BMW 3 Series New dimensions in driving pleasure and dynamic performance
New dimensions in driving pleasure and dynamic performance: Sporty power delivery, outstanding efficiency and enhanced ride comfort.
The sixth-generation BMW 3 Series sports sedan models offer top-level agility and driving dynamics, and they combine all this with new levels of comfort.
At the same time, there is no change to the proven basic concept comprising high-performance engines, a sporty chassis and a rigid, lightweight body.
After all, over the past 35 or more years, drivers have come to expect dynamic, sporty driving enjoyment as a matter of course in a BMW 3 Series model, while powertrain and chassis technology rank as a core strength of the brand.
A longitudinally mounted engine, rear-wheel drive and a balanced (50:50) front-to-rear axle load ratio are a formula that makes the BMW 3 Series the sportiest sedan in its segment.
At launch, the new BMW 3 Series Sedan will be offered with four high-torque, refined and fuel-efficient engines, all of which feature the latest BMW TwinPower Turbo technology. They comprise two optimised diesel engines and, on the petrol side, the familiar six-cylinder unit and a new-generation four-cylinder engine offering impressive driving dynamics coupled with substantially reduced fuel consumption and emissions.
All the engines are well within the EU5 and US ULEV II limits. And the new Driving Experience Control switch, which is available for all engine versions, provides the opportunity to extend these savings even further when ECO PLUS mode is selected.
Power is delivered to the rear wheels either via a standard-fitted sporty six-speed manual transmission or, optionally, via an eight-speed automatic. The automatic, which can be combined with any engine, is so efficient that it is possible to achieve lower fuel consumption and emissions than with the manual unit. Both the manual and the automatic models are equipped with the Auto Start-Stop function for further savings.
Advanced suspension technology, featuring a large number of light-alloy components and new tuning, along with electromechanical steering which operates without torque steer, low vehicle weight and a balanced axle load ratio
New dimensions in driving pleasure and dynamic performance: Sporty power delivery, outstanding efficiency and enhanced ride comfort. top off a dynamic package, making the new BMW 3 Series Sedan an exemplar of sporty handling combined with increased comfort.
BMW 328i: new four-cylinder petrol engine with TwinPower Turbo technology sets a new benchmark for driving dynamics and efficiency.
With the launch of the new sports sedan, a brand-new four-cylinder engine will make its debut in the BMW 3 Series. In keeping with the dynamic overall theme of the new BMW sports sedan, this new-generation turbocharged engine offers plenty of power and performance, responsive acceleration, powerful torque, a high rpm ceiling and low weight. For this best-selling BMW model series, the new-generation 2.0-litre petrol engine will be available in two output ratings.
The new four-cylinder units, which provide noticeably livelier power for maximum driving enjoyment, also come with lower fuel consumption and emissions than their predecessors.
The state-of-the-art, lively 2.0-litre powerplants mark a return to the popular sports sedan’s roots – it was with lightweight, high-performance four-cylinder units in a similar vein that the BMW 3 Series made its debut back in 1975, with the first six-cylinder units for this series making their appearance at the 1977 Frankfurt Motor Show. A six-cylinder continues to top the engine line-up in the new BMW 3 Series.
The significant upgrade in power and efficiency is chiefly down to the use of BMW TwinPower Turbo technology, featuring innovative technologies such as High Precision Direct Petrol Injection, twin-scroll turbocharging, Double-Vanos variable camshaft timing and VALVETRONIC variable valve timing.
On the new-generation four-cylinder engines, this world-exclusive technology package from BMW again provides a very efficient way to extract more power from the engine, rather than taking the route of a much larger displacement and, in the process, adding to the weight and therefore to fuel consumption. This explains why the more dynamic performance and driving enjoyment does not come at the expense of higher fuel consumption and emissions.
The new BMW TwinPower Turbo four-cylinder petrol engine’s displacement of 1,997 cc delivers maximum power of 180 kW/245 hp at 5,000 rpm while, thanks to twin-scroll turbocharging, the maximum torque of 350 Nm is developed at just 1,250 rpm and remains constant up to 4,800 rpm. These statistics translate to sheer dynamic performance: the new BMW 328i accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 5.9 seconds, on its way to an electronically governed top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph).
