The New BMW 3 Series Coupé
NEWS ON RADIO
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24th April, 2006
Individual style now comes in a new expression: the BMW 3 Series Coupé, offering a brand-new look.
And at the same time it significantly raises the standard of driving dynamics whilst the new BMW 3 Series Coupé is the model introducing a power unit making its debut in the world market: the first straight-six complete with a twin turbocharger, high-precision fuel injection, and an all-aluminium crankcase.
Through its supreme potential alone, this 225 kW power unit in the BMW 335i Coupé ensures a significant increase in torque and acceleration, while keeping fuel economy at the same level as before.
From September 2006, other variants of the new BMW 3 Series Coupé will be available in global markets. These include the BMW 330i Coupé (200 kW), the BMW 325i Coupé (160 kW), and the BMW 330d Coupé (170 kW) – all reflecting the principle of BMW Efficient Dynamics in every respect.
As an alternative to its six-speed manual gearbox, the BMW 3 Series Coupé will also be available with BMW’s new six-speed automatic transmission. Keeping gearshift times extremely short, the new automatic transmission ensures an even more spontaneous response, enhancing not only driving comfort, but also driving dynamics.
The unique position and character of BMW’s new two-door model is clearly recognisable from the start and is confirmed by each and every feature. Over and above the basic shape of the car and its individual lines, the design of the headlights, the structure and design of the rear lights, the interior and even the exterior mirrors were all specially created for the new Coupé.
Powerful design full of character to the last detail
The long wheelbase, the passenger cell moved far to the rear, as well as the low and sleek roof line merging gently into the rear all characterise the stretched and dynamic look of the entire vehicle.
Apart from the car’s proportions, the shoulder, character and sill lines highlight the optical effect of the car’s side view. Both the shoulder and character lines sit flush with the door handles and stretch all the way back to the rear end of the Coupé, no line being shortened or interrupted.
The sill line on the lower edge of the door also flows into the front and rear air dams, helping to give the new Coupé a particularly sleek and sporting look.
The combination of lines flowing into one another ensures a particularly dynamic impression. While the shoulder line moves from front to rear, conveying a touch of elegance together with the flat roof line, the character line follows a long and stretched arch all the way from the front wing to the rear lights. With the sill line, by contrast, moving up slightly to the rear in a slow and gentle curve, the distance between the character and sill lines becomes smaller around the rear wheel arches. Here, the powerful design of the guard wrapped around the wheel also serves to give the character line extra tension in both an upward and outward direction. This interplay of lines and surfaces ensures a striking, three-dimensional effect.
The front view again shows a significant distinction from the 3 Series Sedan and Touring, with the contours of the bonnet, together with the design of the front air dam and headlights, giving the new BMW 3 Series Coupé a particularly low and sporting look. The powerdome bulging above the drive unit is particularly dynamic in its contours, its lines following a powerful silhouette extending all the way from the A-pillars to the outside edges of the BMW kidney grille.
The kidney grille itself, the typical feature of every BMW, stands steeper than the surfaces surrounding it, interaction with the three-dimensional kidney frame providing a look of power and unique style.
The new BMW 3 Series Coupé comes as standard with new design bi-xenon headlights, with a further feature of the round headlight units being corona rings for daytime use.
Integrated into the rear of the car, the tail lights of the new 3 Series Coupe are split into two sections and extend into the rear lid, with the character lines at the side continuing all the way to the rear to join the light clusters.
Horizontal light rods with bright LED illumination give the car an unmistakable look at night, ensuring particular night design like the corona rings around the headlights. The entire rear view is characterised by horizontally flowing lines accentuating the wide track of the car and its flat, sporting look.
The designers’ objective was to give the new 3 Series Coupé a balanced and harmonious look. This is why the legendary “Hofmeister kick” at the bottom of the C-pillar now comes in a new design which extends to an even more distinctive angle into the shoulder line. The exterior mirrors have also been specially designed to blend harmoniously with the car’s overall design.
The individual style of the new 3 Series Coupé is also demonstrated by the choice of colours for the car’s body, with no less than six new paintworks available.
This emphasis on individual style, dynamic performance and exclusive class is continued inside the car. Horizontal lines dominating the surfaces on and around the instrument panel, as well as flowing surfaces along the centre console and side panels, give the interior a light but dynamic touch. The instrument panel is angled towards the driver, and the controls for air conditioning, audio and navigation systems are within easy reach from the front passenger’s seat. The surfaces on the side panels are characterised by a smooth swinging flow extending from the dashboard to the backrests on the two rear seats. The form and function of the centre console, in turn, are reflected by the storage compartment between the rear seats.
Straight-six power units entering new dimensions of performance.
