At the international automobile trade fair Auto China 2012 in Beijing, the German premium automobile manufacturer BMW will not only be presenting its new edition of the BMW 3 Series sedan, but also unveiling a model variant tailored specifically to the requirements of Chinese customers. The new BMW 3 Series sedan with the long wheelbase is a fascinating marriage of elegant and commanding design and a luxurious interior ambience. Its independent character is also underscored in the rear by the most generous and comfortable space in the competitive field. Besides the long wheelbase BMW 5 Series sedan, it is now the second model of the brand to be offered exclusively on the Chinese automobile market and produced in Shenyang. At the same time, the new, globally available BMW 3 Series sedan with the normal wheelbase enjoys its highest ever status as the sportiest model on the segment. BMW is therefore honing its alignment to the expectations of the various target groups on the Chinese automobile market and promising the driving pleasure so characteristic of this brand in either an emphatically exclusive or consistently dynamic design. Both variants of the new BMW 3 Series sedan were developed together in Germany and exhibit the typical basic properties of the premium automobiles from this brand: aesthetic design, ultra modern engines with BMW TwinPower Turbo Technology, and progressive equipment like the BMW Head-Up Display, which is unique in this class. Auto China 2012 will also be presenting the BMW ActiveHybrid 3. This full hybrid model of the new BMW 3 Series will likewise be available on the Chinese automobile market before the year is out.
The combination of pioneering technology from Germany and exclusive production in China will lend an unmistakable character to the new BMW 3 Series sedan with the long wheelbase. Tailored specifically to the wishes of Chinese customers, independence is guaranteed by the 110 mm longer wheelbase. These elongated proportions not only increase the knee and leg space in the rear, but also contribute greatly to the elegance and presence of the sedan. With its optimised travel comfort and look, the new, long wheelbase BMW 3 Series sedan has everything needed to convince the serious business traveller and provide hours of leisurely driving pleasure either alone or with all of the family. Additional accents can be set with the BMW Lines, offered for the first time in China, whose precisely compiled design and equipment features underscore either the progressive or the luxurious character of the new, long wheelbase BMW 3 Series sedan.
The new, long wheelbase BMW 3 Series sedan is available in three engine versions delivering 135 kW / 184 bhp in the BMW 320Li, 180 kW / 245 bhp in the BMW 328Li, or 225 kW / 306 bhp in the BMW 335Li. Both the two four-cylinder variants and the top model with six cylinder engine are fitted as standard with an eight speed automatic transmission.
Besides the unusually high efficiency of the engines and gears, the extensive BMW EfficientDynamics technology also contributes to an excellent relationship between driving performance and fuel consumption in these models developed exclusively for the Chinese automobile market. The standard equipment includes e.g. brake energy regeneration, the automatic engine start-stop function, and the ECO PRO mode which can be activated at the driving experience switch.
The new, long wheelbase BMW 3 Series sedan will be produced by the new Tiexi plant at the Shenyang site. Production proceeds according to the strict quality standards applied to the whole global production network of the BMW Group and in close collaboration with local production partners and parts suppliers. In Shenyang, the BMW Group has been producing automobiles since 2003 with its joint venture partner Brilliance. In order to increase the production capacity, both partners recently passed a motion to invest about a billion euros in both the present and the additional plant at the Shenyang site. This will allow the company to meet the constantly growing demand for premium automobiles in China. In 2011, China was the world’s third largest sales market for the BMW Group.
The BMW 3 Series is the most sold premium automobile in the world. Based on the sixth generation BMW 3 Series sedan, a new model with a longer wheelbase will now be unveiled that has been developed exclusively for the Chinese automobile market. Its body incorporates the design language of the new BMW 3 Series sedan as an independent interpretation lending intensity to its elegance and luxury. The proportions characteristic of the brand are shaped by the short overhangs, the long engine compartment, the backset passenger compartment, and the long wheelbase. Compared with the new BMW 3 Series sedan, both the length of the vehicle (4734 mm) and its wheelbase (2920 mm) were each extended by 110 mm, with the width (1811 mm) and height (1455 mm) following suit.
