New BMW 3 Series Saloon Gets Ready for Sale +VIDEO
■ Extends BMW’s lead in efficiency and dynamics
■ Four engines at launch, with more to follow
■ More space, more comfort and more luxury
■ Eight-speed automatic gearbox available across the range
■ Four-wheel-drive and hybrid versions to be offered
HORSHAM, England - February 10, 2012: The new BMW 3 Series Saloon is a car of contradictions: larger and more spacious than the model it replaces, but lighter; quicker in many cases, but more fuel-efficient; and more nimble and agile while even safer. There have been big steps forward in style, quality, comfort and specification for only a minimal price increase. A wider choice of trim levels and an extensive personalisation programme will allow 3 Series Saloon buyers to order virtually a bespoke car.
|0 – 62mph Seconds||Top
|Combined Mpg||CO2 Emissions g/km|
|BMW 328i Saloon||£29,060||245||350||5.9 (6.1)||155*||44.1 (44.8)||149 (147)|
|BMW 335i Saloon||£35,525||306||400||5.5 (5.5)||155*||35.8 (39.2)||186 (169)|
|BMW 320d Saloon||£28,080||184||380||7.5 (7.6)||146 (143)||62.8 (64.2)||120 (118)|
|BMW 320d EfficientDynamics
|£28,080||163||380||8.0 (8.1)||143 (141)||68.9 (68.9)||109 (109)|
Compact BMW saloons have always appealed to the emotions of keen drivers because of their outstanding driving dynamics, but with the advent of the company’s EfficientDynamics technologies to reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions in the middle of the last decade, they also present a compelling business case. That advantage is set to increase with the introduction of the new BMW 3 Series Saloon. By March 2012, when additional engines have been added to the four at launch, BMW will have eight versions of the new 3 Series Saloon with CO2 emissions at or below 120g/km while competitors can muster only one each. This brings clear benefits to owners in terms of Benefit-in-Kind company car taxation and Vehicle Excise Duty, while the 320d EfficientDynamics model, with CO2 emissions of less than 110g/km, allows businesses which outright purchase, to write off 100 per cent of the cost of the car against tax in the first year.
Watch the new BMW 3 Series Saloon promo video
All versions of the new 3 Series Saloon feature Drive Performance Control as standard - a switch which allows the driver to swap between up to four driving modes, varying from sporty to extremely economical. The four modes are ECO PRO, Comfort, Sport, and Sport + (Sport + is included only on Sport models or with selected optional equipment). In ECO PRO, the throttle mapping changes so that a firmer push of the accelerator pedal is needed to extract the power that is delivered with a lighter touch in the other three modes, thus encouraging a more economical driving style. ECO PRO also alters the manual gearshift points advised by the Optimum Shift Indicator, modifies the gearshift strategy on models with automatic transmission and even adjusts the power consumption of features such as the climate control and heated mirrors and seats.
The EfficientDynamics technologies which gave the previous BMW 3 Series Saloon such a competitive advantage remain very much in place, and have been supplemented with new ones. Auto Stop-Start is fitted to all versions, manual and automatic, along with Brake Energy Regeneration, on-demand control of engine ancillary components and tyres with less rolling resistance. Weight has been reduced by up to 50kg compared with the previous model, while the drag coefficient (Cd) is down to as low as 0.26 thanks to optimised aerodynamics. The new 3 Series Saloon features a streamlined underside, covers which create a diffuser effect at the rear and Aero Curtain air channels in the front apron which reduce the turbulence created by the revolution of the front wheels in their arches.
The new BMW 3 Series Saloon is fitted with electromechanical power steering which consumes no energy when the car is being driven in a straight line or in steady-state cornering. This has been achieved with no loss of the steering accuracy or precise feedback that is such an essential part of the BMW ‘ultimate driving machine’ ethos. Servotronic speed-sensitive power assistance is standard on the 328i and 335i derivatives and optional on all others.
An eight-speed automatic gearbox, giving a wider spread of ratios than the former six-speed unit without taking up any more space in the engine bay, is available as an alternative to the standard six-speed manual. It is also now offered with every engine to significantly improve efficiency. For example, the new 318d automatic model now emits 22g/km less than the previous 318d automatic model. Automatic versions of the new 3 Series Saloon are also now as fuel-efficient, or more so, than their manual equivalents.
