AUTO INDUSTRY NEWS

The New BMW 3 Series

The New BMW 3 Series image

Text: / Photos: | posted November 10, 2004 00:00

Car enthusiasts really have a special highlight to look forward to at the Geneva Motor Show when BMW debuts the new 3 Series, which is on its fifth generation.

Entering the market in March of 2005, the BMW 3 Series is setting out with no less than three petrol power units and one diesel engine, all of which offer a significant increase in performance, refinement, and economy. Six-cylinder with extra-light magnesium crankcase.

The straight-six top trim BMW 330i peaks at 258bhp while muscular torque of 300 Nm/221 lb-ft is maintained consistently between 2500 and 4000 rpm. All together, making this new 3-liter the most powerful and lightest six-cylinder in its segment. The power unit will also be the first six cylinder BMW engine to be equipped with the Valvetronic variable valve timing system which is found in eight cylinder BMW engines. This is also the same engine used in the BMW 630i coupe. The BMW 325i on the other hand chruns out maximum engine output of 218 bhp at 6500rpm, maximum torque of 184 lb-ft between 2750 and 4250rpm, 2.5 liters engine capacity, acceleration to 100 km/h in 7.1 sec, top speed of 245 km/h. Last but not the least, a base BMW 320i equipped with a 2-liter 150bhp engine with maximum torque of 147lb-ft finishes the lineup for the petrol variants.

The diesel engine in the BMW 320d means supreme dynamics in every respect. Featuring second-generation common rail technology as well as an exhaust gas turbocharger with variable turbine geometry, this four-cylinder develops a staggering 163bhp, plus equally superior torque of 251 lb-ft at 2000rpm.

All engine variants will be mated to a six-speed transmission either in manual or automatic. The cars are likewise equipped with driving dyanamics commonly known as driver aids like Active Steering, a new generation Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) and the iDrive with new advanced features.

Despite the lighter weight thanks to extensive use of aluminum in the body structure, body stiffness has been increase by 25-percent through intelligent lightweight engineering achieved by a new joint and crossbar concept for the car's load-bearing structure.

In its design language, the new BMW 3 Series is a unique, self-confident contender clearly boasting its qualities as a dynamic but elegant sports saloon. The new 3 Series harmonizes the designs of the BMW Z4, 1, 5 and 7 Series. The car is bigger in size inside and outside than the current 3 Series, expressed in simple facts and figures, overall length is longer by almost two inches, width increases by a little over three inches, and the car is higher by about a quarter on an inch. Wheelbase, finally, is 1.38-inches wider.