Balled propulsive power and presence find expression in the design of the vehicle’s front section. The contours of the engine compartment lid run in a V shape towards the BMW kidney grille placed right at the front. The contours of the headlamps reach towards the kidney grille, and together with this form a horizontal graphical unit that emphasises the width of the vehicle. A hallmark of the brand, the twin circular headlamps present across their tops a partially occluding trim panel, giving rise to the characteristic look of concentration. Depending on the model, chrome elements under the headlamp units and at the transition to the BMW kidney grille underscore the high quality claims of the front view.
Also the air inlet, divided into three segments and embedded between distinctively moulded surfaces, presents a conspicuously wide design, providing a marked distinction from the front view of the BMW 3 Series sedan with the normal wheelbase. Its independent contours are aligned to the look of BMW models from higher segments. At the outer edges of the side inlets, so called air curtains in the form of vertical openings serve to optimise the flow of air in the wheel arches.
A charming play of light and shade effects are provided by the beefy wheel arches, precision fitted surfaces, and the interaction between the hallmark bead line at the height of the door opener and a suggestive second character line over the front wheel arches. In the characteristic language of BMW, the design presents authentic signs of this sedan’s properties. These include a dynamic, wedge shaped side view and its vibrant run of surfaces representative of marked agility. The beefy rear wheel arches point to the wide track and the drive power acting on the rear axle.
All lines and surfaces have been tuned precisely to the specific dimensions of the new BMW 3 Series sedan with the long wheelbase. The harmony of proportions characteristic of the BMW 3 Series is therefore maintained. At the same time, the elongated appearance of the side view communicates an elegance known from higher vehicle segments. A new interpretation takes the form of the BMW hallmark Hofmeister kink at the rear end of the side window surrounds. For the first time, the chrome frame proceeds in a straight line from the counterthrust at the base of the C column towards the rear, thereby extending the horizontal run of the window cavity covers. This unmistakable attribute underscores the elegantly elongated side line and hence the extended space.
The rear view of the new, long wheelbase BMW 3 Series sedan is dominated by the horizontal lines and the beefy wheel arches. Also the L shaped rear lights on the outer sides merge harmoniously into the overall look, emphasising the wide track and therefore the stable roadholding of the vehicle. On the six cylinder BMW 335Li, this impression is boosted further by the double flow exhaust system’s tailpipes placed at the outer edge. One specific attribute of the new, long wheelbase BMW 3 Series sedan is the chrome trim arranged above the number plate surround on the luggage compartment lid and serving as a link between the rear light units. This is supplemented with additional chrome trim at the bottom of the rear apron.
The interior of the new, long wheelbase BMW 3 Series sedan intensifies the experience of the hallmark driving pleasure and the premium character. Designed for enhanced driver orientation, the cockpit presents an instrument cluster based on black panel technology and a steering wheel with multifunction buttons. The centre console is inclined slightly towards the driver, presenting all controls at optimised ergonomic positions. The engine can be activated at the press of the start-stop button as soon as the radio operated key is inside the vehicle. Next to the gear selector switch for the automatic transmission, there are two cup holders, the driving experience switch for individual setups, and the controller for the iDrive operating system, which also includes the free standing onboard monitor. The high resolution flat screen design optimises the selection and control of vehicle, infotainment, and navigation functions. Fitted as standard, the automatic air conditioning includes temperature and ventilation control that can be set separately for the driver and front passenger sides.
The luxurious ambience is borne by high quality materials, precision workmanship, and the interior surfaces matched perfectly to the choice of design and colours. In particular the rear presents a travel comfort that is yet to meet its match on the vehicle segment. Designed for enhanced comfort, the rear presents a row of single seats that are setting a new standard for available space. The new BMW 3 Series sedan with the long wheelbase offers particularly convenient access and generous leg space for rear passengers. The knee space is 90 mm longer than in the new BMW 3 Series sedan with the normal wheelbase and is therefore the best in the competitive field.
