Woodcliff Lake, NJ – October 14, 2011 11:15 am EDT …With the announcement of the sixth generation BMW 3 Series Sedan, the benchmark by which all sport sedans are measured just got raised. The pioneering history of the 3 Series serves as inspiration for the new sports sedan, whose powerful styling represents a fresh interpretation and conscientious development of traditional BMW design cues. It will not only set new standards for performance and handling but also for luxury, technology and efficiency as well.
The all-new BMW 3 Series Sedan arrives in US showrooms in February 2012 as a 2012 model.
The new BMW face, with elongated headlights reaching along as far as the BMW kidney grille, emphasizes the new BMW 3 Series’ sense of width and strengthens its athletic overall profile. The sixth generation of the 3 Series has grown moderately in size compared to its predecessor, with its wide track (front + 37 mm/1.46 in., rear + 47 mm/1.85 in.) particularly prominent, and the car’s length (+ 93 mm/3.66 in.) and wheelbase (+ 50 mm/1.96 in.) also accentuates its sporting allure. Inside the new BMW 3 Series Sedan, the rear passengers will appreciate the noticeable increase in space made possible by the larger dimensions. And the BMW 3 Series range is now also available in a trio of trim and equipment variants – the Sport Line, Luxury Line and Modern Line. Each presents its own individual take on the character of the sports sedan, with exclusive, high-quality material combinations and unbeatable build quality underlining the premium ambience of the new range.
Drive and chassis technology have always been key areas of expertise for the brand, and agility and driving dynamics remain outstanding attributes of the new BMW 3 Series Sedan. The new car belies its larger dimensions with an equipment equalized curb weight 88 lb (40 kilograms) below that of its predecessor.
A choice of two muscular, refined and efficient engines – which both feature new BMW TwinPower Turbo technology – will be available for the new BMW 3 Series Sedan in the US market. In addition to the already successful 6-cylinder N55 engine powering the 335i, customers can also opt for the new turbocharged 4-cylinder (N20) variant in the BMW 328i. This latest-generation engine, initially introduced in the 2012 Z4 sDrive28i, rewards the driver with both a dynamic driving experience and significantly reduced fuel consumption.
The innovative 8-speed automatic gearbox – which is a first in the segment – opens up a whole new level of driving experience. It can be specified in combination with either the 328i or the 335i and includes the new Auto Start-Stop function. Compact and exceptionally efficient, it allows the new BMW 3 Series to match or outperform models fitted with the standard six-speed manual gearbox in terms of fuel economy. The new 8-speed automatic brings together shift comfort, dynamic performance and efficiency of the highest order, making it the perfect partner for the new sedan’s dynamic potential.
As components of the BMW EfficientDynamics technology line-up, the Auto Start-Stop function, Brake Energy Regeneration, and need-based operation of ancillary components (including an on-demand air conditioning compressor) also play their part in reducing fuel consumption. Added to which, the new Driving Dynamics Control switch, which allows the driver to choose between Comfort, Sport, Sport + and ECO PRO mode, gives both models the potential to further improve these figures. This ECOPRO mode helps drivers maximize fuel economy through their driving style, thereby enabling them to increase the distance they can travel between visits to the pumps. BMW will add another cutting-edge engine to the line-up in 2012, when the BMW ActiveHybrid 3 will premiere.
BMW ConnectedDrive offers an unmatched combination of available driver assistance technology and mobility systems for the new BMW 3 Series range. A new arrival in the premium mid-size segment is the latest-generation full-color Head-Up Display, which projects key information – in sharp resolution – onto the windshield so it appears directly in the driver’s field of view. Also available is Surround View with Side View and Top View, which gives a bird’s-eye perspective of the vehicle and the area around it. In addition, an available Parking Assistant system helps the driver to parallel park. Among the other assistance technology available under the BMW ConnectedDrive banner are the Active Blind Spot Detection System and Lane Departure Warning System with camera-based Collision Warning system, which are offered for the first time in a BMW 3 Series. A Navigation System with Real-Time Traffic Information (RTTI) and an innovative comfort access function allowing hands-free opening of the trunk lid are all included on the options list.