The engine responds instantly when the driver demands more throttle, and the vigorous and almost linear power delivery from only slightly above idle, which continues all the way into the higher rpm range, is duly impressive.
The average fuel consumption of the BMW 328i in the EU test cycle is just 6.4 litres per 100 km (44.1 mpg imp), an 11 per cent (!) improvement on its 160 kW/218 hp predecessor. There is a similar improvement in CO2 emissions, which now stand at 149 grams per kilometre.
The improvement is even more pronounced if the vehicle is equipped with the new eight-speed automatic, in which case fuel consumption is rated at just 6.3 litres per 100 km (44.8 mpg imp), with CO2 emissions at 147 grams per kilometre (-15%).
BMW TwinPower Turbo technology in the new four-cylinder engine. This new engine is the most powerful in a new generation of four-cylinder petrol units based on the same reduced-friction core engine, their different output ratings being achieved principally by modifications to the injection and turbocharging technology.
In technical terms, this core engine is modelled on the current multi-award-winning six-in-line engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology, which is the benchmark in its class for dynamic power delivery and impressive efficiency. Key features of this world-exclusive technology include High Precision Direct Petrol Injection, twin-scroll turbocharging, Double-Vanos variable camshaft timing and VALVETRONIC variable valve timing.
These features give the new BMW 328i the sort of power which with a naturally aspirated engine would require more cylinders and larger displacement. At the same time, with its all-aluminium crankcase, this engine is lighter and more compact than a six-cylinder engine of equivalent power. This has obvious benefits for driving dynamics: the reduced load on the front axle gives this BMW sports sedan greater agility and further improved steering and cornering characteristics.
The new four-cylinder engines also feature twin-scroll turbocharging. This means that the exhaust stream from cylinders 1 and 4, and the exhaust stream from cylinders 2 and 3, follow separate spiral-shaped paths to the turbine wheel. This reduces exhaust back-pressure at low engine rpm, allowing the energy of the exhaust gas pulses to be utilised as efficiently as possible.
The result is instant throttle response and fast-revving performance which BMW drivers can instantly translate into driving pleasure.
VALVETRONIC, Double-Vanos and direct injection.
The combination of a high power output and a simultaneous reduction in emissions is achieved by VALVETRONIC variable valve timing and Double-Vanos variable camshaft timing.
The latest generation of the VALVETRONIC system features a faster-acting, optimised stepper motor with integrated sensor. Seamlessly variable control of intake valve lift dispenses with the need for a throttle valve. Instead, the air mass is controlled inside the engine, resulting in faster response. At the same time, pumping losses have been reduced to a minimum.
The excellent efficiency is also down to the High Precision Direct Petrol Injection system. Centrally positioned between the valves, solenoid injectors precisely control the supply of fuel. The fuel is injected very close to the spark plug, with a maximum injection pressure of 200 bar, resulting in clean and homogeneous combustion. The cooling effect of the directly injected fuel also results in a higher compression ratio than on port injection engines, bringing further efficiency improvements.
Exceptional performance assisted by innovative design features.
The exceptional performance of the new engine is due last but not least to various innovative features of the core engine.
For example, balancer shafts positioned at different heights result in optimised vibration absorption, while a centrifugal pendulum absorber integrated in the dual-mass flywheel brings a noticeable reduction in irregular running at low engine rpm.
The driver can therefore make full use of the strong low-end torque without sacrificing smoothness. These factors all help to explain why the new 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine achieves refinement, noise and vibration of a kind that was previously confined to BMW six-cylinder engines.
BMW 335i: optimised six-cylinder petrol engine with beefy power delivery, strong torque and superb refinement. Fans of large six-cylinder engines have a treat in store too. The optimised six-in-line unit in the new BMW 335i will impress performance-minded drivers with its effortless power, exceptionally fast-revving temperament and outstanding refinement.
The 3.0-litre core engine has been setting standards from the start, as the pioneer of a new generation of engines in which BMW TwinPower Turbo technology with High Precision Direct Petrol Injection and VALVETRONIC variable valve timing made its debut.
