BMW 1 Series Diesel


BMW 120d

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24th May, 2006

BMW Group Australia has introduced another diesel model to its range.

The 2.0-litre fitted in the 120d is the first four-cylinder diesel BMW has offered in Australia.

BMW Group Australia’s expansion of its diesel line-up has been the result the availability of low-sulphur diesel that blends perfectly with the BMW diesel engines together with the growth in demand for diesel power plants.

In Australia, the overall passenger diesel segment has grown significantly over the past few years with Audi, Peugeot and Volkswagen, in particular, doing very well with their highly regarded diesels. In 2004 1,885 diesel passenger cars were sold throughout Australia but in 2005 demand rocketed with around 6,800 diesel passenger vehicles sold, representing an increase of 260 percent in just one year.

Diesel technology boasts more advantages than just fuel efficiency.

With their immense pulling power and a well-balanced delivery, modern diesel engines play an important role in ensuring driving dynamics and comfort for the BMW driver.

BMW has made the most of the technological potential of this engine and optimised it for use in the BMW 1 Series.

Importantly too, the arrival of the 2.0-litre diesel power plant has been utilised with the overall driving dynamics of the 1 Series at the forefront of BMW thinking.

The arrangement of the longitudinally mounted engine with the centre of gravity behind the front axle makes a significant contribution towards achieving an ideal weight distribution.

The BMW 120d is available with a standard six-speed Steptronic automatic gearbox that allows fully automatic or sequential manual operation.


The BMW 120d is a true sporting diesel, in keeping with the demands of BMW owners.

The 2.0-litre diesel engine in the BMW 120d is synonymous with state-of-the-art engine design.

Featuring BMW’s second-generation Common-Rail technology as well as an exhaust gas turbocharger with variable turbine geometry, this outstanding four-cylinder is at the top of its class in terms of pure driving pleasure.

With a displacement of 1,995 cc, this engine develops 115 kW at 4,000 rpm with atorque output of 330 Nm produced at just 2,000 rpm.

The turbo-diesel endows the BMW 120d with an output utilisation of 57.5 kW per litre of displacement, proof of the technically advanced development of the engine.

Not surprisingly, this machine has no trouble producing the type of performance worthy of a sports car.

The BMW 120d will sprint to 100 km/h in 8.5 seconds and has a maximum top speed, where permitted, of 215 km/h.

Although outright speed is academic in most circumstances, the BMW 120d delivers an immense surge of power just above idle, allowing for quick point-to-point performance.

Such a low-down delivery of power and torque enables the BMW 120d to compete in the cut-and-thrust of every-day city traffic, or ensure relaxed highway driving.

State-of-the-art technology.

The exceptional power of the BMW 120d is delivered via a modified second-generation common rail system with a pressure of 1,600 bar. This high-tech system is mainly responsible for superior acceleration, excellent dynamics, and outstanding economy.

A common rail system facilitates fast fuel injection and vaporisation, directly resulting in increased performance and lower fuel consumption.

As fuel is injected up to four times during each cycle (double pilot injection, main injection and after-injection), an optimum balance between performance and acoustics is achieved. While the double pilot injection facilitates a smooth and more balanced combustion process, after-injection improves particle oxidation, thereby reducing toxic emissions.

Because of the higher compression, diesel engines are more efficient than petrol engines of the same size. An example of this is the much cooler temperature of the exhaust system on a diesel car as much less energy is lost in the compression process compared to a petrol engine.

The additional torque generated by the engine allows for a lower revving engine. In the case of the 4-cylinder diesel, it has comparable torque levels to a 6-cylinder petrol engine.

The diesel engine’s greater efficiency also means less harmful emissions. The latest generation diesels are friendlier to the environment as they produce less carbon dioxide emissions, hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide.

The diesel engine in the BMW 120d is also more heavily reinforced to handle the higher combustion pressures needed for ignition. This, coupled with lower engine speeds, makes the diesel more durable, with a potentially longer life.

The BMW 120d features a new generation of turbocharger with variable turbine geometry, electric adjustment, optimised blade geometry, intercooler technology and the use of ultra-rigid, lightweight material to further improve the effectiveness of the turbine and turbocharger compressor.

EU 4 (for diesel engines) compliance was further aided by the new-generation turbocharger, optimising exhaust gas recirculation, positioning the lambda probe in front of the catalytic converter and swirl valves in the intake unit

Combined cycle efficiency returns 6.6 L/100km, while highway touring will also further improve fuel consumption to just 5.5l/100 km. With a 51 litre fuel tank, this gives the BMW 120d a touring range of more than 900 kms.

The BMW 120d is a state-of-the-art power plant and excels due to its refined running smoothness. Electronic engine noise control and balancer shafts have reduced engine vibration to an absolute minimum.

So low are the diesel combustion noise levels that the driver and passengers have an impression that there is a conventional petrol engine under the bonnet.

The engine incorporates common rail injection with the following features:

  • Weight optimised crankcase.
  • Balance shafts in separate housing.
  • Oil pump flange mounted on the balance shaft housing.
  • Inlet and exhaust camshafts connected by spur gears.
  • More pressure-resistant piston with optimised piston crown bowls and brass bearings for piston pins.
  • Modified oil spray nozzles.
  • Glow system.
  • High pressure pump with 1,600 bar and flow regulating valve.

Quick off the mark: In all weather.

The quiet-running BMW 120d power plant is also barely noticeable at start up even when cold. The engine will start easily, even at 20˚C below zero, so the BMW will remain unperturbed by the Australian climate.

The quick-start glow plugs begin their work as soon as the driver opens the door, and do not wait until the starter button is pressed. The system incorporates six-volt glow plugs which are heated only at the tip to maximum temperature.

Thanks to the convenient start function, the starter button only needs to be pressed once to start the engine. The control of the starting procedure then continues automatically until the engine fires.

120d interior: All the comfort, luxury and safety of a BMW.

The BMW 120d seats five, offering high levels of comfort. With its split folding rear seats and a luggage compartment capacity expandable from 330 litres to 1,150 litres, depending on the rear seat position, the car is well equipped to cope with the demands of modern life.

Like the rest of the 1 Series range, the BMW 120d offers a remarkably high level of active and passive safety as well as a sophisticated suspension system.

The BMW 120d boasts an aluminium double-joint tension-rod axle at the front and a lightweight steel five-link rear suspension.

A host of driver aids are delivered via Automatic Stability Control and Traction (ASC+T) Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), Dynamic Traction Control (DTC), Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Dynamic Brake Control, (DBC), Cornering Brake Control (CBC) and Electronic Brake Force Distribution (EBD).

Features such as front fog lights, central locking with remote control, front arm rest, three-point seat belt for the third rear passenger including headrest, sports leather, multi-function steering wheel, automatic climate control with micro filter, on-board computer, outside temperature display, AM/FM radio with in-dash CD player and60/40 split fold rear seats are all standard.

Also standard are 17-inch “V” spoke BMW alloy wheels with safety tyres, rain-sensor including automatic headlight control, BMW sports seats including seat width adjustment, cruise control, Titanium Matt interior trim and storage compartment package which includes nets on the rear of the front seats, 12-volt socket in the luggage compartment, luggage compartment net, two lashing eyes and driver’s side roof grab handle.

The BMW 120d automatic is priced from $47,800 (RRP).

Other BMW news: here.

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