All in all, the innovative body structure and intelligent lightweight design concept of the new BMW 3 Series Sedan ensure that it is now larger and safer, but – depending on the engine specified – also lighter. The dynamic proportions and athletic overall impression of the new 3 Series bring the sporting character of this hugely successful model into even sharper focus.
The BMW 3 Series Sedan is an iconic figure in the sports sedan segment and over the years has come to symbolize the aesthetic appeal, dynamics and sporting capability of BMW. With its dynamic lines and athletic overall presence, the sixth generation of the world’s best-selling premium vehicle highlights the sporting character of the brand’s mid-size model. Although the new BMW 3 Series has grown moderately in all dimensions compared to its predecessor, it retains a perfect balance of sportiness and elegance. As in previous generations, the sedan’s dynamic proportions are shaped by the sweeping hood, short front overhang, long wheelbase and set-back greenhouse typical of BMW.
The wedge shape of the new 3 Series’ silhouette and its wider track underline the sporting appearance of the new BMW. By clearly accentuating the width of the car, the multi-faceted surfaces of the expressive front fascia give the BMW 3 Series a more athletic face than ever. A wide, squat interpretation of the upright, slightly forward-slanting BMW kidney grille emphasizes the assured presence of the new BMW 3 Series. LED accent lights positioned like eyebrows above the striking twin headlights with corona rings (if xenon headlights are specified) lend an extra intensity to the classic BMW focused look. Clearly defined headlight surrounds now extend up to the frame of the kidney grille, merging the headlights and grille of the new BMW 3 Series Sedan into a single stylistic unit and adding further emphasis to the car’s broad-set stance. The BMW 3 Series replaces the central air intake of its predecessor with two larger intakes, which are positioned underneath the headlights to the outer edges of the front fascia and add extra depth to the car’s sporty styling. On the far left and right of the main ducts are small vertical intakes which help create the “Air Curtain”. This new technology improves air flow around the front wheels, enhancing aerodynamic efficiency and reducing fuel consumption at higher speeds.
The closely spaced, squat openings of the kidney grille, with their eye-catching surrounds, form the most prominent element of the new BMW 3 Series Sedan’s front design. This is also where the precise lines of the heavily contoured hood, spawned by the roof pillars and flowing over the full length of the hood, come together on the their journey towards the road. The result is a front that appears lower-slung, giving the BMW 3 Series a clear sporting edge when viewed head-on.
The striking interpretation of the hallmark BMW Hofmeister kink at the base of the C-pillar injects the silhouette of the new 3 Series with even greater élan. Alongside it runs a fine contour line from the roof pillars into the rear deck lid, giving the roof an even lower appearance from the side. The resultant sense of sporty yet elegant lightness spreads all the way down the sedan’s sides, with the slightly rising shade line low down on the heavily contoured side skirt adding further emphasis. The large light surfaces above the side skirt serve to enhance the lightness of the car’s flank lines.
The strong horizontal lines of the rear – including rear lights in customary BMW L-shaped design positioned at the outer edges of the rear – accentuate the broad face of the wheels and wide track of the new BMW 3 Series Sedan. The low-set reflectors guide the vertical lines flowing out of the greenhouse over the rear lights to the wheels, lending visual emphasis to the car’s consummate road presence. Traditional BMW 3 Series design traits include the two lines below the rear spoiler and above the bumper, which frame the rear stylistically. Richly contrasting light surfaces give the rear end of the new BMW 3 Series Sedan a fresh dynamic flair, while the interchanges between smoothly flowing surfaces, precise lines and defined edges inject brio and energy.
The interior of the new BMW 3 Series Sedan is straight out of the BMW design handbook. The driver-focused cockpit wraps around the driver and puts all the important controls within easy reach. The cockpit is angled towards the driver by seven degrees. The ingenious layout of the front cabin incorporates the driver-focused cockpit as part of its natural design – i.e. without excluding the front passenger. The surfaces and lines flow over the instrument panel towards the front passenger side of the cabin, where they form a smooth, protective border. In the driver’s area all the lines converge on a single point behind the steering wheel and guide the eye towards the road.
The cockpit’s four circular dials (fuel gauge, speedometer, tachometer and oil temperature gauge) come with a black panel display. Positioned on the horizontally-structured instrument panel, the freestanding iDrive monitor with slim, transreflective, high-resolution display recalls the latest flatscreen televisions normally found in living rooms rather than cars.