Thanks to intensive fine-tuning of the core engine, BMW’s engineers have now further reduced the fuel consumption and emissions of the predecessor unit, while at the same time maintaining its high performance.
With a maximum power rating of 225 kW/306 hp at 5,800 rpm, the 3.0-litre six-cylinder unit reflects the sporty personality of the BMW 3 Series and helps this sedan deliver ebullient performance. Peak torque of 400 Nm is on stream between 1,200 and 5,000 rpm.
As a result, the new BMW 335i can show off its prowess with a 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) sprint time of just 5.5 seconds, which shaves 0.1 seconds off that of its equally powerful predecessor. The automatic version is even quicker, reaching 100 km/h (62 mph) a full 0.3 seconds faster than the outgoing model. Top speed remains the same, at an electronically governed 250 km/h (155 mph).
All this extra performance comes with exceptional fuel economy and low emission figures, so drivers can enjoy it with complete peace of mind. Fuel consumption in the EU test cycle is rated at 7.9 litres per 100 kilometres (35.8 mpg imp, and CO2 emissions at 186 grams per kilometre.
Fitted with the new eight-speed automatic transmission, the BMW 335i is even more frugal, with combined fuel consumption of just 7.2 litres per 100 kilometres (39.2 mpg imp) and CO2 emissions of 169 grams per kilometre. The improvement in emissions for the manual and automatic versions works out at 6 and 16 per cent respectively.
BMW 320d: powerful torque, outstanding smoothness and further improved fuel efficiency. The new-generation BMW 3 Series Sedan features the BMW TwinPower Turbo four-cylinder diesel engine of its predecessor, which has been honed for even greater fuel economy and lower emissions with no reduction in power output. This state-of-the-art powerplant with composite aluminium crankcase sets many benchmarks, and with its latest-generation common rail direct injection system and VNT turbocharger it combines plenty of punchy power with a further reduction in fuel consumption and emissions.
This all helps the new BMW 3 Series to further widen its competitive lead.
The thermodynamically improved turbocharger makes for lively power delivery right across the load range. An electric actuator adjusts the turbine blades with split-second speed in line with different engine loads, so that when the driver demands full throttle, the engine is as responsive in the low rpm range as it is at full load. Solenoid injectors supply the fuel to the cylinders at a pressure of up to 2,000 bar. High-precision fuel metering and high atomisation quality result in clean and homogeneous combustion.
With unchanged maximum power of 135 kW/184 hp at 4,000 rpm, and powerful torque of 380 Nm on stream between 1,750 and 2,750 rpm, the new BMW 320d is an extremely dynamic performer. This diesel model, too, delivers everything one would expect of a compact sports sedan. This is reflected in performance figures, which include a standstill to 100 km/h (62 mph) sprint time of just 7.5 seconds. When necessary, the agile diesel will accelerate up to a top speed of 235 km/h (146 mph).
The new BMW 320d’s average fuel consumption in the EU test cycle of 4.5 litres per 100 kilometres (62.8 mpg imp) and CO2 emissions of 118 grams per kilometre mark a four per cent improvement on the predecessor model, with no reduction in power. For models fitted with the new eight-speed automatic transmission, the improvement is even more striking: fuel consumption (4.5 l/100 km / 64.2 mpg imp) and CO2 emissions (118 g/km) have fallen by 16 per cent. With all of this, the BMW 320d has reaffirmed its position as a high-performance, efficient sedan which boasts one of the world’s cleanest and most economical diesel engines.
BMW 320d EfficientDynamics Edition: state-of-the-art diesel engine makes the new sports sedan the most efficient vehicle in its class. Drivers who don’t want to miss out on either dynamic, sporty performance or first-class fuel economy will find the new BMW 320d EfficientDynamics Edition an extremely attractive proposition.
As in the previous model, this ultra-fuel-efficient version of the BMW TwinPower Turbo four-cylinder diesel engine represents the most radical realisation to date, in the sporty BMW 3 Series range, of BMW’s development strategy for reducing fuel consumption and emissions.