The large number of equipment features in the new, long wheelbase BMW 3 Series sedan underscores its orientation to comfort. The rear presents a centre armrest with integrated compartment and two cup holders, two illuminated vanity mirrors folding out of the roof liner, and BMW Individual reading lights. Also fitted in the rear are ashtrays integrated in the door trim panels and a switch unit that can adjust the front passenger seat. Moreover, the sedan is fitted with a lighting package, including ambient light, and roller sun blinds that are opened and closed electrically on the rear window and mechanically on the side windows.
The safety equipment in the sedan, besides the front and side airbags and side curtain head airbags for both rows of seats, also includes ISOFIX child seat mountings in the rear. The 480 litre luggage compartment can be expanded when needed at the 40:20:40 split and folding rear backrest. In conjunction with the optional Comfort Access, the rear lid can be opened remotely.
The new, long wheelbase BMW 3 Series sedan embodies premium quality, driving pleasure, and travel comfort on a level unique to this vehicle segment. Its character is defined by pioneering technology and a luxurious ambience – and both can receive additional emphasis from the BMW Luxury und Modern Lines, offered for the first time in China as an alternative to the basic version. Each of these characterisations is communicated to the full effect by the precisely matched design and equipment features. Likewise the dynamic alignment of the normal wheelbase sports sedan can be lent even greater emphasis from a BMW Line. The BMW Sport Line is offered for the new BMW 3 Series sedan.
As an extra highlight underscoring the classical elegance of the new, long wheelbase BMW 3 Series sedan, the BMW Luxury Line includes exclusive 17“ multispoke light alloy wheels; B column covers and window cavities in high gloss black; grille bars; inlays for the air inlets and tailpipe trims in chrome; and additional applications on the side sills. The inscription “Luxury” can be found on both the side panels and the door sill cover strips. Also the interior lends expression to the exclusive character in the form e.g. of its leather trim in one of three colours; a sports leather steering wheel; chrome surrounds for the centre console and the air conditioning and audio controls; interior strips of fine inlaid Walnut, and an accentuation strip of Glossy Pearl Chrome. In addition, the Luxury Line sedan provides user definable colour schemes for the welcome and ambient light. A chrome trim can also be found on its vehicle key.
Likewise available for the new, long wheelbase BMW 3 Series sedan, the Modern Line presents design and equipment features that lend expression to the sedan’s style, testifying to its efficiency, sustainable quality, and pioneering technology. This is carried by refined and modern accentuations like tailpipe trims; grille bars; air inlet bars; window frames; aluminium satinated applications on the side sills and roof trim; the B column covers and window cavities in high gloss black; and the 17“ light alloy V spoke wheels. For the BMW 335Li, the Modern Line also includes 18“ turbine design light alloy wheels.
A particularly harmonious ambience is provided by the light coloured dashboard and the Dark Oyster steering wheel, supporting a consistent brightness in the interior without stark contrasts. This progressive charisma is underscored further by the Black or Oyster leather trim with decorative seams and the interior strips of pure Fineline wood with chrome accentuation. Additional features of this BMW Line are the inscription “Modern” on the side panels and door sill cover strips; user definable colour schemes for the welcoming and ambient light; the chrome surrounds for the air conditioning and audio controls; and the vehicle key unit in Oyster.
Available for the BMW 3 Series sedan with the normal wheelbase, the Sport Line presents striking high gloss black accentuations underscoring the dynamic presence of this new model. Eight highly stylised, black grille bars lend the front a commanding appearance of particularly sporty flair. The black inlays in the front apron magnify visually the air inlets and underscore the beefy wheel arches. There, the suitable sporty elegance is carried by the 17“ light alloy double spoke wheels. Like the B column covers and the window cavities, also the exterior mirrors are available in high gloss black. The visual impression of rear width is boosted by the black decorative trim along the bottom edge of the rear lights. The tailpipe trim presents a black chrome finish.
The sporty exclusive flair in the interior finds expression in the contrasts between the black and red accentuations. The sporty flair in the cockpit is underscored by red decorative rings and red chrono scaling on the circular instruments, red decorative seams on the sports steering wheel, and high gloss black trim with a coral red accentuation strip. The standard sports seats of leather trim are available in one of three colours with exclusive accentuations. These are joined by the chrome surrounds for the air conditioning and audio controls and the inscription “Sport” on the door sill cover strips. The distinguishing feature of the Sport Line, the ignition key is black with a red decorative inlay.
