The Auto Channel
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
Official Website of the New Car Buyer

The All New 2007 BMW 3 Series Coupe

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

Continuing a Tradition of Elegance & Performance

EDITOR'S NOTE: This week, members of the automotive press gathered in San Francisco for BMW's launch of the all new 2007 3 Series Coupe. The press conference was held at the stylish St. Regis Hotel, and the ride and drive took journalists on a beautiful drive across the Golden Gate Bridge, through Sausalito, and up Hwy 1 to Bodega Bay (past the site of the school house from Alfred Hitchcock's "The Birds"). The following information is an in-depth overview of this fantastic new car.
Marc J. Rauch, Exec. VP & Co-Publisher

SAN FRANCISCO - August 11, 2006: Since the earliest days of the company, BMW Coupes have been elegant expressions of individual style and passion for driving. By the 1930's, a coupe was widely appreciated as a special automobile for people who regarded automobiles as much more than convenient transportation. The BMW 327 Coupe, introduced in 1938, was widely regarded as a truly outstanding example of that viewpoint and remains a legend to this day.

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)
Udo Lindner, Drivetrain Project Manager, introduces the new 3 Coupe

With totally new looks and thrilling performance, the all-new BMW Coupe once again sets the benchmark for elegant design, luxury and value. In true BMW tradition, it also establishes new standards of performance and driving dynamics with the introduction of an exceptional engine: the first inline six-cylinder engine with twin-turbochargers, high precision fuel injection, and an all-aluminum crankcase.

The performance potential of the new 300 horsepower turbocharged engine ensures that the 335i Coupe delivers a significant improvement in performance while maintaining the efficiency for which the BMW 3 Series is renowned. The 335i Coupe will be joined in the U.S. by the 230 horsepower 328i Coupe.

An additional dimension of driving dynamics with the benefit of outstanding traction is available in the 328xi, the first time BMW's xDrive all-wheel drive has been offered on a 3 Series Coupe. BMW xDrive is the most sophisticated and responsive all-wheel drive system on the market. It has proven its merits, in terms of agility and safety, in the ten BMW models currently offered with xDrive in the U.S.

In addition to the standard six-speed manual transmission, both models will be offered with an available six-speed STEPTRONIC automatic transmission. Designed for responsiveness, the new automatic enhances driving dynamics without sacrificing fuel efficiency.

The distinctive character of the newest BMW Coupe, internally-designated E92, is recognizable from the very first glance.

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

Over and above the basic shape of the car and its classic lines, the graphic design of the headlights, the detail of the taillights, the interior and even the exterior mirrors were specifically created for the new Coupe. These unique design elements reflect the special character of this elegant and sporty new car. The driver who chooses a Coupe wants a car with elegant looks as well as driving dynamics. With all this in mind, BMW engineers and designers set out to create a unique yet unmistakable blend of design, features and - most importantly - driving pleasure.

Designed to reflect the performance and elegance in the tradition of BMW Coupes The new Coupe is unquestionably a BMW 3 Series. Yet despite its close technical ties to the Sedan and Sports Wagon, it is unique in its design details. A genuine BMW from every angle, the Coupe is an individualist through and through.

It's all about proportions

The Coupe's long hood reflects BMW's adherence to its tradition of inline six-cylinder engines. The long wheelbase, short overhangs, the passenger compartment set back and the low, sleek roofline which seamlessly slopes into the trunk are all characteristics of BMW Coupes.

In addition to the classic proportions, three design lines - the shoulder, character and sill lines - serve to enhance the sleek appearance. Both the shoulder line and character line stretch uninterrupted to the back of the car, allowing one's eye to move quickly and smoothly from front to rear along the entire length of the car. The sill line of the lower edge of the door flows into the front and rear air dams, reinforcing the dynamic nature of BMW's newest Coupe.

The combination of lines flowing into one another elegantly emphasizes the Coupe's performance potential. While the shoulder line rises slightly but consistently from front to rear, the character line flows in a long, stretched arch all the way from the front fender to the taillights. As the sill line, by contrast, moves up slightly to the rear in a slow and gentle curve, the distance between the character and sill lines becomes smaller near the rear wheel arches. The fender flare around each rear wheel also serves to give the character line extra tension in both an upward and outward direction.

The front view also shows a significant distinction from the 3 Series Sedan and Sports Wagon. The contours of the hood as well as the design of the front air dam and headlights give the new BMW 3 Series Coupe a particularly low and sporty look. The powerdome on the hood alludes to the exhilarating driving experience that awaits. Its lines form a powerful silhouette extending all the way from the A-pillars to the outside corners of the BMW kidney grille.

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

The kidney grille, a traditional feature of every BMW, stands out from the surfaces around it. Interaction with the three-dimensional kidney frame creates a look of power and unique style.

The headlight units on the new BMW 3 Series Coupe also have a unique look. With the hood extending beyond the headlights as such, they appear to have been sliced-off at the top creating a sense of powerful, concentrated focus.

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

The new 3 Series Coupe will come standard in the U.S. with xenon adaptive headlights, accented by BMW's corona light rings. The corona light rings not only serve as daytime running lights, but also draw attention to BMW's characteristic four round headlights, making the new Coupe instantly recognizable as a BMW, day or night.

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

The design of the taillights is also unique to the new 3 Series Coupe. Integrated flush into the body of the car, the lights are split into two sections and extend up the trunk lid, blending with the character lines from the side profile. Horizontal LED taillights give the car an unmistakable look at night. The horizontal flowing lines accentuate the wide track and low stance of the new Coupe.