The 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine is from the same family as the regular BMW 320d engine and shares the same all-aluminium crankcase, VNT turbocharger and latest-generation common rail direct injection. Additional features like a slight reduction in maximum output rating, the rpm-reducing, friction-reduced powertrain design and an optimised aerodynamics package give this EfficientDynamics version of the new BMW 3 Series the lowest CO2 emissions in its class.
The new BMW 320d EfficientDynamics Edition develops maximum power of 120 kW/163 hp at 4,000 rpm and delivers its maximum torque of 380 Nm between 1,750 and 2,750 rpm. This sedan model accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 8.0 seconds and hits a top speed of 230 km/h (143 mph). Fuel consumption of 4.1 litres per 100 kilometres (68.9 mpg imp), with corresponding CO2 emissions of 109 grams per kilometre, make this diesel model the most economical, eco-friendly and efficient vehicle in its segment.
The low-CO2 model also has something new for drivers who like to leave the shifting to an automatic transmission. The new BMW 320d EfficientDynamics Edition can now for the first time be combined with a cutting-edge eight-speed automatic transmission. What’s more, this extra comfort doesn’t come at the expense of higher fuel consumption. Thanks to efficient electronics and reduced-friction components, the engine can operate just as efficiently with the new unit as with the standard six-speed manual transmission.
Dual-mass flywheel with centrifugal pendulum absorber. In all road speed ranges that are relevant in everyday driving, the engineers have achieved reductions in engine speed which have noticeable benefits for fuel consumption.
For example when cruising at 100 km/h (62 mph) in sixth gear, the engine is only turning over at 1,600 rpm. The “centrifugal pendulum absorber” fitted in the engine’s dual-mass flywheel ensures smooth, vibration-free running even at low engine speeds. It efficiently counteracts irregular running and eliminates vibration when accelerating. The diesel engine revs smoothly from low engine speeds and the accompanying sound is equally refined.
This extra refinement, and improvements to the Optimum Shift Indicator, encourage the driver to change to a higher gear more often and to shift down less frequently. This means that, despite the changed engine load profile, which has the effect of reducing fuel consumption and emissions, the new BMW 320d EfficientDynamics Edition boasts the typical agility that everyone familiar with this sports sedan series has come to expect.
The Edition-specific modifications include a longer final-drive ratio, an optimised aerodynamics package with a 10 mm (0.4 in.) drop in ride height and wheels with “turbine” styling. There is even a 15 per cent reduction in the rolling resistance of the tyres compared with the predecessor model.
On top of this, the economical sports diesel model also features all the fuel economy-enhancing measures used on other models in the new BMW 3 Series. These include Brake Energy Regeneration, the Auto Start-Stop function and on-demand control of ancillary units such as the oil and coolant pump. In the premium sector of the intensely competitive mid-range market, the new BMW 320d EfficientDynamics Edition is an attractive proposition for environmentally-minded drivers which to this day remains unrivalled even among its direct competitors.
Coming soon: BMW 320i, BMW 318d and BMW 316d. In spring 2012, BMW will launch three further engines for the new sports sedan series, all of them offering plentiful power and outstanding efficiency.
Following the impressive BMW 328i, the top four-cylinder model already being presented today, the upcoming new BMW 320i will be the second model to be powered by a member of the new-generation 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine family. In the new BMW 320i, this TwinPower Turbo engine will develop maximum power of 135 kW/184 hp at 5,000 rpm and peak torque of 270 Nm at just 1,250 rpm.
The two upcoming turbodiesel models, which will be based on the same 2.0-litre core engine that is used in the new BMW 320d, will also develop impressive power and torque. In the BMW 318d, the diesel powerplant will develop maximum power of 105 kW/143 hp at 4,000 rpm and powerful peak torque of 320 Nm, which is available between 1,750 and 2,500 rpm.
The extremely fuel-efficient BMW 316d, meanwhile, develops maximum power of 85 kW/116 hp at 4,000 rpm and maximum torque of 260 Nm, again at between 1,750 and 2,500 rpm. Further engine versions will follow, including a six-cylinder diesel unit and numerous xDrive models. Autumn 2012, finally, will see the launch of the BMW ActiveHybrid 3 (see Chapter 5).
