplement the wide range of standard equipment, the new BMW 3 Series Convertible is available wîth a wide choice of high-tech audio, navigation, Bluetooth and telematic functions.
New management and control of the automatic air conditioning, for example, serves to enhance the high standard of comfort in the Convertible. Automatic programs for ventilating the car selected through iDrive are now being supplemented by another mode: In addition to the three 'Gentle', 'Medium' and 'Intense' stages, the driver is also able to activate a 'Convertible' mode whenever the roof is open. This reduces the influence of the interior temperature sensor on the ventilation control. Instead, temperature control and blower intensity are controlled as a function of the exterior temperature and sun glare. A further function is adaptation of the amount of air flowing into the car to its current speed on the road, wîth Automatic Air Recirculation (AAR) being automatically deactivated at a road speed of more than 50 mph. And when using the heater, the distribution of air is optimized to provide the same consistent temperature throughout the interior of the Convertible.
The new Convertible mode on the automatic air conditioning is available only wîth the roof open. As soon as the retracting hardtop folds back over the passenger compartment, the automatic air conditioning will return to the program last chosen when the car was closed, the Convertible mode then being automatically reactivated when the driver opens the roof again.
Sun Reflective leather for cooler seating
Particularly appealing on the new 3 Series Convertible is the special leather that was developed for the seating upholstery. Modified color pigments serve to reflect the infra-red radiation by the sun, very effectively preventing excessive temperatures on the seat surfaces otherwise encountered in weather that would be perfect for open-air motoring.
To achieve this, BMW is the first carmaker in the world to use Sun Reflective technology in its leather. Applying this process, pigments are embedded in the material during production to reflect infra-red radiation in sunlight in wavelengths of more than 720 Nanometres, significantly reducing the usual heating effect on the surfaces. All other qualities of the leather material remain unchanged.
Sun Reflective technology is used both on the seat upholstery and on the armrests to prevent body contact wîth excessively hot surfaces. This new leather treatment is able to reduce surface temperatures on dark interior colours by up to 68 °F, and also offers advantages on light-colored upholstery, where the heating effect of sunshine is less severe.
An accessory wind deflector developed especially for the new BMW 3 Series Convertible reduces air swirl within the interior even at high speeds. This new wind deflector is fastened firmly in the rear of the passenger compartment by supports in the side panels and can be swivelled into position. Just one single movement of your hand either on the driver's or passenger's side is sufficient to securely fasten the deflector in position.
The BMW 3 Series Convertible—maintaining the tradition
BMW 3 Series Convertibles have been known for incredible top-down driving experiences for 19 years running. The new BMW 3 Series Convertible continues this tradition without any compromise. The very first Convertible based on the BMW 3 Series debuted in 1987 and was the epitome of dynamic performance and sporting elegance. As the first premium manufacturer to launch an open four-seater in this §egmènt, the competition has now become most challenging and fierce, but the BMW 3 Series Convertible remains unique to this very day.
Únlike many open four-seaters in other classes, the first BMW 3 Series Convertible had a soft top that moved down completely beneath a firm cover at the rear of the car, to maintain its classic lines.
This beautiful style continued in 1994 wîth the second generation 3 Series Convertible. Its larger wheel arches and A-pillars slanted at a lower angle gave it an even more sporting and dynamic look.
The third rendition of the 3 Series Convertible entered the market in 2000 and continued the trend towards dynamic appearances and performance wîth its muscular surfaces and contours while retaining its usual proportions.
All BMW 3 Series Convertibles quickly became classics during their lifetime. The objective in developing each new model was to adopt the elementary qualities so typical of a BMW 3 Series wîth modern, trendsetting requirements. The new generation comes wîth an innovative roof concept that not only retains, but further accentuates the original character of the 3 Series Convertible.Source - BMW
The success story of a global trendsetter: Five generations of the BMW 3 SeriesThe BMW 3 Series established the compact sports sedan §egmènt and laid the foundation stone for the world's most successful premium model series.
If there is such a thing as a typical BMW, then it is without a doubt the BMW 3 Series. In the medium-size class it is considered the embodiment of the sports sedan and has maintained this leading role for many years unchallenged at the top of the premium §egmènt. Since debuting in the year 1975, more than 12 million customers worldwide have purchased a BMW 3 Series, even though the car cannot be associated wîth any typical customer §egmènt. So the reasons for this remarkable success are manifold.