The designers' objective was to give the new 3 Series Coupe a balanced and harmonious look. The traditional "Hofmeister kink" at the bottom edge of the C-pillar now extends at an even more distinct angle into the shoulder line. To further accentuate this flow of lines, the window accent surround is now made in one single piece.

The exterior mirrors have been specifically designed and matched to the unique character of the 3 Series Coupe. The contours of the mirrors reflect the profile lines while the mirrors blend with the car's overall design.

A cabin befitting a BMW Coupe

The emphasis on individual style, dynamic performance and exclusivity continues within the interior.

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

Here again, the focus is on the driving experience. Horizontal lines dominate the surfaces on and around the instrument panel which blend with the lines of the center console door panels to give the interior a light but dynamic feel. In true BMW fashion, all operational and informational elements essential to driving are grouped on and around the steering wheel. Climate controls, as well as those for the audio and navigation systems, are within easy reach of the front passenger.

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

Because the new Coupe is a four passenger car, the rear seat passengers are treated to a center console between their individual rear seats which includes individual storage boxes, additional air outlet vents and footwell lights.

The new BMW 3 Series Coupe comes standard with Dark Burl Walnut wood trim. As on other 3 Series models, Light Poplar wood and Brushed Aluminum trim are optional and Gray Poplar wood, similar to the 5 Series' Maple Anthracite, is a new choice. All these trim choices are no-extra-cost options. Like the standard Walnut, these materials appear on the dash, front and rear consoles, doors and rear side panels.

The standard leatherette upholstery is available in Black and new Creme Beige, which is lighter then the familiar Sand Beige. For the optional leather upholstery, the softer and more luxurious Dakota grade replaces the previous Montana grade as in the 3 Series Sedans and Sports Wagons. Here too, Creme Beige replaces Sand and there are two new choices, Coral Red (as in the 5 Series) and Saddle Brown, in addition to Gray and Black. Upholstery leather appears on the seat facings, door inserts and door handle surrounds; other leather-trimmed items include the gear shift boot, handbrake grip and steering wheel.

In other items of trim that don't change with upholstery or trim options, the interior door handles, gearshift surround trim, steering wheel spokes, instrument dial and engine Start/Stop button surrounds, dash air-outlet adjusting tabs and the optional iDrive controller are in pearl-gray galvanic material; climate-control knobs receive the same improvements as in Z4s (galvanic trim and rubber grip surfaces of finer tactile quality). Another trim material, called Titanium Light, appears in several accent locations on the dashboard, center console and doors.

An elegant ambiance is further created in the interior by special lighting and switches with a premium look and feel. Ambiance Lighting, streaming down from under the ledge on the door and side panels, and running from the A pillar all the way to the rear passenger area, creates a particularly warm, indirect lighting effect.

Through its design and configuration, the cabin emphasizes the sporting and driver-oriented character of BMW's new Coupe. Taking a seat behind the steering wheel, the driver will immediately focus on the new instrument cluster which includes an oil temperature gauge positioned below the tachometer.

Buckling up has never been easier for the driver and front passenger because of the newly developed belt feeder arm: The seat belt integrated in the B-pillar, moved rearward in typical coupe fashion, is automatically "delivered" to the driver and front passenger once they close their respective door and the key has been inserted in the ignition slot. Connected to the seat occupancy detector, the passenger-side belt feeder arm is only activated when the front passenger has actually taken a seat. With the belt delivery unit housed conveniently within the side panels, this new system does not impair the elegant look of the interior.

Access to the two seats in the rear has been made even easier; the lever for releasing the seat positioners is fitted at the top of the outside of the backrest.

Inline six-cylinder engines enter new dimensions of performance

The new BMW 3 Series Coupe will arrive in the U.S. with the choice of two six-cylinder engines including an uprated version of the powerplant in the 2006 325i and 325xi Sedans and Sports Wagon and the world's first inline six with twin turbos, high precision fuel injection, and an all-aluminum crankcase.

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

The 328Ci Coupe is powered by BMW's N52 3.0 liter inline six-cylinder engine, with horsepower increased to 230. Its magnesium/aluminum construction and Valvetronic variable valve lift are features found only on BMW engines. Compared to the M54 engine family of the new 3 Series Coupe's predecessors, the N52 achieves impressive progress on all fronts.

The new engine has more power: 230 hp vs. 184 hp, greater torque: 200 lb-ft. vs. 175, and torque characteristics across the broad range of engine speeds. Its "red line" is 7000 rpm compared to 6500 for the M54.

The new N52 weighs 22lb. less than its predecessor.

Had BMW engineers developed the previous engine to meet their goals, it would have added approximately 30lb. - and thus would have weighed 52lb. more than the new engine does. Because there is just one external drive belt, compared to the previous two, overall engine length is about an inch shorter.

An aluminum/magnesium engine block exclusive to BMW, hollow camshafts, plastic camshaft cover, improved combustion chambers, a further evolved Double VANOS, higher fuel injection pressure, all-new engine electronics, an electric coolant pump, a variable-volume oil pump and an oil/coolant heat exchanger are the other weight-saving features and improvements of the new engine.

BMW's other approach to modern 6-cylinder power

It is the most powerful engine within BMW's wide range of inline-six driving machines that does not wear an "M" badge. This brand-new engine, designated N54, develops a maximum output of 300hp in U.S. specifications from 3.0 liters displacement and generates peak torque of 300 lb-ft for powerful acceleration in any situation. And it achieves these results using technology that might surprise students of BMW history: turbocharging.

