Body and safety The safest BMW 3 Series yet







Published by Gerald Ferreira Date: November 17, 2011
Categories: BMW, BMW 3 Series

The new BMW 3 Series offers its passengers exceptional active and passive safety. Judicious selection of materials, a high-strength structure and an intelligent lightweight design concept allow the body to meet the most exacting standards, and it teams up with highly efficient restraint systems to provide maximum occupant protection.

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At the same time, the lightweight construction of the new BMW 3 Series makes a significant contribution to the efficiency and agility of the new sports sedan. In addition, an extensive package of active safety components help the driver to avoid accidents or, if a collision is unavoidable, to minimise its consequences.

The same goes for the optimised pedestrian protection systems. All in all, the flawlessly assembled overall concept of the new BMW 3 Series makes it an incredibly impressive proposition – not least in terms of safety.

High-strength body structure with extremely stiff passenger cell. The body of the new BMW 3 Series Sedan meets the highest standards across the board. Large and extremely durable supporting structures and the intelligent use of high and ultra-high-tensile multi-phase steels maximise the strength of the safety passenger cell, while keeping weight low.

Precisely calculated load paths ensure that impact energy is spread around the passenger cell to other areas of the body such as the floor structure, side members, front bulkhead and roof, and absorbed by defined deformation zones of the front and rear.

In the event of a side-on collision, reinforced structures in the B-pillar and sills, high-strength side impact members in the doors and sturdy seat cross-members protect the occupants from injury.

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With its strengthened pillars and roof members, the passenger cell also provides a secure survival area for the occupants if the car rolls over. The body of the new BMW 3 Series Sedan is over 10 per cent more rigid again than its predecessor – good news for drivers who like to see vibrations suppressed and steering precision nurtured.

Individual protection at every seat. The exemplary crash responses of the new BMW 3 Series Sedan body also provide the best possible basis for the optimum design and set-up of the car’s restraint systems. The sports sedan is equipped as standard with front and side airbags for the driver and front passenger, plus head airbags for both rows of

Body and safety: The safest BMW 3 Series yet.
seats. In European models the front airbags have two-stage deployment. Responding to the nature and severity of the impact, the integrated safety electronics ensure that only those airbags that are able to provide effective protection are deployed at the optimum time. Those airbags that are not required remain unused – and therefore ready to spring into action should there be a second collision.

All seats are fitted with three-point inertia-reel seat belts, and the driver and front passenger also have belt latch tensioners and belt force limiters. Also part of standard specification are ISOFIX child seat attachment points for the rear seats.

Improved pedestrian protection. The front of the new BMW 3 Series features various pedestrian protection systems. An impact absorber is located between the bumper supports and bumper trim, reducing leg injuries, while the bonnet is built to include deformation elements, which absorb impact energy. These optimised measures help to reduce the risk of injury and mitigate the consequences of an accident.

A host of active safety systems reduce the risk of accidents. A selection of electronic assistance systems make an active contribution to driving safety in the new BMW 3 Series, helping drivers to avoid collisions in the first place. The functions of the main assistance systems have already been described in the “BMW ConnectedDrive” chapter, but the stand-out features include the Active Protection occupant protection system, daytime running lights, Adaptive Headlights with variable light distribution and anti-dazzle High-Beam Assistant, dynamic brake lights, a rear view camera, the Lane Departure Warning System including Collision Warning, the Lane Change Warning System with No Passing Info, and Speed Limit Info.