The unique status that premium automobiles from the BMW brand enjoy all over the world is linked closely to the brand’s characteristic driving pleasure. In the new BMW 3 Series sedan with the long wheelbase, this is the result of the outstanding competence the company has brought to bear in the field of drive development. The engines fitted in the models BMW 335Li, BMW 328Li, and BMW 320Li are designed for an impressive delivery of sporty and supreme power. And their pioneering efficiency is equally convincing. Both the inline six cylinder engine in the BMW 335Li and the four cylinder drives in the two other models feature the latest development of BMW TwinPower Turbo Technology. This includes a twin scroll turbocharger, direct high precision petrol injection, the variable valve control system VALVETRONIC, and the variable camshaft control system double VANOS.
The BMW 335Li is fitted with a 3.0 litre six cylinder engine featuring this technology package. Its supercharging system directs the pulsing gas flow through three separate cylinders arranged in a spiral around the turbine. Arranged directly next to the spark plug, the injectors direct the air-fuel mixture precisely dosed into the combustion chambers. Power delivery and efficiency also benefit greatly from the VALVETRONIC integrated completely in the cylinder head and the camshaft adjustment for the intake and discharge side (double VANOS). In this manner, the multiple award winning six cylinder petrol engine can deliver a max power output of 225 kW / 306 bhp at a speed of 5800–6000 rpm and a max torque of 400 Nm between 1200 and 5000 rpm. The BMW 335Li accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in 5.7 seconds. Its average fuel consumption as determined in the EU test cycle is 8.3 litres per 100 kilometres, and its CO2 emissions are 192 grams per kilometre.
BMW TwinPower Turbo Technology also helps the four cylinder engine in the BMW 328Li to achieve an extraordinary relationship between performance and fuel consumption. With a capacity of 2.0 litres, the new engine delivers a max power output of 180 kW / 245 bhp between 5000 and 6500 rpm. The max torque of 350 Nm is reached at speeds between 1250 and 4800 rpm. The BMW 328Li sprints from zero to 100 km/h in 6.3 seconds. Its average fuel consumption as determined in the EU test cycle is max 7.2 litres per 100 kilometres, and its CO2 emissions are 167 grams per kilometre.
Delivering 135 kW / 184 bhp between 5000 and 6250 rpm, also the four cylinder variant with BMW TwinPower Turbo Technology provides for sporty performance in the BMW 320Li. Spontaneous power delivery and high revving properties also characterise this engine, which delivers its max torque of 270 Nm between 1250 and 4500 rpm. The BMW 320Li needs 7.9 seconds to accelerate from zero to 100 km/h. Its average fuel consumption in the EU test cycle is 6.9 litres per 100 kilometres, and its CO2 emissions are 160 grams per kilometre.
The BMW 3 Series sedan is the world’s first vehicle on its segment to feature an eight speed automatic transmission. The new BMW 3 Series sedan with the long wheelbase is fitted as standard with this innovative power transmission system, providing an extra boost to its sporty flair and efficiency. The fascination of this eight speed automatic transmission lies in its extraordinarily fast gear shifts and a particularly precise control that supports direct downshifting to a specific gear.
Thanks to its unique mount on the wheel set, the eight speed automatic transmission also exhibits a compact design and a low weight. Its size and weight are therefore comparable with the six speed automatic transmission fitted in the predecessor model. The equipment includes an optional eight speed sports automatic transmission that is characterised e.g. by an even higher level of dynamic shifting and also includes shift paddles on the steering wheel.
The consistent use of technology serving to cut fuel consumption and emissions is propelling the current BMW models to leading efficiency positions on all segments. In this respect, outstanding performance always goes hand in hand with a particularly low fuel consumption. Also the new, long wheelbase BMW 3 Series sedan is setting standards in this field on its segment. Its engines and transmissions are characterised by extraordinarily high efficiencies, and in addition it is fitted as standard with BMW EfficientDynamics technology.