Although it is standard equipment on BMW's highly acclaimed diesel engines, BMW has not used turbocharging with a road-going gasoline powerplant since the 1980's. Until now, the BMW 745i Sedan, which debuted in 1981, and the iconic BMW 2002 Turbo, introduced at the 1973 Frankfurt auto show, were the only two standard production, gasoline-powered BMWs to employ the technology.

While the technology works as advertised, BMW engineers were not satisfied with the most often-cited downside to turbocharging; the frustrating lag between when the driver presses the accelerator pedal and when the turbocharger develops sufficient rotation to increase power. This lag is at its worst at low engine speeds. Other drawbacks included relatively high fuel consumption and available materials did not always fare well under the high-heat, high-rpm operation of the turbocharger, which gets its energy from hot, flowing exhaust gases and typically spins up to 5-figure rpm's. For these and other reasons, BMW put turbocharged gasoline engines on the shelf for more than 20 years.

Two recent developments caused BMW to reconsider turbocharging: a trend among many luxury-performance carmakers to achieve power gains by building engines of ever-increasing displacement and technology transfer from turbocharged diesel engine development to their gasoline-fired counterparts.

Accordingly, BMW recently articulated its new approach to developing high-performance engines as part of its EfficientDynamics initiative. Beginning with the N52 normally aspirated engine and the N54 turbocharged unit, BMW will achieve its performance goals with smaller, lighter, more efficient and cleaner-running engines.

The all-new N54 features twin, relatively small turbochargers to boost performance significantly, but, at the same time, minimize the response lag. Thanks to their lower inertia, two small turbochargers build up pressure much faster than a single, large turbocharger, thus eliminating even the slightest lag.

The front turbocharger feeds cylinders 1-3; the rear unit delivers super-compressed air to cylinders 4-6.

A further advantage of turbocharging is that this is the most weight-efficient method to boost engine power and performance. The N54 turbocharged inline 6 weighs approximately 150 lbs. less than an equally powerful eight-cylinder engine displacing 4.0 liters. This lower weight means a significant advantage not only in fuel economy, but also in balancing the car's weight distribution.

To enhance efficiency to an even higher level, the turbochargers are made of a particularly heat-resistant material which makes them immune to high exhaust gas temperatures in the interest of a fuel-efficient combustion process particularly under full load.

As a result, the twin turbo technology in the BMW 335i Coupe represents a significant achievement in terms of both performance and fuel economy. The advantages over a conventional turbocharged engine are not only clearly measurable, but easy to feel on the road.

This new high-performance engine gives the light, aerodynamically sculpted Coupe outstanding acceleration and flexibility. The twin turbo powerplant in the BMW 335i Coupe develops its power and performance much more spontaneously than a turbocharged engine of conventional design.

At the same time the new engine offers all the smoothness and refinement which made BMW's award-winning inline sixes so admired. Last but certainly not least, the impressive increase in power on the twin turbo engine versus a conventional normally aspirated six-cylinder engine comes without any significant increase in fuel consumption.

Turbocharging typically includes intercooling of the engine's induction air, that is, cooling the compressed air that emerges, very much heated up by the compression process, from the turbocharger(s). Sometimes it's done with coolant; in the case of the N54 engine, it's accomplished with outside air. Intercooling is desirable, often necessary, to reduce the temperature of the incoming air to preclude detonation or "knocking" that can reduce power or, in the extreme, damage the engine. Of course, the N54, like the N52 and all other current BMW engines, is equipped with knock control.

As effective as the magnesium/aluminum engine construction is for saving weight, the significantly increased loads and cylinder pressures of the N54 300-hp engine required the use of an aluminum engine structure with cast-iron cylinder sleeves. Of course, some, but not all, of the N52's magnesium/aluminum weight saving was lost. Altogether, the N54 weighs 419 lb.; the N52 357.

A new high-precision direct fuel injection system with piezo injectors also enhances performance and fuel efficiency. A 2nd-generation evolution of the system found on the 760's V12 engine, it is a key factor in achieving BMW's goals for this engine. The new system's main advance over its predecessor is that it provides the engineers a greater degree of freedom in the calibration of fuel quantity and timing and the distribution of the fuel-air mixture in the combustion chamber.

A piezo injector, a recent advancement in fuel injector technology, uses an actuator that takes the place of the solenoid valve in a conventional injector. The actuator, which works significantly faster than the solenoid, significantly reduces the injector's response time. That results in, according to researchers who led the piezo injector's development, a 2-3% fuel savings and 20% less emissions.

For the first time in a 3 Series model, the 335i Coupe's dual exhaust system runs at both sides of the vehicle - logical, as each contains its own turbocharger turbine and therefore requires extra space. At low loads, a flap channels most gas through one side to reduce low-frequency exhaust "rumble." The 335i Coupe features an air-to-oil external oil cooler mounted in one wheel well as opposed to the N52's coolant-to-oil unit.

The peak power of 300 hp has already been mentioned; this is fully 45 more than the 2006 330i Sedan and 70 hp up on the new 328i Coupe. At least as important is the fact that this engine can deliver its peak torque from 1400 rpm - not far above idling - to 5000 rpm. On the road, this power and torque result in outstanding performance. The 335i Coupe with manual transmission accelerates from 0 - 60 mph in just 5.3 seconds. This sense of urgency continues all the way to the electronically limited top speed of 155 mph when equipped with the optional Sport Package.