Sporty six-speed manual transmission fitted as standard; state-of-the-art eight-speed automatic optionally available for all engine versions. The BMW 3 Series owes its characteristic driving experience not just to its high-torque, fast-revving engines, but also to its transmissions.
For performance-minded drivers the transmission, as the interface where the power from the engine is relayed to the drive train, is pivotal to a dynamic driving experience. It is just as important for it to offer precise, short-throw shifting as to provide the right ratios. Smooth shifting, low noise and efficient design are further qualities demanded in the premium segment.
The new BMW sports sedan comes with a six-speed manual transmission as standard. Those who prefer to leave the shifting to the transmission will find an ideal alternative in the ultra-innovative eight-speed automatic. Finally, customers can also opt for an eight-speed sports automatic version of this transmission, with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifts.
Six-speed manual transmission as standard. The sporty six-speed manual transmission in the new BMW 3 Series boasts an easy and precise shifting action and optimal ratio spacing. The lightweight, compact format and innovative, low-friction design help to further enhance driving enjoyment and efficiency.
The transmissions used on the BMW 335i, BMW 320d and BMW 320d EfficientDynamics Edition models are equipped with dry sump lubrication for significantly improved efficiency and shifting quality, due to reduced drag losses.
At the same time, noticeably more comfortable shifting is achieved by the use of innovative carbon friction linings in the synchromesh units. The transmission in the new BMW 328i features an optimised transmission precisely matched to the performance characteristics of the new turbo engine. The ratio spacing makes for powerful sprinting performance and fast mid-range acceleration, all combined with a reduction in fuel consumption.
Innovative eight-speed automatic transmission for petrol and diesel models: efficient power transmission and optimal ratios. Optionally, the new BMW 3 Series can be supplied with a high-performance eight-speed automatic transmission, which can be combined with any of the engines being presented.
The additional ratios allow this transmission – which is an option not currently offered by any competitors in the compact sports sedan segment – to combine unprecedented standards of comfortable shifting, sporty performance and efficiency. With all this going for it, the automatic transmission is fully in keeping with the overall sporty temperament of the new BMW 3 Series Sedan.
In terms of size and weight, this eight-speed unit is comparable with the six-speed automatic transmission used in the past.
A range of innovative technical features and exceptionally high internal efficiency allow this higher-performance unit, too, to combine powerful acceleration, nifty mid-range sprinting and further reduced fuel consumption. For performance-minded drivers this transmission also has lots to offer, particularly since the driver can choose to play a more active role by changing gear manually, thereby releasing even more of this sporty sedan’s potential.
With its optimised control technology, the eight-speed transmission boasts extremely fast shift and reaction times and direct downshift capability.
The electronic transmission controller can also alter the shift characteristics as required, to cater either for a more sporty or for a more relaxed, fuel-saving driving style. Despite a larger overall spread, eight ratios mean that the spacing between them is smaller, so that the optimal ratio is available in virtually all situations.
The close ratios deliver refined and powerful acceleration as well as smooth and fuel-efficient low-rpm operation. Altogether, then, as well as providing dynamic acceleration and smooth shifting, the new eight-speed automatic also allows drivers to maintain a very economical driving style.
The upshot is that, when fitted with the eight-speed automatic transmission, the new BMW 3 Series achieves virtually identical – or in the case of the BMW 335i, BMW 328i and BMW 320d even lower – fuel consumption and emissions than models equipped with the six-speed manual transmission.
A sports version of the new eight-speed automatic transmission is available as a further option for the new BMW 3 Series Sedan. This unit offers even sportier shift characteristics, and the option of changing gear manually using the paddle shifts on the steering wheel.
Alternatively, on the petrol models it is also possible to use the electronic Quickshift selector lever on the centre console. To switch between Normal and Sport modes, the Driving Experience Control switch is used. This allows the sports automatic to deliver both dynamic driving enjoyment and top-level comfort.
Precision chassis engineering sets new standards: sporty handling, high agility and increased comfort. In the sixth model generation, too, dynamism and performance are among the stand-out features of the BMW sports sedan.