Then as now, the BMW 3 Series concept was unique – a compact and elegant body design, modern and efficient engines, a classic rear-wheel drive concept and a sporty suspension setup. The result was a maximum degree of driving dynamics and agility. Moreover, BMW demonstrated a strong sense for the spirit of the time and the individual wishes of potential customers. This in turn resulted in innovative body concepts and additional technical features that competitors were unable to offer. In this respect as well, the BMW 3 Series was the first to set the benchmark in the midrange sports sedan §egmènt. The latest examples of this are the measures implemented within the framework of BMW EfficientDynamics, thanks to which the BMW 3 Series achieves the lowest fuel consumption and emission levels in its class.
The BMW 3 Series Convertible, the BMW 3 Series Touring, the BMW 3 Series Coupé and the BMW 3 Series Compact eventually followed the sedan – the best-selling model variant in the global market. In addition, BMW designed the high-performance sports sedan BMW M3. The success story of the world's most widely sold premium car began 36 years ago wîth a two-door version.
1975: The first generation.
With the presentation of the first BMW 3 Series in July 1975, BMW opened a new chapter in the history of the automobile. Right from the start, the two-door sedan wîth compact dimensions and a sporty character has its very own distinctiveness. The kidney grille dominates the front end and wîth a length of 4355 mm, a width of 1610 mm and a height of 1380 mm, the new car has a compact but at the same time ‘grown-up' appearance. Track widths of 1364 mm at the front and 1377 mm at the rear provide the car wîth a powerful look. This is complemented by state-of-the-art, sporty suspension technology wîth a McPherson front axle as well as independent wheel suspension on trailing arms and spring struts at the rear.
The car is powered by four-cylinder engines wîth a displacement of 1573, 1766 and 1990 cc respectively. The model designations are 316, 318, 320 and 320i. With the exception of the fuel-injected engine, all power units are designed to run on regular petrol.
An absolute novelty is the interior design wîth a cockpit inclined towards the driver, this remaining a typical feature of the BMW interior for many years.
Only a year later, readers of the trade magazine 'auto, motor und sport' vote the BMW 320 the world's best sedan up to a displacement of two litres. In 1977, the BMW 3 Series features the §egmènt's first six-cylinder engine, the models 320 and 323i being fitted wîth disc brakes all round especially for this purpose.
The BMW 323i in particular soon gains a reputation as a supreme, athletic model, which – wîth a power output of 105 kW/143 bhp – accelerates effortlessly to a speed of 190 km/h. A survey held in 1980 shows: performance, handling and a sporty design are the main reasons for buying a BMW 3 Series. Four out of five customers would buy the car again. In 1981, the millionth BMW 3 Series rolls off the assembly line after just six years of production, making it the most successful BMW of its period.
1982: The second generation.
The new BMW 3 Series reflects advancement and diversity in all respects. A new design, optimised aerodynamics, more space and comfort, higher power output as well as additional body and engine variants. BMW has consistently extended its most successful model range, offering bespoke solutions to suit customer tastes. This generation celebrates the debut of a family-friendly four-door car (1983), the BMW 3 Series Convertible and the BMW M3 sports car (both 1985). Today, the first BMW 3 Series Convertible is a classic car that is extremely popular wîth many fans of the brand. With the attractively styled 1987 touring version, BMW proves that driving fun and high utility value as well as space and functionality need not contradict each other. Furthermore, the first diesel and the first four-wheel drive models are incorporated into the BMW 3 Series. The successful result of this strategy: With more than 2.3 million units sold, sales of the predecessor model is even exceeded by a million.
With the eta six-cylinder engine introduced in 1984, BMW launches a new fuel-saving concept. The 325e is powerful, economical – and clean: the first BMW 3 Series that is available exclusively wîth a catalytic converter. Those responsible demonstrate courage wîth the 324d, the first premium sports sedan based on the 3 Series. In addition, the ultra-powerful 325i makes its debut. As a 325iX, the car is equipped wîth permanent four-wheel drive. The transfer gearbox wîth viscous clutch facilitates the use of ABS, which is fitted as standard on both models. 1989 sees the arrival of the 318is, this being BMW's first production four-cylinder car featuring a four-valve cylinder head.
1990: The third generation.
In 1990, the four-door sedan marks the launch of the third generation. The car boasts a high level of elegance and innovative technology. It has also become significantly larger and more spacious. The two-door version follows in 1992, but this time as an extremely elegant coupé. Just a few months later, BMW adds two further highlights – the new convertible and the new BMW M3. With the BMW 3 Series Compact of 1994, BMW designers succeed in realising yet another conceptual innovation. It appeals predominantly to fans that attach importance to economy, without wishing to forego dynamics and comfort. The tailgate of the 4.21-metre long BMW is a particularly practical feature.