A transmission for any driving style

As in the 3 Series Sedans and Sports Wagons, each new Coupe has as standard equipment a 6-speed manual transmission specifically tailored to its performance capability. In the 328i, it is a Getrag Type I, with the same ratios as in the 2006 325i Sedan - with relatively "short" 1st-, 2nd- and 3rd-gear ratios to enhance acceleration.

The 328xi has the heavier-duty Getrag Type H transmission, with slightly different ratios, not for performance or economy reasons, but because of internal design factors.

Because of its performance potential, the 335i is fitted with the still more robust ZF Type G gearbox, but with "taller" 1st-4th ratios that take advantage of the N54 engine's torque and allow this high-performance model to attain higher speeds in each of these ratios. This effect is furthered by the 335i's numerically lower final drive ratio (335i 3.08:1, 328i 3.23:1).

In all three transmissions, 5th gear is direct (1.00:1), and 6th gear is an overdrive for quietness and fuel efficiency at cruising speeds. All 3 Series manual transmissions offer several tangible benefits:

• Highly effective synchronization of shifting

• Light, pleasing feel as the shift lever is moved from gear to gear

• Sporty shifting, via short shift "throws" from neutral to each gear

• Use of lifetime transmission oil, which never needs to be changed

• "Clean bearings" design; protects bearings from contamination, ensures adequate lubrication at all times and therefore enhances durability.

The new 3 Series Coupe now joins other BMW Series in offering the 6-speed STEPTRONIC automatic transmission. Compared to the 5-speed unit it replaces, it's lighter, has a more effective torque converter, operates with fewer internal clutches, and can reduce fuel consumption, particularly at cruising speeds when 6th gear is in frequent use. In the 335i, and to appear in other models later, the automatic is the familiar ZF 6 HP 19, but in the new TU, or Technically Updated, form.

As in all other current BMW automatics, the STEPTRONIC feature offers drivers a choice of Normal, Sport and Manual modes. Park, Reverse, Neutral and Drive ranges (P-R-N-D) are in the right gate of the shift lever. The Sport mode, in which shifts occur at higher engine speeds, is engaged by moving the lever leftward from D; the Manual mode is engaged when the driver manually chooses a gear by tipping the lever (or shift paddles) forward (for downshifts) or rearward (for upshifts).

Compared to the existing ZF 6 HP 19, as found in 2006 model year 3 Series Sedans and Sports Wagons, the TU has significant improvements:

• More effective damping of torsional vibrations in the torque converter, which have made it possible to keep the converter's lockup engaged more of the time. This means less slippage; the resulting fuel economy improvement is about 3%, and the driver experiences sharper response to the accelerator pedal.

• Quicker shifting response to the driver's performance demands - up to 40% quicker. This is satisfying to the driver, who experiences less lag between the time the accelerator pedal is depressed and the shift lever (or shift paddles) moved and the actual occurrence of a shift.

• Quicker shifts. Once a shift is actually initiated, the time it takes to complete the shift is reduced up to 50%. This was accomplished via a new hydraulic shifting system and more sophisticated electronic software.

• Finer adaptation to driving style and conditions. Within the Adaptive shift control, which adjusts shift characteristics to these variables, there are now three stages vs. the previous two.

This transmission has two additional features, both of which enhance enthusiastic driving:

• Direct selection of Manual mode. If, while driving in D, the driver manually downshifts via paddle or shift lever, the Manual mode engages. But if the driver makes no further manual shifts within 15 seconds, the transmission returns to automatic operation. This feature was first introduced on the '06 Z4 Roadsters and Coupes.

• Shift paddles on steering wheel, offered on the 335i only as a stand-alone option with the Sport Package. There are two paddles above the steering wheel's horizontal spokes. Similar to the shift lever, tipping the paddles rearward produces an upshift; tipping forward produces a downshift.


BMW's first Coupe with all-wheel drive Like the other all-wheel drive BMWs, the new 328xi Coupe incorporates BMW's advanced xDrive all-wheel drive and traction system. xDrive operates as follows:

• Driving torque is always transmitted to the rear wheels, and most of the time, to all four wheels.

• The portion of torque transmitted to the front wheels is controlled by a multi-disc clutch that can be fully open, fully engaged or at any level of partial engagement in between. The torque split between the rear and front wheels is thus steplessly variable.

• Engagement pressure on the multi-disc clutch is directed by an electronic control system in response to actual road and driving conditions.

xDrive doesn't just optimize traction; it can also enhance both agility and stability on grippy as well as slippery road surfaces. Via the same type of logic that DSC employs to recognize and correct for excessive over-or understeer, xDrive adjusts the front/rear torque split to avoid these tendencies. If undesirable oversteer is sensed, the multi-disc clutch is completely closed, sending the maximum possible torque to the front wheels. If excessive understeer is detected, xDrive opens the clutch completely sending no driving torque to the front wheels. In the BMW tradition, the driver ensures optimum vehicle dynamics under a wide range of driving and road conditions.

In a comparison test of BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Subaru Legacy all-wheel drive models, Germany's authoritative auto motor und sport magazine had this to say about xDrive:

"The BMW 330xi has the most modern and adaptable concept. It works: With amazing aplomb, the 3 Series moves right ahead in knee-deep snow, and keeps its front and rear ends smartly under control. Where in other vehicles the driver may break out in a cold sweat on snowy roads, he or she can keep cool in the 3."

