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BMW's new 3-Series sedan released (copyright image) (copyright image)

BMW 3 Series Sedan Australian Pricing*:

  • BMW 318d - $56,400*
  • BMW 320i - $57,600*
  • BMW 320d - $60,900*
  • BMW 328i - $66,900*
  • BMW 335i - $91,900*

Trim/Equipment options

  • BMW 318d – Modern Line - $3,900*, Sport/Luxury Line - $4,900*
  • BMW 320i/d - Modern Line - $3,100*, Sport/Luxury Line - $4,100*
  • BMW 328i/335i – Modern Line - $1,000*, Sport/Luxury Line - $2,000*

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4th March, 2012

  • New 6th generation 3 Series Sedan is lighter and larger with more interior space
  • All engines feature TwinPower Turbo technology
  • Eight-speed automatic transmission with Auto Stop/Start fitted as standard
  • Three distinct trim and equipment options: Sport Line, Modern Line, Luxury Line
  • Three models including 335i, new 328i and 320d now on sale
  • Entry level 318d and 320i available to order from March production

BMW has improved the competitiveness of the 3-Series sedans with the launch of the new 6th generation models.

The new lighter, larger 3 Series Sedan offers a new sporting design aesthetic, an all TwinPower Turbo line-up of powerful and fuel efficient petrol and diesel engines, improved driving dynamics and a vast array of technology at lower prices than its predecessor.

Since it made its debut in 1975, more than 12 million customers around the world have taken ownership of a BMW 3 Series, and now with the launch of the new generation 3 Series Sedan, its appeal to customers in Australia and across the globe is likely to continue.

BMW Group Australia Managing Director, Phil Horton said that as a core model in the BMW range, this latest 3 Series Sedan sets a new benchmark for their mid-sized model.

“Australian customers have always appreciated the style, luxury features, advanced technology and sporty driving dynamics of the BMW 3 Series Sedan but with the vast improvements made to the new generation, BMW has made the car even more appealing,” Mr Horton said.

“With substantial increases in power and torque with reduced fuel consumption from the all TwinPower Turbo powertrain line-up, more interior space and advanced ConnectedDrive technologies, the new BMW 3 Series Sedan offers a superlative combination of performance, efficiency, luxury and driving enjoyment.”

“At the same time, the increase in features and sharp pricing that includes a new entry point of $56,400* for the all-new 318d, makes the new generation 3 Series Sedan outstanding value for money.”

The new BMW 3 Series Sedan is on sale through BMW dealerships across the country, initially launching with a three-model line-up including the range-topping 335i, the all-new 328i and the 320d. Customers also have a choice of two entry-level models, the 320i and new 318d, that will be available to order with production commencing in March.

With its sleek new front end design that reinterprets the BMW trademark kidney grille and twin round headlights, and a longer more aerodynamic body emphasising the distinctive swept back wedge shape, the new 3 Series Sedan offers a dynamic and elegant presence on the road.

A 50 mm longer wheelbase, wider track (front + 37 mm, rear + 47 mm) and increase in overall length of 93 mm, provide the new 3 Series Sedan with more interior space, especially in the rear where improved functionality includes a 40/20/40 split folding rear seat back with folding rear head restraints.

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Inside, the athletic and sporty design theme continues with the driver-oriented cockpit design, swept back dash and new integrated freestanding 6.5 inch or 8.8 inch colour monitor to display all iDrive functions delivering a user-friendly and ergonomic driving environment.

The new BMW 3 Series Sedan range offers a choice of three petrol and two diesel engines that all feature advanced TwinPower Turbo technology for improved performance and an array of EfficientDynamics features including standard Auto Stop/Start to reduce fuel consumption to class-leading levels.

Headlining the range is the six-cylinder 225 kW/400 Nm TwinPower Turbo 335i that benefits from a substantial 17 per cent improvement in fuel economy.

The 328i is one of two models that feature a new 2.0-litre four-cylinder TwinPower Turbo engine. Replacing the previous 325i’s six-cylinder engine, this new powerplant delivers substantially more power and torque with maximum outputs of 180 kW/350 Nm while reducing fuel consumption by 30 per cent to 6.3l/100km.