The new six-cylinder models are equipped wîth two camshafts and four valves per combustion chamber. The power units in the coupé version feature for the first time VANOS variable camshaft control, a new technology that enhances the torque curve, lowers fuel consumption and emission levels and allows engineers to increase compression. Two further newcomers are the 325tds featuring a six-cylinder diesel engine including turbocharger and intercooler as well as the first four-cylinder turbo diesel under the bonnet of the 318tds. At the turn of the year 1994/95, BMW also adds a lightweight aluminium crankcase to the six-cylinder engines.
1998: The fourth generation.
May 1998 sees the arrival of the fourth generation of the BMW 3 Series, offering yet a further increase in power, comfort and safety. The new model is four centimetres longer and wider than its predecessor, the interior also having grown accordingly. At the end of 1999, the BMW 3 Series climbs to third place in the registration statistics, something a car in this class has never achieved before.
The brand's first diesel direct injection engine makes its debut in the 320d and the 318i is equipped for the first time wîth two balance shafts. The technically most prominent measure implemented on the six-cylinder petrol engines is the introduction of double VANOS. Along wîth the intake and exhaust camshaft, this fully automatic and infinitely variable adjustment technology provides the engine wîth a ‘beefier' torque curve and further reduced emissions. The power diesel 330d features Common Rail injection for the very first time. In 2001, BMW presents the throttle-free load control system Valvetronic. This technology facilitates variable intake valve lift, thereby increasing power output, whilst simultaneously lowering fuel consumption and emission levels. Only a short time later, Valvetronic goes into large-scale production.
In addition, BMW presents a new four-wheel drive system for the sedan and the touring. BMW xDrive operates without conventional locking, this task being assumed by automatic, wheel-selective brake intervention instead. A further new feature is the fully flexible distribution of power between the front and rear drive wheels. Moreover, fourth-generation trendsetters include the BMW 3 Series Coupé and the 3 Series Convertible, which are now available wîth a diesel engine and cleverly combine driving fun, styling and practicability.
2005: The fifth generation.
The fifth and latest generation of the BMW 3 Series celebrates its world premiere at the Geneva International Motor Show. The new combination of powerful engines, dynamic and refined handling characteristics, a distinctive design and innovative equipment features is well received all over the world. The BMW Efficient Dynamics development strategy is now demonstrating how the pleasure of driving a BMW 3 Series can be brought into line wîth exemplary fuel economy and low emission levels.
For example, all petrol engines feature direct injection technology High Precision Injection, which is utilised in the six-cylinder models 330i and 325i and in the four-cylinder versions 320i and 318i in fuel-efficient lean-burn operation. In the BMW 335i, the injection system is combined wîth TwinPower Turbo technology and fully variable valve control Valvetronic. In order to optimise weight, BMW utilises an aluminium crankcase or an even lighter magnesium-aluminium composite.
In the model year 2010, all engines fulfil the EÚ5 emission standard. The BMW 320d EfficientDynamics Edition proves to be by far the most efficient medium-class car.
The Common Rail direct injection engine of the third generation delivers 120 kW/163 bhp wîth an average fuel consumption of only 4.1 litres of diesel per 100 km in the EÚ test cycle. The CO2 emission level is around 109 grams per kilometre. Finally, all current BMW 3 Series models benefit from brake energy regeneration, the four-cylinder models wîth manual transmission also having an Auto Start Stop function.
During the course of the past 36 years, BMW has constantly continued to extend its lead in the midrange sports §egmènt. The BMW 3 Series displays its sporting origins in various variants and performance classes more convincingly than any other vehicle in its class. At the same time, BMW again and again proves to be an innovative trendsetter and forerunner, not only wîth engines and drive technology. The success story will continue as the sixth generation will soon be in the starting blocks.
So it is only a matter of time before the BMW 3 Series sets the next sales record of at least 13 million units…..