All variants of the new, long wheelbase BMW 3 Series sedan come with an automatic engine start-stop function as standard. This eliminates idle phases during temporary stops by switching off the engine automatically. As soon as the vehicle comes to a stop, the engine is switched off automatically. When the road ahead clears again, the driver simply has to remove his foot from the brake, and the engine starts without any further delay.
In addition, all engine variants come with the driving experience switch that activates ECO PRO mode. This affects the engine control, the accelerator pedal curve, and the shifting characteristics of the automatic transmission. This supports a fuel optimised driving style at low engine speeds. Particularly efficient energy management is supported by a controller designed specifically for regulating the power functions like air conditioning, seat heating, and exterior mirror heating. Dedicated displays provide information e.g. on the extended range in kilometres now possible. Details of efficiency optimised driving are also providing for the current situation in the form of ECO PRO tips that appear on the instrument cluster and control display.
Also a standard feature, brake energy regeneration is an intelligent energy management system that concentrates the generation of onboard electricity over the thrust and brake phases. The BMW EfficientDynamics technology also extends to the needs based control of auxiliary units and electromechanical steering. Also intelligent lightweight structures and tyres with reduced rolling resistance contribute to optimised fuel consumption and emission values.
The new, long wheelbase BMW 3 Series sedan combines the brand’s hallmark sporty flair with a specifically optimised driving comfort. This is carried by the particularly high quality suspension technology, the perfect support for this successful concept with longitudinal engine, rear wheel drive, balanced axle load distribution, and torsionally stiff body. The sedan features a detailed further development of the two-joint spring strut front axle with extensive use of aluminium components for high rigidity and optimised weight. Also the five link rear axle is based on an established principle, providing the ideal conditions for a balanced overall setup. At the same time, agility and precision regulated handling are provided together with outstanding suspension comfort.
One essential contribution to the characteristic BMW driving experience also takes the form of the precision steering that provides the driver with exact feedback at all times. This steering system finds the ideal basis in the characteristic BMW drive concept, which shields it from drive effects. In the new, long wheelbase BMW 3 Series sedan, an electric motor provides the power for the electromechanical hydraulic steering. This is active only when powered steering is actually required. On straight roads and in corners taken at a constant steering angle, no electrical power is therefore consumed.
In addition to the powerful brake system, unrestrictedly effective even under high loads, also the standard Dynamic Stability Control DSC contributes to the agile handling properties of the new, long wheelbase BMW 3 Series sedan. This system includes e.g. the antilocking system ABS, dynamic traction control DTC, cornering brake control (CBC), and dynamic brake control (DBC). Additional functions now also include a brake assistant, fading brake support, a dry brake function, a drive-off assistant, and the electronic locking function for the rear axle differential (active in DCS OFF mode).
All variants of the new, long wheelbase BMW 3 Series sedan are fitted with light alloy wheels as standard. These are 16“ on the BMW 320Li, 17“ on the BMW 328Li, and 18“ on the BMW 335Li.
The driving experience switch fitted as standard on the centre console activates the vehicle setups “COMFORT”, “SPORT”, “SPORT+”, and “ECO PRO”. The driving experience switch affects the accelerator pedal progression, the engine response, the characteristic curve of the steering servo, the DSC configuration, and the dynamic shifting properties of the automatic transmission. In each case, the driver activates a preconfigured setup for a harmonised world of experience.
In vehicles fitted with the Professional navigation system, the control display can present the specific details in the “SPORT” and “SPORT+” modes. These details inform the driver of the drawn engine power and the current torque level.
The progressive character of the new BMW 3 Series sedan with the long wheelbase finds impressive testimony in the wide range of driver assistance systems and mobility services unique in the competitive field. The options provided by BMW ConnectedDrive serve to optimise the comfort, safety, and infotainment in the vehicle over an intelligent network of links. Its highlights include the Surround View system, the BMW Head-Up Display, and the apps facility.
The equipment supplementing Park Distance Control (PDC) includes a reversing camera integrated under the BMW brand logo in the luggage compartment lid and the Surround View system including Side View. The Surround View system also utilises two cameras in the side mirrors in addition to the reversing camera and the PDC sensors. The data thus captured are processed by a central computer. This then generates an image on the control display that shows the vehicle and its environment from the bird’s eye view. This depiction allows particularly precise manoeuvring in a confined space.