On the driver’s side of the deliberately asymmetric center tunnel, a different trim surface and graining mark out the active driving elements of the interior, while the trim surface on the front passenger side exudes a pleasingly elegant air. Positioned centrally on the center console within easy reach of both the driver and the front passenger is the standard iDrive Controller.
Passengers in the rear of the new BMW 3 Series Sedan will enjoy significantly more space than in the outgoing model. The car’s larger dimensions ensure rear passengers are welcomed by 0.71 in. /18 mm of extra legroom inside the doors as they climb aboard. Behind the fully contoured front seats, 0.6 in / 15 mm of additional knee room and 0.31in. / 8 mm of extra headroom further enhance the passengers’ comfort on the road. Backrest nets offer additional accommodation for small items, reflective vests and road maps. Larger pockets in the front doors, whose lines and surfaces open up towards the instrument panel, now have space for drink bottles up to one liter in size. Added to which, two large drink holders are now integrated into the center console ahead of the gearshift lever. If desired, the cupholders can be swapped for an oddments tray, which is stored in a special area of the glove compartment when not in use. The new sedan offers 480 liters of luggage capacity, 20 liters more than the outgoing model in DIN measurement protocol. And an innovative and practical solution allows extremely convenient access inside. If the optional Comfort Access is specified, the trunk can be opened hands-free and without needing to use a key. For example, if the driver approaches his new 3 Series with both hands full, all he/she needs to do is move his/her foot around underneath the bumper to trigger the opening mechanism for the trunk lid (see also BMW ConnectedDrive). The luggage compartment can hold as much as three golfbags, or a pram and chassis inserted over a remarkably low trunk sill that is a mere 26 inches high (66 cm). Standard securing hooks hold the items firmly in place, while a storage tray under the load compartment floor and a deep storage compartment on the left-hand side accommodate small oddments. For bulky items, the optional Through-Load includes a folding rear seat bench to allow flexible transport solutions. The 40:20:40 split rear backrests offer unbeatable versatility when you need to carry passengers and long items, such as several pairs of skis or snowboards, at the same time.
High-quality material combinations and unbeatable build quality underline the premium ambience of the new BMW 3 Series Sedan. The materials and color concept of standard model accentuate the sporting character of the car, but a large selection of colors and upholstery variants also offer scope for various other options. From the basic matt satin silver surface treatment to the warm look of fine burr walnut wood, all trim surface options can be combined with either the leatherette or one of two leather upholstery colors.
In addition to the standard trim level, the new BMW 3 Series Sedan can now also be specified with any of three equipment lines or an M Sport Package. Customers can therefore adapt the appearance of their car to their personal lifestyle and preferences – in their own way and with eye-catching results. The Sport Line, Luxury Line and Modern Line each emphasize the different sides to the new BMW 3 Series Sedan’s character in their own individual way. The exclusive, carefully coordinated equipment features embrace both exterior design elements and the selection of materials and colors for each model. In terms of value, design coherence and expressiveness, the new BMW Lines go far beyond existing packages in the segment.
Sport Line:With eye-catching exterior features in high-gloss black, this new line accentuates the dynamic appearance of the BMW 3 Series Sedan. Eight heavily contoured high-gloss black kidney grille slats in a chrome-colored surround give the front end of the car a particularly sporty and alert look. The black inserts in the front apron make the air intakes appear larger and lend extra emphasis to the muscular wheel arches. Bi-color, double-spoke design 18-inch light-alloy wheels provide the athletic looks to match. Meanwhile, high-gloss black painted exterior mirrors and the standard high-gloss black B-pillar and window trim add an extra sporting flavor to the flanks. A black trim strip on the lower crease underlines the width-enhancing effect of the rear styling, while the black chrome exhaust tips rounds off the exterior’s sporty appearance. The sporty and exclusive ambience of the interior is expressed by contrasting black and red accents. Red trim rings, red scales in the circular dials, red stitching on the sports steering wheel and a base trim strip in high-gloss black with coral red accent strips all underline the sporting ambience of the cockpit. The standard sports seats can be specified in a choice of two upholstery styles and three colors. The ignition key for Sport Line versions of the new BMW 3 Series Sedan is identified by its black finish and red detailing.
