BMW has announced a raft of improvements and changes to the 3 Series range
that offer owners more power and torque with lower fuel consumption and
emissions. The class-leading BMW 3 Series Coupé and Convertible receive
design changes and interior enhancements intended to keep both models at the
forefront of their respective sectors.
The specifications included in
this article are UK specs.
The BMW 3 Series Coupé and Convertible
Coupé and Convertible models have been an essential ingredient in BMW’s
portfolio since the 1930s. It is a heritage based on contemporary style and
elegance with defining features such as a long wheelbase, short front and
rear overhangs, prominent wheel arches and an elongated, flowing silhouette.
The current models, the third generation 3 Series Coupé and fourth
generation Convertible (the first one to feature a retractable hardtop),
build on this tradition. Together they account for around one third of BMW 3
revised Coupé and Convertible feature new front and rear lights, a revised
kidney grille, a new front air dam, rear valance and side rocker panels. The
face of both models has been subtlety restyled by adding a twisted chrome
band around the kidneys, new lights with bright white LED corona rings,
indicators and side repeaters and an illuminated ‘eyebrow’. A new front air
dam with a single large air intake is embellished with matt aluminium fins
to give the car a wider and lower frontal appearance and, thus, a more
At the rear all red light clusters feature LED light
bars and the re-styled rear bumper visually reduces the perception of
height, again giving a more dynamic stance. In profile the cars are slightly
longer than the former model due to the new front and rear valances – by
29mm at the front and 3mm at the rear. Contrasting character lines on the
side valances and rear bumper enhance the sporting stance of both cars,
while new standard wheel designs (and a new optional 18-inch alloy) and
three new exterior colours, Vermillion Red, Deep Sea Blue and Mineral White,
put the finishing touches to the exterior. Inside, Dakota Leather is now
standard on all Coupé and Convertible models while new Anthracite Bamboo
trim offers a fresh, modern feel.
models get more powerful and efficient engines
The BMW 320d
Coupé and Convertible models feature a new version of the familiar and
parsimonious four-cylinder diesel engine – a unit that was already
class-leading before this update. It now delivers 184hp (up 7hp) and 380Nm
of torque (up 30Nm). In the case of the Coupé this has shortened the zero to
62mph sprint by 0.4 seconds to 7.5 seconds, while at the same time reducing
consumption by 1.2mpg to 60.1mpg and lowering emissions by 3g/km to 125g/km.
The values for the Convertible are zero to 62mph in 8.3 seconds, consumption
is 55.4mpg and emissions 135g/km. The BMW Coupé is capable of reaching a top
speed of 147mph with the Convertible attaining 142mph.
six-cylinder 325d versions of both cars reveal similar all round
improvements. Engine output is 7hp higher at 204hp, and torque is up from
400 to 430Nm enabling the Coupé to shave 0.4 seconds off its 2009 zero to 62
time, with it now arriving in just 6.9 seconds. While fuel consumption
remains the same at 49.6mpg, CO2 emissions are lower by 2g/km at 151g/km.
The equivalent Convertible values are zero to 62mph in 7.5 seconds, 46.3mpg
Nor has the flagship 335i derivative been ignored:
although power and torque remain the same at a hearty 306hp and 400Nm,
consumption and emissions have been significantly reduced. This has been
made possible on this award-winning engine by combining a single
turbocharger with VALVETRONIC variable valve management and High Precision
Direct Injection for the first time. For example, the Coupé’s fuel
consumption is eight per cent lower at 33.6mpg while CO2 output drops by
over ten per cent to 196g/km.
The BMW 335d Coupé has been refreshed
resulting in an improved fuel consumption figure and lower CO2 emissions. It
now records 42.8mpg on the combined cycle, an improvement of 0.6mpg, and
efficient BMW 3 Series ever goes on sale
The new BMW 320d
EfficientDynamics Saloon offers the strongest demonstration yet of the
success of the company’s pioneering EfficientDynamics programme. This new
model is, for the moment, the best example of the art of the possible, not
by using hybrid technology or electric power but by refining still further
the enduring internal combustion engine.
It is the cleanest, most
efficient BMW ever. At 109g/km it is the first premium car with CO2
emissions under 110g/km and manages to eke out 68.9mpg from a single gallon
of fuel on the combined cycle.
The revised engine produces 163hp and
380Nm of torque enabling the 320d EfficientDynamics Saloon to sprint to
62mph in 8.0 seconds, accelerate smoothly in fifth gear from 50 to 75 mph in
9.1 seconds and reach a top speed of 142mph. Peak torque is available from
1,900rpm ensuring flexibility where the driver needs it.
remarkable range of abilities displayed by the BMW 320d EfficientDynamics
Saloon is due not only to the full range of EfficientDynamics elements
already described, but also to some new technologies that take the concept
to a new level. It uses the same new all-aluminium 2.0-litre diesel engine
announced above with developments to minimize friction and improve
thermodynamics – resulting in more efficient motoring that is easy and
comfortable to achieve.
Diesel engines are most efficient at lower
engine speeds, but they suffer greater vibration at low revs. The challenge
for BMW’s engineers was to minimize engine noise and restore comfort to
allow drivers the use of lower revs. They achieved this by deploying
centrifugal pendulum absorbers within the two mass flywheel to compensate
for the rotational lack of balance at lower speeds. With this problem solved
they could now choose a longer final drive ratio and a gearshift indicator
that encourages earlier up-shifts. These technologies allow drivers to spend
a greater proportion of time in a higher gear and at a lower engine speed,
thereby lowering fuel consumption.
In addition, the chassis ride
height has been lowered by 15mm, unique 16-inch ‘aero’ wheels are standard
fitment and these are equipped with tyres with a lower rolling resistance,
all measures to improve aerodynamics and reduce drag.
moves the game on
It is interesting to reflect on just how far
diesel technology has come in a dozen years. Back in 1997 the zenith of the
diesel art was the BMW 325td Saloon, a car with 25 per cent more capacity
than today’s standard BMW 320d Saloon. The intervening years have made the
325td look sluggish and thirsty by comparison. Today’s standard 320d Saloon,
not the 320d EfficientDynamics Saloon variant, has 58 per cent more power,
71 per cent more torque, 36 per cent lower emissions and consumes 58 per
cent less diesel. At 7.5 seconds to 60mph it is also 4.5 seconds or 38 per
cent quicker. That is progress.
The full palette of EfficientDynamics
technology comprises Brake Energy Regeneration, Intelligent Alternator
Control, Electric Power Steering, Auto Start-Stop, Active Aerodynamics,
Optimum gearshift indicator, Low Rolling Resistance Tyres, low friction
fluids and lightweight engineering. They are available, in full or part,
across the entire range of BMW models and, unlike some manufacturers, they
are included as standard.
The new BMW 3 Series variants go on sale
throughout 2010, commencing in Europe this quarter. Australia will follow
later in 2010 with pricing and Australian specifications released closer to
the local launch date.