The clear drivers’ choice
With its rear-wheel-drive layout, near-perfect 50:50 front-to-rear weight distribution, agile chassis set-up and responsive engines, the BMW 3 Series has always been the benchmark for driving enjoyment among compact premium saloons. That position has been strengthened in the new model.
All engines in the new 3 Series Saloon feature BMW TwinPower Turbo technology. They include a new four-cylinder 2.0-litre petrol unit, developing 245hp and 350Nm of torque, in the 328i. It replaces the six-cylinder 3.0-litre engines in the previous 325i and 330i, with inherent advantages for weight and fuel consumption, yet with a 0-62mph time of 5.9 seconds in manual form, it is quicker than either. Efficiency is also significantly improved and both manual and automatic versions of the 328i have fuel economy of more than 44mpg and CO2 emissions below 150g/km. The new unit features High-Precision Direct Injection, BMW’s new TwinScroll turbocharging, Double-VANOS variable camshaft timing and VALVETRONIC variable valve opening technology.
The 328i is one of four engines that will be available at launch, three of which are familiar from the outgoing model. The other petrol engine on offer is the 3.0-litre six-cylinder TwinPower Turbo unit in the 335i. Demand for diesels will be catered for by an improved 2.0-litre 184hp 320d and the acclaimed 163hp 320d EfficientDynamics, which features longer gear ratios, reduced friction components and revised electronics to generate an outstanding 68.9mpg fuel consumption and just 109g/km CO2. Previously only available as a manual, the 320d EfficientDynamics is also now available with the new eight-speed automatic transmission – whilst retaining the same 109g/km emissions level.
Less than a month after launch, three new engines will be added. There will be 316d and 318d diesels, powered respectively by 116hp and 143hp variants of the 2.0-litre diesel engine, plus another version of the 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine. This will slot into the new 320i, and will be tuned to deliver 184hp and 270Nm of torque, with the same free-revving, supremely flexible character of all other BMW TwinPower Turbo petrol engines.
The bespoke compact executive car
BMW 3 Series Saloon buyers are extremely diverse in their preferences and tastes, with a growing demand for greater personalisation, and the new model range has been configured to reflect that. It offers more trim levels than ever before – six – and a wide range of packages and individual options which customers can add to the already significantly increased standard specification of every model.
Common to all versions is a new-found sense of style, higher interior quality standards and much improved packaging. The new 3 Series Saloon is simultaneously more sporty and more elegant than its predecessor. Improved proportions, pronounced wheel arches, headlamp units which blend into the double-kidney grille to form a continuous band across the front of the car and air inlets beneath the headlights visually stretch the width and make the new 3 Series Saloon look low, wide and sporty. This is echoed by the strong horizontal design language at the rear and the forward-pressing nose, long bonnet, rising swage lines and large wheels visible from the side. At the same time, the coupé-like profile, distinctive double round headlights, L-shaped rear light units with LED light bars and the decorative trims chosen for the grille and around the windows give an athletic and yet elegant appearance.
The new BMW 3 Series Saloon is 93mm longer than the previous model and 6mm narrower, excluding door mirrors. It also has a 50mm longer wheelbase. This has clear advantages when it comes to internal space. There is 18mm more feet entry freedom, 15mm more knee room and 8mm more headroom in the rear, while the height of the rear door and its opening angle have both been increased to make entry and exit easier. None of this is at the expense of luggage space, which has increased by 20 litres to 480 litres.
Befitting the BMW 3 Series’ renowned driving dynamics, the interior control and switchgear layout is totally driver-focused. The elegant and dynamic new interior design language, with twisting and merging surfaces arranged in a series of layers, all angle towards the driver. The centre console itself is angled at seven degrees towards the driver.
So that the passenger does not feel excluded, the iDrive controller used to access many of the car’s functions and the 6.5” display monitor which accompanies it (both standard on all models) are arranged centrally, within equal reach and view of both front occupants. What is immediately apparent to all who enter the new BMW 3 Series Saloon is the significant improvement in trim quality and ambience. This is emphasised not only by the appearance and feel of the interior surfaces, but also by the choice of colours and materials to reflect the different trim levels.