Luxury Line: The discreet high-gloss chrome elements of this line lend the exterior of the BMW 3 Series Sedan a particularly elegant and exclusive appeal. The BMW kidney grille with 11 fine chrome slats, two slightly offset chrome trim strips in the front apron air intakes, and a high-gloss chrome trim strip running horizontally above the air scoop give the front a striking appearance. As with the Sport Line, the B-pillar and window guide come in high-gloss black, and the window frame and weather strip are in chrome. Special 18-inch light-alloy wheels in multi-spoke design accentuate the stylishness of the new BMW 3 Series Sedan when viewed side-on. From the rear, the new Luxury Line is easily identified by its exquisite, high-gloss chrome trim strip – which extends across the full width of the rear apron – and its chrome exhaust tips. Chrome elements also catch the eye inside the Luxury Line variant. This is the only line which gives the radio and air conditioning units a chrome surround. High-gloss wood trim (with stylish inlays also available) and seats with distinctive stitching and leather upholstery in three classically elegant colors highlight an inviting, exclusive ambience. The ignition key for Luxury Line versions of the new BMW 3 Series Sedan can be identified by its black finish and chrome detailing.
Modern Line: In contrast to Luxury Line models, the avant-garde trim elements included in Modern Line versions of the new BMW 3 Series Sedan are all in satin aluminum, underlining the contemporary character of this line. The BMW kidney grille, with 11 satin aluminum slats, and double trim strips for the air intakes in the same color give the front end of the new BMW 3 Series Sedan a particularly contemporary, classy touch. The high-gloss black B-pillar and window trim of the Modern Line blend smoothly with the satin aluminum trim elements at the front and rear. 18-inch turbine-style light-alloy wheels strengthen the future-focused concept of this equipment line. The harmonious lightness of the interior dispenses with strong contrasts. Instead, with a light upper side to the dashboard and a steering wheel in dark oyster, it generates an all-new ambience. Leather upholstery in oyster or black, and a choice of three trim surfaces with accent strips in pearl-effect chrome, further enhance the appealing interplay between materials. A trim element with three-dimensional structure and open-pored wood lays on a whole new feast for the fingertips. Modern Line versions of the new BMW 3 Series Sedan are marked out by the oyster-colored ignition key with matt silver detailing.
M Sport package: The M Sport package brings the ultimate in sporting makeovers to the new BMW 3 Series. An all-new aerodynamic package for the exterior clearly sets cars specified with this package apart from the base model and the three lines. 18 and 19 -inch light-alloy wheels in hallmark M design, M Sport suspension, a black kidney grille and BMW Individual High-gloss Shadowline trim give the car that typical M look. The theme continues inside the car with sports seats boasting distinctive upholstery choices, trim elements with blue accent strips, an M Short-shifter (in models with manual gearbox), M door sill covers, an M driver’s footrest and the new M leather steering wheel.
New dimensions in driving pleasure and dynamic performance: Sporty power delivery, outstanding efficiency and enhanced ride comfort.
The sixth generation BMW 3 Series sports sedan offers top-level agility and driving dynamics, and they combine all this with new levels of comfort. At the same time, there is no change to the proven basic concept comprising high-performance engines, a sporty chassis and a rigid, lightweight body. After all, over the past 35 or more years, drivers have come to expect dynamic, sporty driving enjoyment as a matter of course in a BMW 3 Series model, while powertrain and chassis technology rank as a core strength of the brand. A longitudinally mounted engine, rear-wheel drive and a balanced (50:50) weight distribution are a formula that makes the BMW 3 Series the sportiest sedan in its segment.
At launch, the new BMW 3 Series Sedan will be offered with two high-torque, refined and fuel-efficient engines, both feature the latest BMW TwinPower Turbo technology. They comprise the familiar 6-cylinder inline engine and a new-generation 4-cylinder engine. Both engines offer impressive driving dynamics coupled with substantially reduced fuel consumption and emissions. At first sight contradictory and conflicting technical objectives have been ingeniously resolved by BMW. For example, the dynamism goes hand in hand with outstanding performance on the cost and environmental front, since emissions for both the engines are well within the US ULEV II limits. And the new Driving Experience Control switch with ECO PLUS mode, which is available for all engine versions, provides the opportunity to extend these savings even further.
