new 3 Series Coupé
will be available with rear-wheel drive or
28th April 2006.
The vote couldn't come at a better
When the new BMW
3 Series sedan was named
‘2006 World Car of the Year’ at the New York
international auto show
(14-23 April), by a jury of 46 international automotive
journalists, the all-new BMW
3 Series Coupe was just
about to be announced for a market launch in September
2006 (Europe and the U.S.).
Despite its close technical ties with
the 3 Series sedan
(saloon) and Touring
variants, the third generation Coupe
model is even more differentiated than its predecessors.
While all 3 Series models use tailored blanks that
increase panel thickness where structural rigidity is
needed, and reduces thickness where it’s not, the Coupé
variant also uses plastics in construction. As a result of
the lightweight plastic front wings used on the 3 Series
Coupé the new car
is an average 10kgs lighter than the Saloon variant.
3 Series Coupé marks also
the introduction of the first ever twin-turbo
petrol-powered engine in a production BMW, with gasoline
direct injection technology, and the xDrive
AWD availability, for the first time with the Coupé
335i Coupe - The most
powerful BMW inline-six cylinder engine that does not wear
an “M” badge, becomes the twin-turbo 3.0-litre engine
of the new BMW 335i
seating position enhances headroom under
the lower sporty roof.
It develops 306hp (300 hp in US-spec)
and 400Nm of torque between 1,300 - 5,000rpm, accelerating
from zero to 100 km/h (62mph) in 5.5 seconds, on its way
to an electronically-limited top speed of 250 km/h
This performance and specific output
(102hp per 1000cc) and torque (133.3 Nm/1000cc) figures
are made possible by two turbochargers, each
supplying compressed air to three cylinders each.
The use of two smaller units allow the
turbochargers to react more quickly to changes in the
throttle position all the way to the 7,000rpm red line
while also eliminating the previous scourge of
turbocharged engines – ‘turbo lag’.
The turbocharged engine is also
considerably lighter than a normally aspirated powerplant
of equal power. In the case of the 335i, the new
twin-turbo six-cylinder engine weighs approximately 70kgs
less than an eight-cylinder engine of corresponding
performance. This weight advantage benefits both fuel
economy and weight distribution.
compartment between the rear seats.
BMW’s all new high-precision Direct
Injection system also contributes to performance and
Piezo injectors, located
centrally in the combustion chamber between the inlet and
exhaust valves, deliver atomised fuel in a conical burst
into the chamber to ensure a smooth, efficient burn. Piezo
crystal injectors work when an electrical current is
passed through the crystal to create a precise and
consistent fuel delivery.
The exact volume of fuel required is
delivered into the combustion chamber on each cycle
guaranteeing that all the vaporised mixture is burnt. This
also helps the combustion chamber cooling, offering a
higher compression ratio (cooling increases air density)
and an average fuel consumption of 29.7 imperial mpg (9.5
litres of petrol per 100 km) on the combined cycle.
325i Coupé - At
the launch in September, the new 325i SE Coupé will form
the entry point to the range. Delivering 218hp and 250Nm
of torque from its 2.5-litre in-line six-cylinder engine,
zero to 100 km/h (62mph) is achieved in 6.9 seconds and
the top speed is 246 km/h (153mph). The 325i SE Coupé
delivers 33.6mpg (8.4 litres/100 km) on the combined
cycle. This is made possible thanks to BMW’s patented
VALVETRONIC variable induction technology and VANOS
variable valve timing that, when combined, balance the
requirements of performance and economy.
The 325i Coupé is the latest BMW to
benefit from the magnesium – aluminium composite
cylinder block first seen on the BMW 630i in Spring 2004.
The lightweight combination of materials reduces the
overall mass of the car
and helps achieve the near-perfect 50:50 front-to-rear
weight distribution for improved handling.
in the B-pillar, the seat belt is
automatically “delivered” to the
driver and front passenger once they close
the door and the key has been inserted
into the ignition slot. Housed within the
side panels, the belt delivery unit does
not impair (upper photo) the look of
The 2.5-litre engine uses an
electrically-powered water pump, saving the partial engine
power normally needed to drive a conventional crankshaft
driven unit while reducing engine heat-up time to improve
engine efficiency and occupant comfort (including cabin
heating in winter).
330i Coupe - Other
engine derivatives start production in September to
broaden the 3 Series Coupé range. The new BMW 330i
Coupé will develop 272hp from its normally-aspirated
3.0-litre six cylinder engine that, like the smaller
engined 325i Coupé, uses magnesium alloy in its engine
construction. Acceleration to 100 km/h (62mph) is
dispatched from standstill in 6.1 seconds with an
electronically limited top speed of 250 km/h (155mph). The
330i Coupé delivers 32.1 imperial mpg (8.8 litres / 100
km) on the combined cycle.