Traditional BMW driving dynamics further refined The new 3 Series Coupe offers class-leading agility through a combination of its significantly enhanced dynamic potential on the one hand and with the most sophisticated chassis control and assistance systems on the other. Together they provide a margin of safety for any situation in which a car might reach the limits of driving physics. In other words, the driver and passengers in a BMW 3 Series Coupe enjoy superior active safety at all speeds.

Traditional rear-wheel drive and a near 50:50 front-to-rear weight distribution give the new BMW 3 Series Coupe ideal qualities for optimum driving dynamics. The specially tuned suspension enables the driver to convert the power and performance of the engine into an exhilarating driving experience. Boasting a new double-pivot front suspension with spring struts made almost entirely of aluminum in combination with a new five-link rear suspension, the new BMW 3 Series Coupe has the most advanced and sophisticated suspension in its class.

Although the new 3 Series Coupe's double-pivot front suspension it is already familiar from the 5, 6 and 7 Series, the current 3 Series Sedans and Sports Wagons introduced this system to the 3 Series in '06 and the 3 Series Coupes incorporate it for the first time. It is a more elaborate concept than that of the predecessor models, featuring two lower arms working in combination with the spring/shock absorber strut. The previous, highly acclaimed, 3 Series system utilizes a single, curved arm. These two lower arms are the reason for the name "double-pivot."

By employing two lower arms, the system provides several fundamental advantages:

• Small positive steering offset, for best steering feel and control under all road conditions. Though the two arms don't actually intersect, if you extended their axes to a point where they do intersect, you will find a "virtual pivot point" that is ideal for achieving this result. Steering offset is the "lever arm" through which road forces act on the suspension system.

• Large steering caster, for outstanding stability in straight-line driving and excellent steering return action coming out of corners.

• Space for large brakes, by virtue of the arrangement of the two lower arms.

The new 5-link rear suspension, introduced in the new 3 Series Sedans and Sports Wagons, is now included on the new 3 Series Coupes. In its concept, it could be described as a double-A-arm system with an additional lateral track rod; the upper and lower A-arms actually consist of two links each, their vertical positions differing. This is similar to the front suspension's dual arms. Advantages are extensive:

• As with the front suspension, there is a virtual pivot point for each pair of links, giving the engineers similar freedom in optimizing the system's geometry for best handling. As at the front, the axis connecting these virtual points is configured to ensure that driving, braking and road forces all act effectively on short leverage. The result is very precise handling, especially impervious to road disturbances.

• Under cornering forces, the system controls the rear suspension geometry in such a way as to achieve great agility while also ensuring predictable, stable handling.

• Contributing to this outstanding geometry is the wide and rigid basis on which the rear tires are "planted" on the road. The lateral links are extremely rigid also, as is the subframe.

• For the first time, all the suspension's links connect to the subframe; no longer does any link pivot directly from the body structure. This further reduces any effects of road irregularities on passenger comfort, and improves handling precision as well.

• Here too, the large and elaborate subframe contributes to energy management in the event of a crash - including the more severe rear-end impact that the 3 Series has been designed to withstand.

Reinforcement and support elements on the underfloor of the car optimize the stiffness of the chassis which enables the suspension to work with the highest possible degree of precision. Interacting with the low center of gravity and the specific set-up of the shock absorbers, the chassis and suspension work in perfect balance.

Following a tradition established with the previous Coupe generation, a sporty calibration of springs, shock absorbers, anti-roll bars and bushings is standard on the RWD 328i and 335i models. This calibration includes a 12-mm (0.5-in.) lowering of ride height; stated otherwise, the 328xi rides 0.5 in. higher.

BMW's rack-and-pinion steering has been widely praised for its precision and feedback and the steering in the new 3 Series Coupe is no exception. For the ultimate balance between agility at lower speeds and stability at higher speeds, BMW's innovative Active Steering is available as an option. By adjusting the steering ratio, steering angle, and power assistance (via Servotronic power assist) to the speed of the car, Active Steering enables the driver to maneuver the 3 Series Coupe with minimum effort when parking and keep the car precisely on track at higher speeds.

Active Steering can also work with Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) to help keep the car stable and under control when applying the brakes on surfaces varying in their frictional coefficient. In such conditions, Active Steering can correct steering quickly and precisely for optimum control.

The high-performance brake system requires 17-inch wheels to accommodate larger diameter brake discs which ensure outstanding stopping power and deceleration. Brake performance is further enhanced by BMW's new-generation Dynamic Stability Control. Introduced on the 3 Series Sedan, this latest DSC system incorporates several new functions. For example, DSC works to counteract the slightest brake fading effect even at extremely high brake temperatures by increasing brake pressure accordingly. This ensures maximum brake power even under the toughest conditions, without requiring the driver to exert any higher pressure on the brake pedal.

If the driver suddenly lifts off the accelerator pedal, Brake Standby positions the brake pads closer to the discs to further reduce stopping distances in an emergency. Brake Drying, in turn, optimizes brake performance in the wet by using the brake pads to periodically dry the brake discs. Dynamic Brake Control automatically maximizes brake pressure whenever required in an emergency stop. Start-off Assistant briefly holds the car when setting off on an uphill grade.

Dynamic Traction Control is another feature of DSC. Activation of DTC raises the threshold for intervention by the brakes, enabling the driver of a BMW 3 Series Coupe to set off smoothly on low friction surfaces such as snow. A benefit of DTC for the enthusiast is that it allows slight, easily controllable slip on the drive wheels even on a dry surface.

Of course, as in all BMWs, the driver has the option to completely deactivate DSC in the new 3 Series Coupe.