Power is delivered to the rear wheels either via a standard 6-speed manual transmission or, optionally, via an 8-speed automatic – currently the only such unit in this segment. The automatic, which can be combined with either engine, is so efficient that it is able achieve lower fuel consumption and emissions than with the manual transmission on the EU test cycle (EPA test figures will be announced closer to the US on-sale date). Both the manual and the automatic models are equipped with the Auto Start-Stop function for further savings.
Advanced suspension technology, featuring a large number of light-alloy components and new tuning, along with Servotronic speed sensitive power steering, low vehicle weight and a balanced weight distribution top off a dynamic package, making the new BMW 3 Series Sedan an exemplar of sporty handling combined with increased comfort.
With the launch of the new sports sedan, an ultra-modern 4-cylinder engine will make its debut in the BMW 3 Series. In keeping with the dynamic overall theme of the new BMW sports sedan, this new-generation turbocharged engine offers plenty of power and performance, responsive acceleration, powerful torque, a high rpm ceiling and low weight. The new 4-cylinder engine, which provide noticeably livelier power for maximum driving enjoyment, also come with lower fuel consumption than its predecessor.
The state-of-the-art, lively 2.0-litre engine marks a return to the popular sports sedan’s roots – it was with lightweight, high-performance 4-cylinder engines in a similar vein that the BMW 3 Series made its debut back in 1975, with the first 6-cylinder engines for this series making their appearance at the 1977 Frankfurt Motor Show. A 6-cylinder continues to top the engine line-up in the new BMW 3 Series.
The significant upgrade in power and efficiency is chiefly down to the use of BMW TwinPower Turbo technology, which combines High Precision Direct Petrol Injection, Double-Vanos variable camshaft timing and VALVETRONIC variable valve timing along with twin-scroll turbocharging. On the new-generation 4-cylinder engine, this world-exclusive technology package from BMW again provides a very efficient way to extract more power from the engine, rather than taking the route of a much larger displacement and, in the process, adding to the weight and therefore to fuel consumption. This explains why the more dynamic performance and driving enjoyment does not come at the expense of higher fuel consumption and emissions.
The new BMW TwinPower Turbo 4-cylinder’s displacement of 1,997 cc delivers maximum power of 180 kW/ 240 hp at 5,000 rpm while, thanks to twin-scroll turbocharging, the maximum torque of 260 lb-ft is developed at just 1,250 rpm and remains constant up to 4,800 rpm. These statistics translate to commensurately dynamic performance: the new BMW 328i accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in just 5.7 seconds, on its way to an electronically governed top speed of 130 mph, 155 mph with Sport Line. The engine responds instantly when the driver demands more throttle, and the vigorous and almost linear power delivery from only slightly above idle, which continues all the way into the higher rpm range, is duly impressive.
This new engine is the most powerful in a new generation of 4-cylinder engines designed in accordance with the BMW EfficientDynamics strategy, which aims to combine increased driving enjoyment with reduced fuel consumption and emissions. In technical terms, this new 4-cylinder engine is modeled on the current multi-award-winning 6-cylinder inline engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology (N55), which is the benchmark in its class for dynamic power delivery and impressive efficiency. This world-exclusive technology combines High Precision Direct Petrol Injection, Double-Vanos variable camshaft timing and VALVETRONIC variable valve timing with twin-scroll turbocharging.
These features give the new BMW 328i the sort of power which with a naturally aspirated engine would require more cylinders and larger displacement. At the same time, with its all-aluminum crankcase, this engine is lighter and more compact than a 6-cylinder engine of equivalent power. This has obvious benefits for driving dynamics: the reduced load on the front axle gives this BMW sports sedan greater agility and further improved steering and cornering characteristics.
The new 4-cylinder engines also feature twin-scroll turbocharging. This means that the exhaust stream from cylinders 1 and 4, and the exhaust stream from cylinders 2 and 3, follow separate spiral-shaped paths to the turbine wheel. This reduces exhaust back-pressure at low engine rpm, allowing the energy of the exhaust gas pulses to be utilized as efficiently as possible. The result is instant throttle response and fast-revving performance which BMW drivers can instantly translate into driving pleasure.