The third petrol engine in the range that drives the 320i is a lower output version of the TwinPower Turbo four-cylinder unit that generates a maximum power and torque of 135 kW/270 Nm. Again, this is an increase compared to the previous generation 320i and with a combined cycle fuel consumption figure of 6.0 l/100 km, it ensures the 320i enjoys a good position in its market segment.

As the fuel efficiency leaders in the range, the two four-cylinder TwinPower Turbo diesel models, 320d and the new 318d, both provide good fuel consumption along with plenty of performance. The maximum outputs for the 320d remain the same as the previous model at 135 kW/380 Nm with a reduction in fuel consumption to 4.5 l/100 km. The new price-leading 318d shares the same frugal fuel consumption figure while offering a power output of 105 kW and maximum 320 Nm of torque.

In a first for the class, BMW has introduced an eight-speed automatic transmission as standard across the range with all but the entry-level 318d featuring a Sports Automatic with steering wheel mounted paddle-shifters. Combined with other BMW EfficientDynamics technologies including the standard Auto Stop/Start and Brake Energy Regeneration, the new 3 Series Sedan sees the introduction of an ECO PRO mode for the new Driving Experience Control to further improve driving efficiency. (copyright image)
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The new Driving Experience Control enhances the 3 Series Sedan’s ability to deliver the ultimate in driving enjoyment with a four-mode adjustment (318d three-mode) – Comfort, Sport, Sport+ and ECO PRO - for powertrain, steering, throttle and DSC settings to deliver a range of driving experiences from a comfortable and highly economical cruise mode to a sporty dynamic drive for the enthusiast.

Safety is a priority in new BMW vehicles and for the new 3 Series Sedan BMW introduces a new Active Protection system that initiates a range of protective measures if an accident is imminent. In addition to this, all models are fitted standard with six airbags, and Dynamic Stability Control that includes ABS, Brake Assistant, Cornering Brake Control and Dynamic Traction Control.

Standard comfort and luxury features across the range include dual-zone climate control, cruise control with brake function, electric front seats with memory function (except 318d), power-operated windows and exterior mirrors, keyless engine start/stop, remote locking with boot open button, Multifunction steering wheel, automatic lights and windscreen wipers, front and rear Park Distance Control (318d rear only), Bluetooth connectivity for hands-free mobile phone use with compatible devices, and MP3 compatible CD audio systems with Auxiliary and USB inputs.

BMW 3 Series Sedan Australian Pricing*:

  • BMW 318d - $56,400*
  • BMW 320i - $57,600*
  • BMW 320d - $60,900*
  • BMW 328i - $66,900*
  • BMW 335i - $91,900*

Trim/Equipment options

  • BMW 318d – Modern Line - $3,900*, Sport/Luxury Line - $4,900*
  • BMW 320i/d - Modern Line - $3,100*, Sport/Luxury Line - $4,100*
  • BMW 328i/335i – Modern Line - $1,000*, Sport/Luxury Line - $2,000*

Exterior design: Sleek stylish form meets practical function

BMW’s design philosophy has always ensured a harmonious integration of form and function and with the new 3 Series Sedan offering enhanced levels of performance and driving dynamics it follows that the car displays a more sporting appearance.

At the front, the new BMW face incorporates a wide squat interpretation of the upright, slightly forward-slanting BMW kidney grille to emphasise the solid stance of the new 3 Series Sedan.

Below the iconic grille, two large lower air intakes and small vertical intakes beneath the distinctive twin round headlights help provide an “Air Curtain” to improve air flow around the front wheels, thereby enhancing aerodynamic efficiency and reducing fuel consumption at higher speeds.

As the excellent drag coefficient (cd = 0.26) suggests, the aerodynamics of the new BMW 3 Series Sedan have been intensively honed in a wind tunnel.

The flanks of the car are shaped by an eye-catching “double swage line” made up of two character lines running alongside each other that highlight the dynamic wedge shape and accentuate its sporting silhouette. Stylish light alloy wheels fill the wheel arches with the 335i featuring large 18-inch rims, the 328i, 320i and 320d using 17-inch wheels and the 318d sitting on 16-inch alloys.

The strong horizontal lines of the rear – including rear lights in customary BMW L-shaped design positioned at the outer edges of the back end – further reinforce the wide track and solid ground hugging stance of the new BMW 3 Series Sedan.