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

The new BMW 3 Series Coupe comes standard with run flat tires. Featuring the most advanced fail safe running qualities, these tires allow the driver to continue for up to 90 miles at 50 miles per hour even with complete loss of pressure in one tire. The standard Tire Pressure Monitor gives plenty of warning and alerts the driver when the pressure of any tire falls 25 percent or more below the ideal level.

Ultra-modern body structure: lower weight, greater safety, improved responsiveness. The new BMW 3 Series Coupe is light, strong and stable. Its structure is tailored to approve agility, safety, and comfort while also contributing to overall vehicle efficiency.

Low vehicle weight and a high standard of torsional body stiffness are also crucial to the car's agility. In the event of a collision, the use of high-strength steel in critical areas, together with exactly defined deformation zones, ensures effective absorption and transfer of forces acting on the car's body.

Reinforced B-pillars are a particularly impressive example of the high standard of development and excellence in design that the new BMW 3 Series Coupe has achieved, with a tubular structure throughout the B-pillars featured for the first time for added strength. This tubular reinforcement is made of ultra-strong steel in a warm-molding process and is heat-treated while in the mold for top quality. The reinforcement tube is exactly matched to the space available. The choice of materials and the arrangement of components at other points on the body also serve to optimize crash safety. The various properties of different types of steel and other materials are used to best effect. The space available for deformation on the new BMW 3 Series Coupe is used to minimize even the slightest impairment of the passenger compartment. In a head-on collision, for example, dynamic deformation areas at the front keep impact energy away from the bulkhead and, accordingly, from the car's footwells. In the event of a side-impact collision, the specially designed floor assembly ensures a controlled transfer of forces acting on the car to the opposite side of the body. The bulkhead support is made of innovative multi-phase steel, offering outstanding strength and stability even on thin-gauge panels.

Efficient interaction of the doors, the reinforced B-pillars, the seat structure, and the instrument panel between the A-pillars serves likewise to maximize the strength of the side structure. The consequences of a collision from the rear are minimized by longitudinal carrier bars, a wide range of reinforcement elements, as well as the extra-long luggage compartment floor panel, rear panel and side walls. Pillars and crossbars also help protect the passenger area in a rollover.

Naturally, BMW's safety engineers sought from the start to fully maintain the integrity of the passenger compartment as a safe environment even in the most severe crash. The frontal and side airbags along with the curtain-type Head Protection System (for front and rear seat occupants), belt tensioners and belt force limiters are activated by sensor-controlled electronic safety systems as a function of the type and severity of a collision.

Enthusiastic driving calls for optimum visibility at night. That's why the new BMW 3 Series Coupe comes standard in the U.S. with xenon adaptive headlights which “steer” the headlights themselves and operate at all speeds in response to steering angle, vehicle speed and yaw rate. New to the 3 Series Coupes are standard cornering lights, an angled beam at each front corner to assist in situations of low speed and large steering angles. Cornering lights are activated in left- or rightward direction by either a large steering angle or the turn signals and do not activate at speeds over 25 mph. When the headlights are on and reverse gear is engaged, the feature is activated at both sides.

Light rods in the rear light clusters stand out distinctly for a significant safety improvement in the dark. Whether in the dark or during the day, two-stage adaptive brake lights make an important contribution in enabling following drivers to recognize a potentially dangerous situation well in advance. Whenever the driver applies the brakes particularly hard, and when the ABS function is activated, light intensity in the two-stage taillights is increased accordingly, prompting drivers following from behind to also brake harder.

Standard and optional equipment

In addition to an impressive array of standard equipment, the new BMW 3 Series Coupe is available with a wide selection of optional equipment so drivers may individualize their coupes. Particularly in the area of top-quality audio, navigation and telematic systems, BMW offers optional systems originally developed for the most outstanding luxury performance cars. Features new to the 3 Series Coupe are denoted with an asterisk.


Premium Package adds familiar and new features to all models:

• Dakota Leather upholstery

• Auto-dimming exterior* and interior mirrors

• Power-fold exterior mirrors*

• Digital compass* in the interior rearview mirror

• BMW Universal Transceiver, a 3-function remote for garage doors and other external devices (formerly available only as center-installed accessory)

• 4-way power lumbar support on the front seats

• BMW Assist, BMW’s comprehensive system of customer services and in-car telematics, including a Bluetooth cellphone interface (connects vehicle phone features with approved cellphone models)

For 328i/xi models, this Package adds features that are standard on 335i:

• Power front seats with Driver Memory System

• Auto tilt-down feature for the right-hand exterior mirror (mirror tilts down when reverse gear is engaged).

Sport Package (328i and 335i).

The Sports Package accents these vehicles' inherently sporty handling, esthetics and ergonomics:

• Sport seats with power-adjustable backrest width*. Depending upon model and equipment choices, other seat adjustments can be manual or power.

• Specific wheels and tires:
• 328i – 18 x 8.0 front/18 x 8.5 rear wheels with 225/40R-18 front/ 255/35R-18 rear W-rated run-flat performance tires
• 335i – 18 x 8.0 front/18 x 8.5 rear wheels with 225/40R-18 front/ 255/35R-18 rear W-rated run-flat performance tires

• 155-mph top-speed limiter, instead of the standard 130.

Sport Package (328xi).

The AWD chassis retains the 130-mph speed limiter, and includes –

• 17 x 8.0 wheels with 225/45R-17 H-rated all-season tires (wheel design different than standard wheel)

• Sport seats as in 328i/335i Package.