VALVETRONIC, Double-Vanos and High Precision Direct Injection.
The combination of a high power output and a simultaneous reduction in emissions is achieved by VALVETRONIC variable valve timing and Double-Vanos variable camshaft timing. The latest generation of the VALVETRONIC system features a faster-acting, optimized stepper motor with integrated sensor. Seamlessly variable control of intake valve lift dispenses with the need for a throttle butterfly. Instead, the air mass is controlled inside the engine, resulting in faster response. At the same time, pumping losses have been reduced to a minimum.
The excellent efficiency is also down to the High Precision Direct Injection system. Centrally positioned between the valves, solenoid injectors precisely control the supply of fuel. The fuel is injected very close to the spark plug, with a maximum injection pressure of 200 bar (2900 psi), resulting in clean and homogeneous combustion. The cooling effect of the directly injected fuel also results in a higher compression ratio than on port injection engines, bringing further efficiency improvements.
Exceptional performance assisted by innovative design features.
The exceptional performance of the new engine is also due to various innovative features of the core engine. For example, twin balancer shafts positioned at different heights result in optimized vibration absorption, while a centrifugal pendulum absorber integrated in the dual-mass flywheel brings a noticeable reduction in irregular running at low engine rpm. The driver can therefore make full use of the strong low-end torque without sacrificing smoothness. These factors all help to explain why the new 2.0-litre 4-cylinder engine achieves refinement, noise and vibration of a kind that was previously confined to BMW 6-cylinder engines.
Fans of large 6-cylinder engines have a treat in store too. The inline 6-cylinder engine (N55) in the new BMW 335i will impress performance-minded drivers with its effortless power, exceptionally fast-revving temperament and outstanding refinement. The N55 has been setting standards from the start, as the pioneer of a new generation of engines in which BMW TwinPower Turbo technology with High Precision Direct Injection and VALVETRONIC variable valve timing plus a twin scroll turbo made its debut.
Thanks to intensive fine-tuning of the engine, BMW’s engineers have now further reduced the fuel consumption and emissions of the predecessor, while at the same time maintaining its high performance. With a maximum power rating of 225 kW/ 300 hp at 5,800 rpm, the 3.0-litre 6-cylinder unit reflects the sporty personality of the BMW 3 Series and helps this sedan deliver brilliant performance. And the high peak torque of 300 lb-ft, on stream between 1,200 and 5,000 rpm, ensures that the power is effortlessly and instantly delivered.
As a result, the new BMW 335i can show off its prowess with a 0 to 60 mph sprint time of just 5.4 seconds,. The automatic version is on par, reaching 60 mph a full 0.2 seconds faster than the outgoing model. Top speed remains the same, at an electronically governed 130 mph (210 km/h) and 155 mph (250 km/h) with Sport Line.
All this extra performance comes with exceptional fuel economy and low emission figures. Fuel consumption in the EU test cycle is rated at 7.9 liters per 100 kilometers (29.8 mpg). Fitted with the new eight-speed automatic transmission, the BMW 335i is even more frugal, with combined fuel consumption of just 7.2 liters per 100 kilometers (32.6 mpg). The improvement in emissions for the manual and automatic versions works out at 6 and 16 per cent respectively. EPA rating will be announced closer to the on-sale date in the USA.
The BMW 3 Series owes its characteristic driving experience not just to its high-torque, fast-revving engines, but also to its transmissions. For performance-minded drivers the transmission, as the interface where the power from the engine is relayed to the rear wheels, is pivotal to a dynamic driving experience. It is just as important for it to offer precise, short-throw shifting as to provide the right ratios. Smooth shifting, low noise and efficient design are further qualities demanded in the premium segment. For drivers who value a hands-on approach, the new BMW sports sedan is equipped with a 6-speed manual transmission as standard, while those who prefer to leave the shifting to the transmission will find an ideal alternative in the innovative 8-speed automatic. Finally, customers can also opt for a sports automatic version of this transmission, with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifts as an upgrade with the Sport Line and M Sport package.