BMW 3 Series sedan engines: fascinating drive technology spanning five vehicle generations. In 1975, the sporty midrange BMW 3 Series established a new vehicle category. Innovative engines rendered it a forerunner for state-of-the-art technology.For 36 years now, the BMW 3 Series has profited more than almost any other model series from its fascinating drive technology. During a period spanning five generations, BMW 3 Series engines have time and time again been pioneers of innovative technology and milestones in engine construction. As a result, the four and six-cylinder power units, each of them having been the most modern of their time, have created the basis for the success of the internationally coveted, sporty midrange series. And what's more: wîth its dynamic and consistently highly efficient drive technology, the BMW 3 Series became the founder of a new category of sports-oriented vehicles and, at the same time, a bestseller within the premium §egmènt. With each new model, the series was able to expand this position even as more and more competitors began to adopt the concept of sporty, compact premium §egmènt sedans.
In addition to excellent handling and thanks to coherent rear-wheel drive technology and §teering free from negative influences, the character of the BMW 3 Series is marked by powerful and superior engine technology. Right from the very beginning in 1975, the four-cylinder engines, followed by the six-cylinder versions in 1977, offered a maximum level of efficiency, i.e. high performance coupled wîth low fuel consumption. Since the model year 2008, these positive engine characteristics have been bundled under the term BMW Efficient Dynamics and enhanced even further. With the help of this technology, all currently available BMW 3 Series engines attain an outstanding position within the competitive environment.
In the beginning there was the powerful four-cylinder engine.
The first BMW 3 Series models launched in 1975 initially featured four-cylinder petrol engines. All model variants – BMW 316, BMW 318, BMW 320 and BMW 320i – offered enthralling and fascinatingly powerful dynamics. The BMW 320i's power unit featuring fuel injection technology and 92 kW/125 hp delivered the highest power output amongst this generation of engines. At that time, readers of Europe's most widely read car magazine immediately voted the top-of-the-range model BMW 320i the 'the world's best sedan' in the category up to two litres.
From 1977 wîth six cylinders: BMW 320/6 and BMW 323i. With completely newly devised six-cylinder engines, the BMW 320/6 and the new top-of-the-range model BMW 323i crowned the series from 1977. Both models convinced not only through performance alone (BMW 323i wîth electronically controlled engine management and transistor ignition, 105 kW/143 hp), but also through elasticity and running smoothness. With a compact construction and exemplary fuel economy, the in-line six-cylinder power unit was seen as a role model. During the late seventies, the BMW 323i enjoyed cult status wîth sports oriented drivers. Tuners, fitters and conversion specialists alike were in great demand and virtually all suppliers were involved wîth this BMW 3 Series top model. Along wîth the revised four-cylinder engines, a new entry-level model, the BMW 315 wîth 55 kW/75 hp, was added to the range during the second half of the life cycle.
BMW 3 Series, second generation: sporting performance and now diesel-powered.
Even the entry-level model of the second generation launched in 1982, the four-cylinder BMW 316 wîth 66 kW/90 hp and electronically controlled carburettor, signalised a sporting ambition. The two six-cylinder variants boasted electronically controlled fuel injection technology. The top-of-the-range model BMW 323i wîth 102 kW/139 hp offered superior performance and, thanks to a five-speed transmission wîth overdrive characteristics, achieved an average fuel consumption of 8.9 litres/100 km. BMW engineers also took a sporting approach in terms of fuel economy. In 1984, they presented the new eta six-cylinder engine, which was uncompromisingly oriented towards torque and economy. The BMW 325e delivered 90 kW/122 hp from a 2.7-litre displacement and made do wîth a modest 8.4 litres of regular petrol per 100 km. Furthermore, it was the first BMW 3 Series model to be supplied exclusively wîth a catalytic converter. With the BMW 325e, a further world-exclusive new development was incorporated into the BMW 3 Series – digital engine electronics. This technology optimises fuel injection and mixture preparation. The sensor-controlled system – already employed by BMW in motor racing as early as in 1979 – resulted in previously unmatched running smoothness, also permitting, among other things, overrun fuel cut-off.
1985 saw the arrival of the first diesel powered BMW 3 Series, the BMW 324d, its 63 kW/86 hp six-cylinder in-line engine combining athletic driving performance uncharacteristic of a diesel wîth typical diesel fuel consumption of less than 7.0 l/100 km. Thanks to digital diesel electronics technology (electronically controlled fuel injection) introduced a short while later, it was possible to enhance the performance, comfort and fuel economy of the BMW 3 Series sedan even further. 1985 was also the year of birth of the BMW 3 Series' most high-performing engine: The BMW M3, the racing version of which was to become the most successful touring car of all time, was powered by a 147 kW/200 hp 2.3-litre 4-valve engine.