The first impression the new BMW 3 Series Coupé gives is one of stylish elegance and powerful dynamics. And this impression is borne out by the car’s drivetrain with the straight-six power units fitted lengthwise at the front as per BMW tradition.
The new 3 Series Coupé is powered by the world’s first straight-six with twin turbo technology, incorporating high precision fuel injection, and an all-aluminium crankcase. BMW’s most powerful 3.0 litre straight six develops maximum output of 225 kW and generates peak torque of 400 Newton-metres for powerful acceleration at all times.
The combination of turbocharging and direct petrol fuel injection offers a dynamic driving experience. Featuring high-precision fuel injection, the engine for the first time, boasts a highly sophisticated and advanced direct fuel injection concept ensuring a significant reduction of fuel consumption, meeting the strict demands and standards applied by BMW.
A further advantage of turbocharging is that this is the most economical option to boost engine power and performance to a supreme standard. The turbocharged straight-six power unit weighs approximately 70 kilos less than an equally powerful 4.0 litre eight-cylinder engine. And lower weight means a significant advantage not only in fuel economy, but also in spreading the axle load on BMW’s straight-six models.
This new high-performance power unit gives the light, aerodynamically optimised Coupé outstanding acceleration and flexibility on the road, offering the driver an equally thrilling driving experience. The twin turbo power unit in the BMW 335i Coupé develops its superior power and performance much more spontaneously than a turbocharged engine of conventional design.
Thanks to their lower inertia, the two small turbochargers build up pressure much faster than a single, large turbocharger, thus eliminating even the slightest turbo “gap” while allowing the engine to rev to 7,000 rpm.
At the same time the new engine offers all the smoothness and refinement which has made BMW’s straight-six power units famous the world over. The impressive increase in power on the twin turbo engine versus the conventional normally aspirated six-cylinders comes without any significant increase in fuel consumption.
Featuring two turbochargers each supplying compressed air to three cylinders, the new turbocharged power unit delivers peak torque of 400 Newton-metres which comes smoothly and without delay, extending over a wide speed range from 1,300–5,000 rpm.
On the road, this superior power ensures outstanding supremacy. The BMW 335i Coupé accelerates from 0–100 km/h in just 5.5 seconds, with acceleration from 80–120 km/h in second-high gear in 6.2 seconds. This superior power and performance continues to a top speed of 250 km/h, where the car’s dynamism is limited by electronic speed management. Average fuel consumption under the EU standard is just 9.5 litres premium/100 kilometres or 29.7 mpg Imp, certainly a very moderate figure for an engine of this calibre.
This efficient increase in power and performance is attributable in particular to direct petrol injection, the high-precision fuel injection concept developed by BMW which ensures a measurable advantage in fuel economy in theory and in practice, without limiting the dynamic qualities of the engine in any way.
The main reason for this outstanding progress is the central position of the piezo fuel injector between the valves, the innovative injector opening up to the outside being able from this central position to spray fuel conically and consistently into the combustion chamber in the interest of smooth, overall coverage. This not allows only more precise dosage of the fuel/air mixture, but also provides a superior cooling effect for higher compression optimising the entire combustion process in its efficiency.
To enhance this efficiency to an even higher level, the turbochargers are made of a particularly heat-resistant material making them immune to high exhaust gas temperatures in the interest of a fuel-efficient combustion process particularly under full load. As a result, twin turbo technology in the BMW 335i Coupé offers significant progress in terms of both performance and fuel economy, advantages over a conventional turbocharged engine not only clearly measurable, but also easy to feel on the road.
The BMW 325i Coupé is fitted with the internationally acclaimed magnesium aluminium straight six engine. This features infinitely variable VALVETRONIC valve management, an electrically controlled coolant pump, and a fully controlled oil pump. In BMW tradition, the combination of all these innovations serves to optimise the car’s performance and all-round efficiency, with the power unit in the new BMW 325i Coupé developing maximum output of 160 kW and peak torque of 250 Newton-metres.
Top speed for the BMW 325i Coupé is 247 km/h, with acceleration to 100 km/h in 6.9 seconds. Offering an average fuel consumption of just 8.4 litres/100 kilometres, this new power unit also sets the benchmark in its class in terms of all-round fuel economy.
The new BMW 3 Series Coupé come as standard with a six-speed manual gearbox. On the road, this guarantees spontaneous and lasting, powerful acceleration as well as fuel consumption optimised also at high speeds.
As an option the new BMW 3 Series Coupé is available with an upgraded six-speed automatic transmission. The response time of the automatic transmission on the new BMW 3 Series Coupé is down by approximately 40 per cent compared with a conventional automatic transmission, with shift time being almost halved.