Providing a broad choice of colour is a palette of Alpine White or Black non-metallic and nine metallic paint colours.

Interior design: driver focussed elegance and increased passenger space

Following its lead from the exterior, the interior design of the new BMW 3 Series Sedan offers an elegant and sporty environment for the driver and up to four passengers.

To enhance driver enjoyment and control, the cockpit is angled towards the driver by seven degrees to ensure all important controls are ergonomically positioned and the four circular dials (fuel gauge, speedometer, rev counter and oil temperature gauge) on the instrument panel are easily visible.

The placement of the new freestanding full colour hi-resolution 6.5-inch or 8.8-inch monitor integrated into the top of the smooth flowing dash also improves visibility for all iDrive operations including information, entertainment, communication and navigation functions.

Below the new monitor on the centre stack are the familiar favourites buttons and controls for the dual zone climate control with the iDrive controller falling easily to hand on the centre console.

With its increased dimensions the new BMW 3 Series Sedan offers improved interior accommodation, particularly for rear passengers where the extra space has resulted in 15 mm more kneeroom and 8 mm more headroom and larger door apertures for easier entry and exit.

Boot space has also been increased by 20 litres to 480 litres with the new standard 40/20/40 split rear seat back offering further flexibility to carry longer or larger items. Other internal storage has also been increased with the larger front door bins now capable of securely holding up to 1-litre drink bottles.

BMW prides itself on the quality materials and fit and finish of its cars and the new 3 Series Sedan continues that with the 335i and 328i finished in standard Dakota leather in either beige or black.

The other 3 Series Sedan models feature the same colour options in a Sensatec man-made leather-like trim, which BMW refer to as leather for reasons best known to themselves.

While the standard trim ensures all 3 Series models engender a luxurious ambience, customers are also able to specify a range of trim and equipment options that are grouped into three characteristic Lines – Sport Line, Modern Line and Luxury Line - that are all denoted in lettering in the front door sills.

Among the highlights of the Sport Line are sports seats, a red and black colour theme that includes black exterior accents such as the grille slats and B-pillars, and striking double spoke alloy wheels. Inside, combinations of black and red leather upholstery and trim details further the theme while the black key fob features red highlights.

The Modern Line suggests a contemporary style with V-spoke 17-inch or Turbine 18-inch alloy rims, satinated aluminium trim highlights and an interior colour scheme in Oyster and Pearl Gloss Chrome.

The new 3 Series Sedans that are optioned with the Luxury Line are denoted by their Multispoke wheels, high gloss chrome accents inside and out and leather upholstery in Saddle Brown, Veneto Beige or Black all with Exclusive stitching. Interior trim finishes include Fineline Anthracite wood and Pearl Gloss Chrome.

There is also a range of other options that are tailored to each of the individual Lines to enable customers to further personalise their new 3 Series Sedan.

Powertrain: TwinPower Turbo delivers outstanding performance and efficiency

For first time the BMW 3 Series Sedan features an all-turbo line-up of engines that deliver not only improved power and performance but reduced fuel consumption also comes into the picture.

The petrol engines that include the 3.0-litre straight six-cylinder unit in the 335i and the new 2.0-litre four-cylinder engines that power the 328i and 320i feature technology including High Precision Direct Petrol Injection, twin-scroll turbocharging, Double-Vanos variable camshaft timing and VALVETRONIC variable valve timing.

While the 335i maintains the same power and torque outputs of its predecessor, fuel efficiency has been improved with fuel consumption reduced by 1.5 l/100 km to 7.2 l/100 km with a corresponding fall in CO2 emissions of 33 g/km to 169 g/km. At the same time with the new model being lighter and more efficient, BMW has shaved 0.3 seconds off the 335i’s 0-100 km/h time with the car able to cover the sprint in 5.5 seconds.

The big news however is the introduction of the new 2.0-litre four-cylinder TwinPower Turbo engine family that powers the 328i and 320i. For the 328i, compared to its six-cylinder 325i predecessor, power and torque are increased by 20 kW and 100 Nm to 180 kW/350 Nm; fuel consumption and emissions have been cut by 2.0 l/100 km to 6.3 l/100 km and 47 g/km to 147 g/km respectively; while the car is 1.6 seconds quicker to 100 km/h with a time of 6.1 seconds.