• Sport Package wheel/tire upgrade (at extra cost) - 18 x 8.0 front/18 x 8.5 rear wheels with 225/40R-18 front/ 255/35R-18 rear W-rated run-flat performance tires; 155 mph top-speed limiter

Cold Weather Package.

For the 328i and 335i models, this Package includes:

• High-intensity headlight cleaning system with retracting jets

• Heated front seats, with expanded heating area*

• Ski bag, for carrying skis and other long objects "indoors."

The headlight cleaning system is standard on the AWD 328xi.

Stand-alone options:

6-speed* STEPTRONIC automatic transmission. Until now, 3 Series Coupe automatic transmissions have been 5-speed units.

Paddle Shifters*. The steering wheel-mounted shift paddles provide sporty, convenient and immediate down- and upshifts. If, while driving in D, the driver manually downshifts via the paddle, the Manual mode engages. But if the driver makes no further manual shifts within 15 seconds, the transmission returns to automatic operation. Available on 335i - require Steptronic and Sport package.

Active Cruise Control*. Employing a radar sensor unit at the front of the vehicle, ACC senses the speed of vehicles traveling ahead, adjusts the BMW driver’s speed to maintain following distance, and offers the driver additional control choices over the standard (and new) Dynamic Cruise Control.

Active Steering*. Acting on the 3 Series' legendary rack-and-pinion steering, this system (available on 328i and 335i models) provides impressive benefits:

• Widely variable steering ratio; steering-wheel movements for parking maneuvers, U-turns and sharp corners are greatly reduced for amazing agility. With increasing vehicle speed, the steering ratio increases, favoring stability over agility.

• Vehicle stabilization; in critical situations, can intervene to preserve stability. For example, if the driver applies the brakes while driving on a surface with uneven traction (one side of the road slick, the other grippy), Active Steering can recognize incipient instability and steer against it. Park Distance Control employs ultrasonic sensors in the rear bumper to detect obstacles that may not be visible to the driver, and emits an acoustic warning. When combined with the Navigation/iDrive option, PDC includes a vehicle diagram in the iDrive display*, which graphically depicts obstacles’ locations. Comfort Access*. User enters vehicle merely by pulling a door handle; mere presence of the remote (say, in the user’s pocket or purse) confirms that entry is authorized. The driver starts the engine by pressing the Start/Stop button. Upon leaving the vehicle, merely pressing a door handle locks the vehicle.

Leather upholstery is available as a stand-alone option, in addition to being part of the Premium Package. New, more luxurious Dakota* leather.

Alternate interior trims at no extra cost: in place of the standard Dark Burl Walnut*, buyers can choose Light Poplar Natural* wood, Gray Poplar wood*, or Brushed Aluminum trim*.

Power front seats and driver memory system. In addition to being part of the Premium Package, available as a stand-alone option for 328i/xi models. The option includes automatic tilt-down of the right exterior mirror for reversing.

Heated front seats as a stand-alone option (also in Cold Weather Package).

BMW On-board Navigation System. With this option, the instrument panel gains a “second wave” that houses the iDrive* monitor; the iDrive controller is on the center console. The comprehensive system includes –

• 8.8-in. Control Display (color monitor), high-resolution 640 x 240 pixels

• Controller with Force Feedback (incorporates tactile feedback into controller movements)

• GPS Navigation with DVD database

• Voice Command system*.

The four main-menu choices are:

Communication – phone functions, BMW Assist and TeleService*.

Entertainment – radio, SIRIUS Satellite Radio when present, and CD functions. If the optional Logic7 audio system is present, this menu also leads to its Surround Sound effect and Digital Sound Processing.

Climate – Functions beyond those provided via the dash hard controls include automatic ventilation, for use when the vehicle is left parked.

Navigation – GPS Navigation, on-board information, trip computer, speed limit and stopwatch functions. Additionally, the i-menu (reached by pressing the controller while in the main menu) offers choices for vehicle display and control settings as well as vehicle service. Here, under the Condition-Based Service menu option, one can observe the remaining miles to selected service and maintenance procedures, as well as legally mandated inspections. (Examples: front and rear brake pads, brake fluid, sparkplugs, engine coolant.) Under TeleService, key vehicle data are transmitted automatically to the BMW center when the Condition-Based Service sensors detect an upcoming service need, or manually when the driver activates the Service Request button under BMW Assist in the control display. The BMW center then contacts the customer to set a service appointment. (Requires activated BMW Assist telematics.)

SIRIUS Satellite Radio*. This appealing path to entertainment, news and information channels is available as a factory option. A subscription fee is required for SIRIUS service after the first year.

Logic7* sound system, with 13 premium speakers, Surround Sound simulation, Digital Sound Processing; standard in 335i, optional in 328i/xi models.

Power rear-window sunshade*. Controlled from a console switch.

BMW Ultimate Service; providing owners with incredible value and peace of mind

For Model year 2007, BMW announces BMW Ultimate Service, a suite of services that includes the BMW Maintenance Program (formerly called Full Maintenance), Roadside Assistance, the New Vehicle Limited Warranty and BMW AssistTM with Teleservice.

BMW Ultimate Service includes:

The BMW Maintenance Program is the only no-cost maintenance program in the industry that covers wear and tear items like brake pads and rotors for 4 years or 50,000 miles, whichever comes first. BMW owners pay nothing for all scheduled inspections, oil changes, brake pads, wiper blade inserts and other wear-and-tear items.