A further point is that the almost fully enclosed converter lock-up clutch, being directly connected to the engine, enhances the impression of particularly dynamic performance to an even higher standard. Should the driver wish to give the transmission an even more sporting and dynamic character, in turn, the driver is able to select the appropriate gear by means of paddles on the steering wheel. This ensures a very spontaneous and fast gearshift, since the driver is able to activate the paddles directly whenever the gear selector lever is in position D.
Chassis and suspension: where power becomes performance
The supremacy of the new BMW 3 Series Coupé is based on the car’s ability to combine truly outstanding engine and performance data with an equally exclusive and elegant look. And the objective set by BMW’s engineers in choosing the right chassis configuration again reflects this demanding standard, the agility offered by the new BMW 3 Series Coupé being quite unique even in this high-class segment.
This agility is enhanced to an even higher standard in the new 3 Series Coupé through the combination of the car’s significantly enhanced dynamic potential with the most sophisticated chassis control and assistance systems, efficiently providing for any situation in which the car might reach the limits of driving physics. In other words, the driver and passengers in a BMW 3 Series Coupé enjoy superior safety at all speeds.
Rear-wheel drive and a 50:50 front-to-rear weight distribution give the new BMW 3 Series Coupé ideal qualities for optimum driving dynamics at all times. This is also borne out by the high-tech suspension perfectly converting the power and performance of the engine into sheer driving pleasure on the road. Indeed, boasting a double-joint tiebar front axle with spring struts made almost entirely of aluminium in combination with a five-arm axle at the rear, the new BMW 3 Series Coupé has the currently most advanced and sophisticated wheel suspension in its class.
Reinforcement and support elements on the underfloor of the car serve to optimise the all-round stiffness of the body, interacting with the low centre of gravity and the specific set-up of the dampers to enhance the active driving character of the new Coupé.
Extra-precise rack-and-pinion steering absolutely free of any drive forces thanks to the transmission of power to the rear wheels ensures a high standard of directional stability and exact feedback on road conditions. This standard is enhanced to an even higher level by BMW’s innovative Active Steering specially tailored to the new 3 Series Coupé and available as an optional extra. Adjusting the steering transmission ratio, steering angle and power assistance to the speed of the car, Active Steering enables the driver to manoeuvre their BMW 3 Series Coupé with minimum effort when parking and keep the car precisely on track at high and very high speeds.
The high-performance brake system requiring 17-inch wheels to match the larger diameter of the brake discs ensures outstanding stopping power and deceleration with virtually no fading. Brake performance is further enhanced by the innovative functions of BMW’s DSC Dynamic Stability Control of the latest generation serving on the new 3 Series Coupé not only to mastermind ABS brake functions and ensure superior stability on surfaces with inadequate wheel grip by applying the brakes individually on the respective wheels, but also to perform new, additional functions. As an example, DSC now sets off even the slightest brake fading effect even at extremely high brake temperatures by increasing brake pressure according to current requirements. This ensures maximum brake power even under the toughest conditions, without requiring the driver to exert any higher pressure on the brake pedal or press down the pedal any further.
Pre-loading of the brake pads enhances brake standby in situations potentially requiring spontaneous, all-out deceleration. Regular Dry Braking, in turn, optimises brake performance in the wet, while DBC Dynamic Brake Control automatically maximises brake pressure whenever required.
The Soft Stop function brings the car smoothly to a halt when slowing down without the usual, final “jolt” when coming to a standstill, and the Start-Off Assistant prevents the car when setting off on an uphill gradient.
Yet another highlight of DSC Dynamic Stability Control is BMW’s CBC Cornering Brake Control preventing the car from oversteering when applying the brakes slightly in a bend.
Interacting with Active Steering, DSC keeps the car stable and well under control also when applying the brakes on surfaces varying in their frictional coefficient. So wherever the driver was formerly required to intervene manually, DSC now corrects the steering quickly and precisely for optimum control. BMW is the world’s first car maker to equip its cars with a continuous, ongoing brake pad wear indicator informing the driver of the current condition of the brake pads at all times.
Fully integrated ASC Automatic Stability Control optimises the car’s traction by controlling dry slip on rough, loose surfaces through application of the brakes on the drive wheels whenever necessary. Activation of DTC Dynamic Traction Control, in turn, raises the thresholds for intervention by the brakes, enabling the driver of a BMW 3 Series Coupé to set off smoothly on, say, loose snow with the drive wheels intentionally slightly spinning. A further benefit of DTC is that it promotes a sporting and active style of motoring by allowing slight, easily controllable slip on the drive wheels also on a dry surface, once activated. This enables the sporting and ambitious driver to enjoy all the benefits of a controlled drift in fast and sporting bends.
The driver also has the option to completely deactivate DSC in the new BMW 3 Series Coupé.