These qualities are underpinned by a precision-engineered chassis that perfectly complements a winning formula: a longitudinally mounted engine, rear-wheel drive, a balanced axle load ratio and torsionally stiff body. In the new BMW 3 Series the engineers have further improved the already outstanding handling qualities of the predecessor series and its excellent agility and directional stability, while at the same time noticeably improving comfort.
To achieve this, they have made extensive use of extra-lightweight chassis components, sophisticated and perfectly tailored axle kinematics and a high-precision steering system which – due to the rear-wheel-drive set-up – is not affected by torque steer. State-of-the-art electronic control systems on the new BMW 3 Series Sedan help manage the vehicle dynamics and ensure that the combination of outstanding sporty performance and increased comfort can be enjoyed to the full and with complete peace of mind.
With friction-reduced wheel bearings and ball joints, aerodynamic improvements at the rear axle, an electro-mechanical steering system and reduced rolling-resistance tyres, the whole chassis plays its part in reducing fuel consumption and thus emissions.
A wheelbase of 2,810 millimetres (+ 50 mm) and a front and rear track width of 1,543 (+ 37 mm) and 1,583 millimetres (+ 48 mm) respectively give the new BMW 3 Series Sedan a more road-hugging stance than its predecessor, while the weight-optimised powertrain and lightweight body design result in a perfectly balanced 50:50 axle load ratio. This means that maximum dynamism and agility is combined with maximum stability.
Double-joint front axle with spring struts and anti-roll bar. The front axle of the new BMW sports sedan is based on a proven design which provides an optimal fusion of driving dynamics and comfort.
The wheel suspension combines maximum stiffness with minimum weight, while aluminium torque struts, wishbones and swivel bearings bring a substantial reduction in unsprung masses. At the same time, the absence of torque steer means the kinematics of the double-joint axle could be optimally geared to the agility and dynamism of the new BMW 3 Series.
This factor also has benefits for the new BMW 3 Series’ electromechanical steering system, which brings less weight to the scales, helps cut fuel consumption and, just like the suspension, damping and elastokinematics, is precisely matched to the requirements of this vehicle.
Advanced axle design further refined: five-link rear axle improves driving dynamics and comfort. Incorporating various significant improvements and refinements, the rear axle of the new BMW 3 Series makes an important contribution to the new model’s improved driving dynamics and comfort. Its space-saving design is based on the tried-and-tested five-link design used on the predecessor model, with elastokinematics which have been specially tailored to the new sports sedan, featuring long spring travel and precise and confident wheel location in all situations.
Extra-wide mounts and supports on the wheel carriers for track and camber, extremely stiff control arms, the stiff axle subframe and thrust arms connecting the suspension and body provide an excellent basis for the agile and, at the same time, comfortable overall suspension qualities of the new BMW 3 Series Sedan.
The large mounts and supports at the rear axle not only affect handling, they are also important for ensuring good acoustic insulation between the powertrain and suspension, particularly on vehicles with a powerful, high-torque engine. Thanks to the effective insulation of the powertrain from road excitations, the new rear axle therefore also provides first-class noise and vibration damping.
The classic BMW 3 Series rear-wheel-drive set-up and a balanced weight distribution also provide the ideal basis for resolving the conflict between ride and handling. As a result, the new BMW 3 Series impresses with extremely sporty handling combined with highest standards of stability and comfort. Last but not least, the reduced-friction wheel bearings, robust powertrain isolation and carefully targeted aerodynamics modifications at the rear axle also contribute to improved driving dynamics and efficiency.
Electromechanical steering increases agility and comfort. The driving enjoyment, agility and comfort are also down to an accurate steering system which always gives the driver precise feedback. The typical BMW rear-wheel-drive setup, which eliminates torque steer, provides the ideal basis for this.
The new BMW 3 Series is fitted with the electromechanical power steering system EPS (Electronic Power Steering), which uses an electric motor to provide steering assistance, with no concessions on the sporty steering characteristics for which this sedan is noted. EPS only operates when steering assistance is actually required: no electrical power is consumed during straightline driving or steady-state cornering.