In the 320i, this new hi-tech engine offers an equally impressive improvement over its predecessor in all areas with power and torque increased by 20 kW and 70 Nm to 135 kW/270 Nm; fuel consumption has been cut by 21 per cent to 6.0 l/100 km and CO2 emissions reduced by 35 g/km to 141 g/km; while trimming 2.2 seconds off the 0-100 km/h time of 7.6 seconds.

The new-generation BMW 3 Series Sedan is also offered with a choice of two diesel engines that are both based on the 2.0-litre TwinPower Turbo four-cylinder diesel engine of its predecessor, which has been honed for greater efficiency with no reduction in power output. This torquey powerplant with a 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 reduced fuel consumption and emissions.

In the 320d, the engine maintains its predecessor’s maximum outputs of 135 kW and 380 Nm with fuel consumption reduced by 16 per cent to just 4.5 l/100 km and CO2 cut by 22 g/km to 118 g/km ensuring it remains the most fuel efficient and powerful in its class.

The all-new BMW 318d offers the same minimal fuel consumption and emissions with plenty of performance with peak power and torque figures of 105 kW and 320 Nm.

Helping to achieve such substantial improvements in efficiency across the range has been the fitment of an 8-speed automatic transmission as standard while BMW has also applied a number of innovative technologies that fall under its EfficientDynamics banner.

All models feature an Auto Start/Stop function as standard that automatically cuts the engine at traffic lights or in stationary traffic to save fuel.

Further fuel saving measures include Brake Energy Regeneration that ensures as far as possible, power for the vehicle electrical system is generated only during braking and overrun. The fitment of Electric Power Steering, that only draws power when assistance is required in cornering, also helps reduce fuel usage.

Further enhancing the EfficientDynamics features, the new BMW 3 Series sees the debut of an ECO PRO mode for the new Driving Experience Control system. ECO PRO mode modifies such things as throttle response and transmission shift points through its powertrain management as well as programming the heating and air conditioning, the optional heated seats and the exterior mirrors to operate at optimum efficiency, thereby enabling a reduction in fuel consumption by as much as 20 per cent.

Dynamics: Enhanced driving pleasure from precise control

The BMW 3 Series Sedan has always been renowned for its sporty driving characteristics and in the new 6th generation model, BMW has taken those to new levels with updated suspension componentry and the introduction of a new Driving Experience Control system.

With its precision-engineered chassis comprising the familiar all aluminium front double-joint spring strut axle and rear five-link suspension, the new BMW 3 Series Sedan builds off a proven formula, however further refinements, particularly at the rear, have improved both driving dynamics and ride comfort.

Extra-wide mounts and supports on the rear 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 comfortable suspension qualities of the new BMW 3 Series Sedan.

With its longer wheelbase and wider track, the new 3 Series Sedan delivers a more road-hugging stance than its predecessor. Its weight-optimised powertrain and lightweight body design result in a 50:50 axle load ratio ensuring maximum dynamism and agility is combined with superb stability.

An optional Adaptive M Suspension is also available that lowers the car by 10 mm and adds electronically controlled adaptive damping that adjusts for variable road surfaces and driving conditions.

BMW also offers an optional Variable Sports Steering system for the new 3 Series Sedan that varies steering gear ratios depending on driver input to further enhance driving pleasure.

In order to provide the perfect set up for driving conditions or customer desires, the 3 Series Sedan now features a new Driving Experience Control.

This system offers four modes of operation: Comfort, Sport, Sport+ and ECO PRO that are selected via a rocker switch on the centre console. Via this switch, the driver is able to select from a series of pre-defined set ups that customise accelerator response characteristics, engine response, automatic transmission response and shift points, the power steering characteristics and the Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) thresholds.

In standard guise, the entry-level BMW 318d gets a three-mode system with ECO PRO, Comfort and Sport settings but gains the fourth Sport+ setting if specified with the optional Sport Line, Adaptive M Suspension or Variable Sports Steering.

For any 3 Series Sedan model fitted with the optional Adaptive M Suspension, the Driving Experience Control system also acts on the adaptive dampers to vary suspension characteristics between more comfortable or sportier settings.