Ultra-modern body structure: lower weight, greater safety
The new BMW 3 Series Coupé is light, strong and stable, combining supreme agility with equally outstanding solidity.
Like low weight, a high standard of torsional body stiffness is also crucial to the car’s agility. In the event of a collision, the use of high-strength steel on the extra-large carrier structures, together with the pre-defined deformation zones, ensures effective absorption and, transfer of forces acting on the body of the car.
Reinforced B-pillars are a particular example of the high standard of development and excellence in design the new BMW 3 Series Coupé has to offer, with a tubular structure throughout the B-pillars featured for the first time to provide extra strength. This tubular reinforcement is made of ultra-strong steel in a warm-moulding process and is heat-treated while still in the mould. A further feature is that the reinforcement tube is variably contoured in its cross-section, exactly matching the space available. Together with the crash box precisely tailored to the loads actually acting on the body, this ensures maximum safety at all times.
The choice of materials and the arrangement of components at other points on the body also serve to optimise crash safety to an unprecedented standard, naturally taking the various properties of different types of steel and other materials into account. The space available for deformation on the new BMW 3 Series Coupé is therefore used in perfection in order to avoid even the slightest impairment of the passenger cell. In a head-on collision, for example, dynamic deformation areas at the front keep impact energy away from the bulkhead and, accordingly, from the car’s footwells. In the event of a side-on collision, in turn, the specially designed floor assembly ensures controlled transfer of forces acting on the car to the opposite side of the body.
The bulkhead support is made of innovative multi-phase steel offering truly outstanding strength and stability even on thin-gauge panels. Efficient interaction of the doors, the reinforced b-pillars, the seat structure and the instrument panel between the A-pillars serves likewise to maximise the stability of the side structure. The consequences of a collision from the rear, in turn, are minimised by longitudinal carrier bars, a wide range of reinforcement elements, as well as the extra-strong luggage compartment floor panel, rear panel and side walls. Stable pillars and crossbars protect the passenger area even in a rollover.
Efficient interaction of all deformation areas and carrier structures was carefully analysed from the start in developing the new BMW 3 Series Coupé both in virtual simulations and in real-life crash tests. And an additional point considered in this context was the minimisation of repairs after a slight collision.
Naturally, BMW’s safety engineers also sought from the start to fully maintain the passenger cell as a survival area even in the most severe crash impact. This is precisely why interacting, centrally masterminded restraint and support systems within the passenger compartment ensure individual occupant safety tailored to current requirements. The frontal, hip, thorax and curtain head airbags, belt latch tensioners and belt force limiters are activated by sensor-controlled electronic safety systems as a function of the type and severity of a collision. So that with its robust body enhanced by a wide range of active and passive safety elements, the new BMW 3 Series Coupé meets all requirements for optimum results in all crash tests relevant the world over.
Optimum visibility at night in the new BMW 3 Series Coupé is provided with the fitment of bi-xenon headlights as standard. As an option, these highly effective headlights may be further enhanced by adaptive headlight control for bends and winding roads, while light rods in the rear light clusters stand out distinctly for a significant improvement of safety in the dark.
Whether in the dark or during the day, two-stage brake lights make an important contribution in enabling motorists following from behind to recognise a dangerous situation well in advance. Whenever the driver applies the brakes particularly hard, and when the ABS function is activated, light intensity in the two-stage headlights is increased accordingly, prompting drivers following from behind to brake harder, too.
Individual and exclusive equipment
Buckling up in the new BMW 3 Series Coupé, both the driver and front passenger benefit from the newly developed belt feeder arm. The seat belt integrated in the B-pillar moved far to the rear in typical Coupé arrangement is automatically “delivered” to the driver and front passenger once they close the door and the transmitter key has been inserted in the shaft next to the steering wheel. As the belt delivery function is directly connected to the seat occupancy detector, the near-side belt delivery unit is only activated when the front passenger has actually taken their seat. And with the belt delivery unit being housed conveniently within the side panels, this new feed system does not impair the look of the interior.
Access to the two seats at the rear is facilitated by the front seat Comfort Access function. The lever for releasing the seat position is fitted in perfect ergonomic arrangement at the top on the outside of the backrest.
With the new BMW 3 Series Coupé being designed from the start as a four-seater, comfort in the rear seats is enhanced by the centre console comprising either individual storage boxes with a cover on top, an ashtray, additional air outlet vents, and footwell lights, depending on the driver’s personal preferences.
Offering ample capacity of 440 litres (430 litres on the BMW 335i Coupé), the luggage compartment sets a new standard in the Coupé segment. Large capacity is also offered by the folding storage boxes in the inner door linings, a further advantage of this feature to be seen for the first time in the new BMW 3 Series Coupé being absolute privacy, with all items carried inside the car remaining out of sight from outside the car.
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