The sporty 6-speed manual transmission in the new BMW 3 Series boasts an easy and precise shifting action and optimal ratio spacing. The lightweight, compact format and innovative, low-friction design help to further enhance shift feel and efficiency. The transmission used on the BMW 335i, is equipped with dry sump lubrication for significantly improved efficiency and shifting quality, due to reduced drag losses. At the same time, noticeably more comfortable shifting is achieved by the use of innovative carbon friction linings in the synchromesh units. The new BMW 328i likewise features an optimized transmission with ratios precisely matched to the performance characteristics of the new engine. The optimal ratio spacing makes for powerful sprinting performance and fast mid-range acceleration, all combined with a reduction in fuel consumption.
The new BMW 3 Series can be equipped with an optional high-performance 8-speed automatic transmission, which can be combined with any of the engines being presented. The additional ratios allow this state-of-the-art transmission – which is an option not currently offered by any competitors in the premium compact sports sedan segment – to combine unprecedented standards of comfortable shifting, sporty performance and efficiency. With all this going for it, the automatic transmission is fully in keeping with the overall sporty temperament of the new BMW 3 Series Sedan.
In terms of size and weight, this 8-speed unit is comparable with the 6-speed automatic transmission used in the past. A range of innovative technical features and exceptionally high internal efficiency allow this higher-performance unit, too, to combine powerful acceleration, strong mid-range sprinting and further reduced fuel consumption. For performance-minded drivers this transmission also has lots to offer, particularly since the driver can choose to play a more active role by changing gear manually, thereby releasing even more of this sporty sedan’s potential.
With its optimized control technology, the 8-speed transmission boasts extremely fast shift and reaction times and direct downshift capability. The electronic transmission controller can also alter the shift characteristics as required, to cater either for a sportier or for a more relaxed, fuel-saving driving style. Despite a larger overall spread, eight ratios mean that the spacing between them is smaller, so that the optimal ratio is available in virtually all situations. The close ratios deliver turbine-like power combined with smooth and fuel-efficient low-rpm operation. Altogether, then, as well as providing dynamic acceleration and smooth shifting, the new 8-speed automatic also allows drivers to maintain a very economical driving style. This all helps to explain why, when fitted with the 8-speed automatic transmission, the new BMW 3 Series even lower fuel consumption than models equipped with the 6-speed manual transmission.
A sports version of the new 8-speed automatic transmission is available as an option for cars equipped with the Sport Line and M Sport package. This unit offers even sportier shift characteristics (e.g. faster shift times), and the option of changing gear manually using the paddle shifts on the steering wheel. Alternatively, it is also possible to use the electronic Quickshift selector lever on the center console. The Normal and Sport modes are chosen using the Driving Dynamics Control switch. This allows the sports automatic to deliver both dynamic driving enjoyment and top-level comfort.
In the sixth model generation, too, dynamism and performance are among the stand-out features of the BMW sports sedan. These qualities are underpinned by a precision-engineered chassis with four-wheel independent suspension that perfectly complements a winning formula: a longitudinally mounted engine, rear-wheel drive, balanced weight distribution and torsionally stiff body. In the new BMW 3 Series the engineers have further improved the already outstanding handling qualities of the predecessor and its excellent agility and directional stability, while at the same time noticeably improving comfort. To achieve this, they have made extensive use of extra-lightweight chassis components, sophisticated and perfectly tailored axle kinematics and a high-precision steering system. State-of-the-art electronic control systems on the new BMW 3 Series Sedan help manage the vehicle dynamics and ensure that the combination of outstanding sporty performance and increased comfort can be enjoyed to the full and with complete peace of mind.
With friction-reduced wheel bearings and ball joints, aerodynamic improvements at the rear axle and reduced rolling-resistance tires, the whole chassis plays its part in reducing fuel consumption and thus emissions.
A wheelbase of 110.6 inches / 2,810 mm (+ 1.96in/50 mm) and a front and rear track width of 60.3 / 1,543 (+ 1.46 in / 37 mm) and 61.9 / 1,583 millimeters (+ 1.85 in/ 48 mm) respectively give the new BMW 3 Series Sedan a more road-hugging stance than its predecessor, while the weight-optimized powertrain and lightweight body design result in a perfectly balanced 50:50 weight distribution.