In addition to being able to adjust a range of components to suit driving style the new 3 Series Sedan also offers drivers the opportunity to fine tune the DSC settings. Selecting Traction mode for example raises the threshold of the DSC while activating the Dynamic Traction Control to assist with acceleration on loose or slippery surfaces. The DSC can also be switched off altogether with the electronic limited-slip function for the rear differential then able to provide extra-sporty acceleration out of corners.

ConnectedDrive: hi-tech systems for safety, infotainment and driver assistance

BMW ConnectedDrive offers an unmatched combination of driver assistance, safety, communication and convenience technologies for the new BMW 3 Series range.

On the safety front, a new Active Protection package is fitted as standard across the range. The system is automatically activated above speeds of 18 km/h and starts by gently tensioning the driver and front passenger seat belts. If the car enters a situation where a crash is likely the seat belts are further tightened and all windows and sunroof (if fitted) are automatically closed. In the event of a crash the system will also automatically brake the car beyond the initial impact for 1.5 seconds to reduce the likelihood of a second collision.

BMW ConnectedDrive also offers a range of optional safety-related technologies to help assist drivers and avoid any potential collisions including a new generation full colour head up display system. Key driving information is projected in sharp resolution onto the windscreen so it appears directly in the driver’s field of view.

Further safety options include a Lane Change Warning System and Lane Departure Warning System including Collision Warning that warns the driver of a possible collision during a lane change manoeuvre or if the car strays unintentionally out of its lane.

A series of discretely located cameras also offers the driver a rear view camera display that can now be incorporated with BMW’s Surround View system enabling an overhead bird’s-eye view of the car or Side View to provide safe and precise manoeuvres in tight spaces.

BMW ConnectedDrive also offers an array of optional driver assistance aids including BMW Parking Assistant that helps the driver to manoeuvre safely and comfortably into parking spaces positioned parallel to the direction of travel.

With its bright Halogen twin headlights, the new 3 Series Sedan offers superlative vision for night driving and to further aid drivers, BMW offers an optional High Beam Assist that automatically switches high beam on and off as conditions require.

For even greater night time vision, there is also the availability of Bi-Xenon headlights (standard on 335i) that can be further enhanced with the optional Adaptive Headlights with High Beam Assist to provide illumination that follows the course of the road, swivelling in line with the steering angle and the speed of the car.

BMW ConnectedDrive technologies extend into an ever-increasing high-level infotainment capability that enables the driver and passengers to make extensive use of external mobile phones and music players in a safe and integrated manner.

Bluetooth connectivity is standard on all new 3 Series Sedan models, allowing drivers to make and receive hands-free phone calls from compatible mobile devices. Should they contain music files, these devices can also be connected to the Radio BMW Professional unit that is standard in 318d, 320i and 320d models via either auxiliary or USB connections with the latter allowing integrated control for functions such as volume control and track selection. This quality six-speaker audio unit also incorporates an MP3 compatible CD drive.

The mid-range 328i features the same ConnectedDrive infotainment features but gains a Navigation System Business and a nine-speaker HiFi Loudspeaker System while the top of the range 335i is fully connected with standard Extended connectivity of Bluetooth/USB with Voice Control (optional for all other 3 Series models).

In conjunction with the 335i’s Harman/Kardon 16-speaker Surround Sound audio system and Navigation System Professional - with a 12GB hard disc storage for audio files - the enhanced Bluetooth connectivity offers a range of office, audio, internet and telephone functions through compatible devices.

Among the highlights are audio streaming with full display of album covers, and internet access when stationary with websites displayed on the 8.8-inch monitor. Enhanced telephony functions allow viewing of call lists and contact lists with associated images from your phone address book while office functions enable the transfer of calendar entries, text messages (SMS), tasks and notes from compatible smartphones. The extended Bluetooth office functions even allow passengers to display e-mails on the on-board monitor that can also be read out using the optional Text to Speech function.

For simple convenience, BMW ConnectedDrive also includes the optional Comfort Access system that has been further enhanced for the new 3 Series Sedan. In addition to providing keyless entry and locking, it also offers a new hands-free boot opening function - a first in the premium class. Standing behind the car with the key fob still in the pocket or hand bag, customers simply move their foot under the centre of the rear bumper and the boot automatically unlocks and swings open by spring force.