When the situation demands this, the driver can also make use of the Side View function as a subsystem of the optional Surround View. Side View works with two cameras that are integrated in the front wheel arches and that allow the driver to observe traffic coming from the side. These images are also presented on the control display. This not only simplifies manoeuvring, but also warns the driver of oncoming traffic from the side when the vehicle is leaving confined spaces like backset gates or multistorey car parks.
Also the BMW Park Assistant is available as an option for the new, long wheelbase BMW 3 Series sedan. This system assists the driver in manoeuvring safely and comfortably into tight parking spaces aligned parallel to the direction of travel. Featuring ultrasound sensors in the side indicator surrounds, the BMW Park Assistant can also help the driver to find a suitable parking space. While manoeuvring into a parking space, the driver need only control the accelerator and brake pedals and keep an eye out for possible dangers. The Park Assistant also takes over the steering wheel. The driver is given instructions on how to manoeuvre into the parking space.
Optimised display quality is provided by the latest generation of the BMW Head-Up Display, also available for the new, long wheelbase BMW 3 Series sedan. The graphics now benefit from the entire colour spectrum, with realistic symbols projected at the optimal ergonomic position on the windscreen. Also the scope of information presented on the Head-Up Display has been expanded. Depending on the vehicle configuration, this may also include check control and status messages from the driver assistance systems in addition to the current road speed and high guiding instructions from the navigation system.
The highest demands for infotainment are fulfilled by a particularly powerful interface technology that safeguards the unrestricted use of external mobile phones and music players in the new BMW 3 Series sedan. This presents the passengers with their personal music library read from their smartphone or music player in the vehicle. The onboard monitor then presents the saved music titles and their cover art in addition to the playlists. The Apps option provided by BMW ConnectedDrive and the application BMW Connected also allow Apple iPhone users to utilise additional web based services in the vehicle. These include a web radio function and access to social networks.
At the same time the new BMW 3 Series sedan with the long wheelbase will be celebrating its world premiere, Auto China 2012 in Beijing will also be witnessing the presentation of the new, normal wheelbase BMW 3 Series sedan produced at the BMW plant in Munich. This new edition of the sportiest four door model on the segment will be launched as the variants BMW 328i and BMW 320i on the Chinese automobile market. Both models are fitted with the new engines featuring BMW TwinPower Turbo Technology and combined as standard with the eight speed automatic transmission.
Packing 180 kW / 245 bhp, the BMW 328i accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in 6.1 seconds. Its average fuel consumption is 6.6 litres per 100 kilometres, and its CO2 emissions are 154 grams per kilometre. The BMW 320i delivering 135 kW / 184 bhp reaches the 100 km/h mark in 7.6 seconds. It achieves an average fuel consumption of 6.5 litres per 100 kilometres and CO2 emissions of 151 grams per kilometre.
At a later time, the range will be supplemented with the BMW 335i xDrive, a six cylinder model which will be transferring its power to the road via the intelligent all wheel drive system BMW xDrive. Furthermore, also the M Sports package will be available for the new BMW 3 Series sedan. This equipment package includes e.g. the M Aerodynamic package, M Sports package, M light alloy wheels, M sports seats, and other exclusive features that boost the dynamic character of this model to even greater heights.
Yet another particularly innovative development in characteristic efficiency takes the form of BMW ActiveHybrid 3. Developed on the basis of the new BMW 3 Series sedan, this full hybrid model will be celebrating its Asian premiere at Auto China 2012. Its drive system consists of an inline six cylinder petrol engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo Technology, an electric motor, and an eight speed automatic transmission. The max system output is 250 kW / 340 bhp, and electricity is supplied from a lithium ion battery. The drive technology behind the BMW ActiveHybrid 3 allows purely electrically powered driving in urban traffic and local, zero emissions “sailing” with disconnected combustion engine at speeds up to 160 km/h. Its average fuel consumption is 6.4 litres per 100 kilometres, which is about 12.5% lower than a comparable model with only the combustion engine. Also the BMW ActiveHybrid 3 will be available on the Chinese automobile market before the end of 2012.