That is what differentiates electromechanical steering from hydraulic systems, which use power and therefore fuel even when not providing steering assistance. Highlights of this system include not only high efficiency but also low weight, high steering precision with good feedback, and comfort-enhancing self-centering and anti-roll characteristics. The BMW 335i and 328i are both equipped as standard with the Servotronic function for speed-sensitive power assistance.
Optional Variable Sports Steering. Optionally a new variable-ratio steering system can be specified. Variable Sports Steering provides different steering gear ratios depending on the angle of the steering wheel, so that the new BMW 3 Series responds either more directly or more softly to the driver’s inputs.
This reduces the number of steering wheel rotations required for bigger turns by up to 25 per cent and makes for easier, more convenient parking and turning since less effort is required from the driver. Also, the handling is sharper in general, for example when very sudden evasive action is called for.
At smaller steering angles between zero and 100 degrees, on the other hand, the Sedan provides high standards of track-holding and straightline stability, and offers very precise response to steering changes. The variable-ratio steering is a purely mechanical system based on a variable-ratio steering rack.
Wheels and tyres. The new BMW 3 Series Sedans are factory-fitted with attractively styled, high-quality alloy wheels. The BMW 335i and BMW 328i run on 17-inch Star-spoke wheels carrying 225/50 R17 tyres.
The BMW 320d and BMW 320d EfficientDynamics Edition diesel models ride on 16-inch V-spoke or Streamline-style alloy wheels and 205/60 R16 tyres. The rolling resistance of the tyres in the basic sizes quoted above has been reduced yet again – this time by approximately 15 per cent, while still maintaining the customary high BMW standards of driving dynamics.
Model versions of the new BMW 3 Series fitted with 17-inch – or larger – wheels are supplied as standard with run-flat safety tyres and the Tyre Puncture Warning System (TPWS).
This solution provides additional convenience and safety benefits. Should a puncture occur, there is no need for a roadside repair or tyre change. What’s more, the warning system informs the driver of any loss of tyre pressure, so he can usually take precautions to avoid being stranded.
Even if a tyre becomes fully deflated, the vehicle maintains directional stability and can continue to be driven on the run-flat tyre at an appropriate speed. A further advantage of this system is that a spare tyre and a jack can be dispensed with, thereby saving weight and creating more boot space. Vehicles which do not have run-flat safety tyres are equipped as standard with the BMW Mobility Set, including an air compressor, tyre sealant and other breakdown accessories.
High-performance lightweight brake system. The dynamic performance of the sports sedan calls for a larger brake system, and the new BMW 3 Series thus uses lightweight sliding-calliper brakes with large vented discs. The aluminium front callipers bring a further reduction in unsprung masses.
This extremely high-performance system also features outstanding heat tolerance, excellent wet braking performance, easy operation and precise control. Together with the large wheels and high-grip wide tyres, it provides the sports sedan with highly effective deceleration. A brake pad wear indicator and brake drying function are standard on all models.
The brake system is further supported by various state-of-the-art electronic safety systems, which are integrated into the Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) system for improved driving dynamics and safety.
The DSC system incorporates the following functions: Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Automatic Stability Control (ASC), Dynamic Traction Control (DTC), Dynamic Brake Control (DBC) and Cornering Brake Control (CBC), along with start-off assist, brake drying and an electronic limited slip function for the rear differential, which can be activated using the “DSC Off” button.
Optional M Sport brake For performance-minded customers, BMW can alternatively offer the M Sport brake, which combines high performance standards with sporty styling. Aluminium four-piston fixed callipers at the front and two-piston fixed callipers at the rear, and large brake discs, combine extremely low weight with very short stopping distances.
Driving Experience Control switch with ECO PRO mode: extra-sporty, more relaxed or more fuel-efficient driving modes – at the press of a button. Drivers are able to vary the overall character of the sedan depending on the driving situation or to suit their personal preferences. As well as sportier or more comfortable drive settings, they can also opt for extra fuel efficiency.
The different modes are selected using the new Driving Experience Control function including ECO PRO mode, which is standard specification on all models.