Third generation: high performance, lower fuel consumption and VANOS.
When the third generation of the BMW 3 Series was introduced at the end of 1990, the new six-cylinder engines featured two camshafts and 4-valve technology. Later, the variable camshaft adjustment VANOS was introduced to the BMW 3 Series, enhancing the torque curve and fuel economy. A further new six-cylinder engine made its debut in the sedan – the 2.5-litre, 85 kW/115 hp power unit featured in the BMW 325td, which took the series of victories of the sports diesel to the next highlight in 1993: Únder the bonnet of the 325tds, a new six-cylinder oil burner wîth turbocharging and intercooler delivered a power output of 105 kW/143 hp and acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in 10.4 seconds. In 1995, the housing of the six-cylinder engines was changed from grey cast iron to aluminium. The BMW 328i wîth 142 kW/193 hp assumed the role as the top-of-the-range model – wîth a fuel consumption of 8.5 l/100 km, a modest result for this power output, it performed impressively also within the competitive environment.
Even better efficiency in the fourth generation.
In the fourth generation of the BMW 3 Series, the BMW 320d made its debut as the first BMW diesel to feature direct fuel injection. It delivered 100 kW/136 hp and reached a top speed of 207 km/h wîth an average fuel consumption of just 5.7 l/100 km. The most significant innovation on the six-cylinder petrol engines was Double VANOS, which offered a beefier torque curve, as it was now possible to optimally adapt gas exchange and combustion to engine speed and load across the entire speed range. From the model year 2000, three six-cylinder petrol engines were available for the BMW 3 Series sedan. (concept carz) The BMW 320i remained in the range, the BMW 325i and the BMW 330i being added, the latter as a successor to the BMW 328i. This car's 170 kW/231 hp 3-litre engine set the new benchmark in terms of elasticity, immense power output, running smoothness and efficiency – a milestone, as was the engine of the BMW 328i before it. The diesel was also consistently improved: The construction principle used on the new six-cylinder in the BMW 330d wîth 135 kW/184 hp and 4-valve technology, direct fuel injection, turbocharger wîth variable turbine geometry and intercooler corresponded largely to that of the four-cylinder engine employed in the BMW 320d. With Common Rail Injection BMW was early in utilising the technology that to this very day has ensured the optimal power delivery and running smoothness of diesel engines. With an average fuel consumption of 6.7 litres/100 km according to the EÚ standard, the BMW 330d was able to reach a top speed of up to 227 km/h, which was fast for a diesel of that time.
The VALVETRONIC technology introduced by BMW in 2001 was soon also to be utilised on the engines featured in the BMW 3 Series sedan. (concept carz) This fully variable control of the intake valves has proven to this day to be a particularly effective measure for increasing power output and optimising fuel economy.
Generation 5: even higher performance, even better fuel economy.
When launched on the market in 2005, the sedan was available in the versions BMW 330i, BMW 325i, BMW 320i and BMW 320d. Both the petrol and diesel engines again offered path-breaking innovations. The four-cylinder oil burner in the BMW 320d wîth new Common Rail Injection of the second generation and a turbocharger wîth variable turbine geometry now delivered 120 kW/163 hp. Like the 110 kW/150 hp four-cylinder power unit, both six-cylinder petrol engines were now equipped wîth the throttle-free load control VALVETRONIC. With 190 kW/258 hp and 160 kW/218 hp power output in the BMW 330i and the BMW 325i respectively, they offered superior BMW six-cylinder dynamics in two stages. Moreover, they featured a further path-breaking innovation – the world's first magnesium-aluminium composite crankcase to be utilised on volume-production engines. This engine weighed only 161 kilograms.
The world's first in-line six-cylinder wîth BMW TwinPower Turbo technology, High Precision Injection and all-aluminium crankcase initially employed in the BMW 335i Coupé from 2007, was also featured in the sedan somewhat later. With 225 kW/306 hp from a three-litre displacement, it has since then offered a new dimension in driving dynamics, pulling power equal to an eight-cylinder naturally aspirated engine and remarkable efficiency, which is unsurpassed in this performance class. The fuel supply is effected using High Precision Injection technology, a second-generation direct injection system presented by BMW for the first time. The piezo injectors are located between the valves and are therefore in the immediate vicinity of the spark plugs, thus facilitating more efficient mixture preparation and combustion.
The BMW current BMW 3 Series sedan: thanks to BMW EfficientDynamics each one a benchmark in its performance class.
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