Safety: superior levels of active technology and occupant protection

With its high-strength structure and an intelligent lightweight design concept, the new BMW 3 Series Sedan meets the most exacting safety standards that together with highly efficient restraint systems provide maximum occupant protection.

The car’s dynamic handling and surefooted stability are aided by a number of passive and active systems to ensure the 3 Series Sedan remains among the many safe cars on today's road.

In addition to the 3 point seat belts for all five occupants, that feature belt tensioners and belt force limiters for the front seats, passive safety is assured with a complement of six airbags – driver and front passenger front and side airbags and full length head airbags for front and rear occupants.

Stopping power is provided by disc brakes at the front and rear that use lightweight sliding-callipers with large vented discs with an Anti-Lock Braking (ABS) system forming part of the comprehensive suite of features that make up the Dynamic Stability Control (DSC).

In addition to the ABS, this incorporates Automatic Stability Control (ASC), Dynamic Traction Control (DTC), Dynamic Brake Control (DBC) and Cornering Brake Control (CBC), along with start-off assist and brake drying functions.

BMW’s attention to safety extends beyond the 3 Series and its occupants as well with standard Dynamic Braking lights that flash alongside the hazard indicator under extreme braking.

The car also offers improved pedestrian protection that comes in the form of a number of features including an impact absorber located between the bumper supports and bumper trim to help reduce potential leg injuries, and a bonnet that incorporates deformation elements to absorb any impact energy.

BMW 3 Series Sedan: Performance Highlights

BMW 335i: In-line six-cylinder TwinPower Turbo petrol engine

  • Capacity: 2,979cc
  • Max output: 225 kW from 5,800 - 6,000 rpm
  • Max torque: 400 Nm from 1,200 - 5,000 rpm
  • Acceleration 0-100 km/h: 5.5s
  • Top speed: 250 km/h
  • Fuel consumption (to EU Comb Cycle): 7.2 l/100 km
  • CO2 emissions to EU standard: 169 g/km

BMW 328i: In-line four-cylinder TwinPower Turbo petrol engine

  • Capacity: 1,997cc
  • Max output: 180 kW from 5,000 - 6,500 rpm
  • Max torque: 350 Nm from 1,250 - 4,800 rpm
  • Acceleration 0-100km/h: 6.1s
  • Top speed: 250 km/h
  • Fuel consumption (to EU Comb Cycle): 6.3 l/100 km
  • CO2 emissions to EU standard: 147 g/km

BMW 320d: In-line four-cylinder TwinPower Turbo diesel engine

  • Capacity: 1,995 cc
  • Max output: 135 kW at 4,000 rpm
  • Max torque: 380 Nm from 1,750 - 2,750 rpm
  • Acceleration 0-100 km/h: 7.6s
  • Top speed: 230 km/h
  • Fuel consumption (to EU Comb Cycle): 4.5 l/100 km
  • CO2 emissions to EU standard: 118 g/km

BMW 320i: In-line four-cylinder TwinPower Turbo petrol engine

  • Capacity: 1,997 cc
  • Max output: 135 kW at 5,000 rpm
  • Max torque: 270 Nm from 1,250 - 4,500 rpm
  • Acceleration 0-100 km/h: 7.6s
  • Top speed: 233 km/h
  • Fuel consumption (to EU Comb Cycle): 6.0 l/100km
  • CO2 emissions to EU standard: 141g/km

BMW 318d: In-line four-cylinder TwinPower Turbo diesel engine

  • Capacity: 1,995 cc
  • Max output: 105 kW at 4,000 rpm
  • Max torque: 320 Nm from 1,750 - 2,500 rpm
  • Acceleration 0-100 km/h: 9.3s
  • Top speed: 210 km/h
  • Fuel consumption (to EU Comb Cycle): 4.5 l/100 km
  • CO2 emissions to EU standard: 118 g/km

NOTE: * Manufacturer's List Price (MLP) excludes dealer delivery fees and the numerous statutory charges (commonly known as on-road costs). Additionally, please note that all prices, fees and charges are subject to change without notice, as are the specifications.


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