Using the Driving Experience Control switch, the driver is able to customise accelerator response characteristics, engine response, the power steering characteristics and the Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) thresholds.
If fitted, the Servotronic function, the automatic transmission and Dynamic Damper Control are integrated into the system too. Using the simple-to-operate rocker switch on the centre console, drivers can choose between ECO PRO, COMFORT, SPORT and SPORT+ modes. Each of these predefined set-ups activates different settings for the relevant powertrain and suspension components.
In SPORT mode, for example, throttle response is even faster and the steering becomes even more direct. On vehicles with automatic transmission, the shift points are altered to provide a significantly sportier drive. Depending on vehicle specification, it is also possible to choose at one and the same time a sporty setting for powertrain components and a comfortable setting for suspension components – and vice versa.
If the Professional navigation system is fitted, two gauges in a dynamics display on the instrument panel inform the driver how much power and torque are being used in the current driving situation.
A further button allows the driver to change the DSC settings. Selecting TRACTION mode, for example, makes it much easier to start off on loose surfaces or in deep snow. In this mode as well as in SPORT+ mode, the Dynamic Stability Control thresholds are raised and Dynamic Traction Control (DTC) is activated. It is also possible to shut off DSC altogether. The electronic limited-slip function for the rear differential can then provide extra-sporty acceleration out of corners or hairpins.
The new ECO PRO mode, meanwhile, supports an extra-efficient and economy-conscious driving style. It does this by changing the accelerator mapping so that the same pedal travel delivers less power than in the standard mode.
Also in this mode, the Optimum Shift Indicator for manual models, and the transmission control strategy for automatic models, are modified so as to bring forward upshifts and to delay downshifts, while intelligent energy and climate management reduces the mechanical power consumption and also the consumption of electrical systems such as heated mirrors and seats. But the biggest factor influencing fuel consumption figures are the driver’s own personal driving habits.
That is why, with reference to the specific driving situation, electronic systems provide tips and incentives on how to develop a more economy-conscious driving style. Special displays in the instrument cluster let the driver know by how much the driving range is being extended and indicate his fuel consumption history. ECO PRO mode allows average fuel consumption to be reduced by up to 20 per cent, with a corresponding increase in driving range.
Dynamic options: M Sport package, Adaptive M Sport suspension, sports automatic transmission and BMW 3 Series xDrive.
Enthusiasts will welcome the further features that are available to enhance the dynamic driving qualities of the new BMW 3 Series and give them a distinctive visual dimension as well. The M Sport package is designed for this very purpose and has been developed specifically for this model series.
It includes the lowered M Sport suspension, featuring a 10 millimetre (0.4 in.) drop in ride height, which works with firmer suspension and damping as well as harder anti-roll bars. Also featured are 18 or 19-inch M alloy wheels.
The luxurious package is completed by an M aerodynamics package featuring special body parts, and by chrome tailpipes, exclusive exterior paintwork and interior trim to match. The M aerodynamics package and M Sport suspension can also be specified separately.
Also optionally available for the new BMW 3 Series is an Adaptive M Sport suspension with electronically controlled damping. Based on incoming information about body and wheel acceleration, lateral and longitudinal acceleration, vehicle speed and steering wheel position, an electronic control unit adapts the damper mapping to the road surface and driving situation. At the same time the driver can use the Driving Experience Control switch to vary the basic suspension characteristics between more comfortable or sportier settings.
An eight-speed sports automatic suspension with faster shift times and sporty steering wheel-mounted paddle shifts is also available as an option.
The new BMW 3 Series will soon provide even more variety and become even more attractive with the introduction of BMW xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive. In addition to the typical benefits of all-wheel drive, the electronically controlled BMW xDrive system – which can vary the driver power split between the front and rear wheels with split-second speed – ensures top-class traction, safety and handling, and optimal power management whatever the weather and road conditions.
The system has been recalibrated for greater agility and precision, with benefits also for cornering. In this new version it offers an ideal combination of dynamism and comfort, and is the ideal basis for maximum driving enjoyment. The BMW 335i xDrive, BMW 328i xDrive, BMW 320i xDrive and BMW 320d xDrive all-wheel-drive models will go on sale in summer