BMW Roadside Assistance is one of the industry’s most comprehensive plans available. Not only is it no-charge for the first 4 years, but there is no mileage limit. BMW drivers enjoy the assurance of on-the-road help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, anywhere in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. This includes everything from flat tire changes, emergency gasoline and lock-out assistance, to towing, alternative transportation and even trip-interruption benefits. This service also includes valuable trip routing advice.

BMW New Vehicle Limited Warranty: Like all current models, each new 3 Series Coupe is covered by BMW’s excellent Limited Warranty, which includes:

• New-vehicle warranty – 4-year/50,000-mile coverage of the vehicle.

• Rust-perforation warranty – 12-year/unlimited-mileage coverage.

BMW Assist provides the driver with services that enhance on-the-road security and convenience, for added peace of mind. BMW AssistTM is available as a stand-alone option and is included in the Premium Package. Starting with MY 2007 vehicles, BMW is the only manufacturer that will offer this service for 4 years. Most other services only cover 1 year of service.

The in-vehicle equipment for BMW Assist includes GPS technology and SOS/Assist functions in the front overhead console. Vehicle occupants may request emergency or other services simply by pressing a button; the BMW Assist system then transmits the location and vehicle information to the BMW Assist Response Center. A response specialist will then speak with the occupants to coordinate dispatch, notify emergency contacts on file, and link BMW Roadside Assistance or emergency services as needed and requested. Deployment of an airbag automatically activates BMW Assist as well.

A four-year subscription to the BMW Assist Safety Plan is included with the option. In addition to the safety-related benefits, subscribers to the BMW Assist Convenience Plan (available at extra cost) can call a toll-free 800 number to avail themselves of many BMW Assist Concierge services, from travel planning to dining reservations, shopping assistance and event tickets, as well as directions, and traffic and weather information. As before, included with BMW AssistTM is Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity which includes hands-free access to your phonebook.

TeleService automatically notifies the BMW center when a vehicle needs service. This feature allows the Service Advisor to proactively set up a customer appointment and have the needed parts ready. TeleService is Included with the BMW Assist Safety Plan.

Elegance, performance & value

Arriving in US showrooms this September, the newest BMW Coupe once again sets the standard for design, luxury, and performance in its class.

While base prices have increased versus the outgoing versions, the new BMW 3 Series Coupe not only sets new standards for elegance and performance, it is an exceptional value considering the 328i and 335i include more standard equipment than their predecessors, including:

• More powerful engines

• More differentiated design from the 3 Series sedan

• Xenon adaptive headlights with cornering lights

• Rear Head Protection system

• Enhanced Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) including Brake Drying, Brake Stand-by, Brake Fade Compensation and Start-off Assistant

• Enhanced interior ambiance lighting

• Run-flat tires with Tire Pressure Monitor

In addition, BMW’s xDrive all-wheel drive will be available for the first time in a Coupe in the 328xi.

The 328i also receives the following additional standard equipment:

• 17” wheels and tires

• 6-speed manual transmission

In fact, compared to the top-of-the-line 2006 330Ci Coupe, the entry-level 2007 328i Coupe not only offers greater style inside and out, as well as a number of safety enhancements, it also offers even better performance – all for $2,500 less.

The 2007 BMW 328i Coupe will be priced at $35,995 while the 335i Coupe, with its 300 horsepower twin-turbo inline six cylinder engine, will have an MSRP of $41,295. The new 328xi Coupe, with BMW’s advanced xDrive all-wheel drive system, will retail for $37,795. All prices include a $695 destination and handling charge.

The world of BMW Coupes: combining traditional and new values

The assignment to develop a coupe has always been a particularly demanding but interesting challenge for the automotive engineer and designer. After all, the driver opting for coupe is a truly discerning driver looking for the ultimate driving experience. With this in mind, BMW has succeeded time and again over the years in meeting the great demands made by the coupe driver while, at the same time, consistently resetting the standard in this segment.

As a modern interpretation of that tradition, the new BMW 3 Series Coupe is unquestionably a very special car.

Performance with a conscience

BMW strives to produce its motor vehicles and other products with the utmost attention to environmental compatibility and protection. Integrated into the design and development of BMW automobiles are such criteria as resource efficiency and emission control in production; environmentally responsible selection of materials; recyclability during production and within the vehicle; elimination of CFCs and hazardous materials in production; and continuing research into environmentally friendly automotive power sources. Tangible results of these efforts include the recycling of bumper cladding into other vehicle components; water-based paint color coats and powder clear coats; near-future availability of hydrogen-powered models; and various design and engineering elements that help make BMWs easier to dismantle at the end of their service life.

BMW Group in America

BMW of North America, LLC has been present in the United States since 1975. ROLLS-ROYCE Motor Cars NA, LLC began distributing vehicles in 2003. The BMW Group in the United States has grown to include marketing, sales, and financial service organizations for the BMW brand, the MINI brand, and the ROLLS-ROYCE brand of Motor Cars; DesignworksUSA, an industrial design firm in California; a technology office in Silicon Valley and various other operations throughout the country. BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC in South Carolina is part of BMW Group’s global manufacturing network and is the exclusive manufacturing plant for all Z4 models and X5 Sports Activity Vehicles. The BMW Group sales organization is represented in the U.S. through networks of 339 BMW passenger car centers, 334 BMW Sports Activity Vehicle centers, 143 BMW motorcycle retailers, 80 MINI passenger car dealers, and 30 ROLLS-ROYCE Motor Car dealers. BMW (US) Holding Corp., the BMW Group’s sales headquarters for North, Central and South America, is located in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.