BMW 330d - At the same time as
the 330i, the new BMW 330d Coupé will start
production, offering 231hp and 500Nm of torque. The
diesel-powered Coupé tops the 0-100 km/h (62mph) in 6.6
seconds while still delivering 43.5mpg (6.49 litres/100
km) on the combined cycle.
328i Coupe - In the
U.S. market, the 335i Coupe will be joined by a 230
horsepower 328i Coupe. The normally-aspirated inline
six-cylinder engine also takes advantage of BMW’s
weight-saving blend of magnesium and aluminium for the
crankcase, the fully variable Valvetronic valve
management, the electric coolant pump and a fully
controlled oil pump.
The 328i Coupe offers 230 horsepower
and 271 Nm (200 lb-ft) of torque. With 0–60 mph (96.5
km/h) acceleration in 6.2 seconds, this new “entry-level”
Coupe is quicker than the previous top-of-the-line 330Ci
Details of two future entry-point BMW 320i
and 320d Coupé models will be announced at a later
Gearboxes - BMW 3 Series Coupé
models come standard with a close ratio six-speed manual
gearbox. As an option, BMW’s new six-speed automatic
gearbox uses an innovative torque converter and software
set up to offer a 40 per cent improvement in the response
time to throttle inputs and a gear-shift time nearly half
that of a conventional automatic transmission. A pair of selection
paddles located behind the steering wheel can be used
to change gears.
within easy reach.
Interior - Integrated in the
B-pillar, the seat belt is automatically “delivered”
to the driver and front passenger once they close the door
and the key has been inserted into the ignition slot.
Connected to the seat occupancy detector, the
passenger-side belt feeder arm is only activated when the
front passenger has actually taken a seat. With the belt
delivery unit housed within the side panels, this new
system does not impair the elegant look of the interior.
Controls for the climate control as
well as the audio and navigation systems are within easy
reach of the front passenger, and a storage compartment
fits between the rear seats.
With the lower roofline of the Coupé
(compared to the sedan and Touring versions), headroom is
compensated for by lower seats for both driver and
passenger, giving the new Coupé occupants a safe,
cosseted feeling in the car. The new Coupé offers up to
440 litres of boot space (430 litres
in the BMW 335i coupé) in conjunction with other
storage solutions in the interior.
Chassis - In common with all BMW
models, the new 3 Series Coupé benefits from a
near-perfect 50:50 front to rear weight distribution and
rear-wheel-drive (all-wheel-drive is
available as an option) for
the optimum in driving dynamics. A double-joint tie bar
front axle with spring struts made almost entirely from
aluminium and a five-link rear axle work in combination
with a rigid body structure to provide high levels of
stability and comfort.
new Coupé offers up to 440 litres of boot
space (430 litres in the BMW 335i
coupé), with other storage solutions in
The 3 Series Coupé also comes as
standard with Dynamic Stability Control +, BMW’s latest
traction control system. With DSC+, brake pads are
automatically dried in wet weather conditions, and brakes
are applied harder when any possible brake fade is
xDrive all-wheel-drive system will be
available as an alternative to rear-wheel drive. xDrive
distributes power to each of the four wheels as road
conditions require, in harmony with DSC to play an active
role in helping to stabilize the vehicle at the onset of
oversteer or understeer. It will be available 325xi,
328xi (U.S.), 330xi and 330xd Coupé versions.
To enhance the chassis and suspension
set up, the 3 Series Coupé comes with a rack and pinion
steering system as standard. However, customers can also
opt for BMW’s Active Steering system that varies
the steering ratio as a proportion of road speed.
By adjusting the steering ratio, steering angle and power
assistance to the speed of the car, Active Steering
enables the driver to manoeuvre the 3 Series Coupe with
minimum effort when parking and keep the car precisely on
track at higher speeds. The Active Steering system
additionally links into the DSC+ system, adding small
amounts of steering correction without driver input when
oversteer is detected.
Safety - The new 3 Series Coupé
gets six standard air bags with seatbelt pre-tensioners
and belt force limiters, all activated by the type and
severity of a collision.
While Xenon headlights come as
standard (to be checked depending on markets), optionally
available Adaptive Headlights sense the steering
angle to aim in the direction the car is travelling
(standard with xenon adaptive headlights in the U.S.).
The new 3 Series Coupé is equipped
with BMW's Brake Force Display. In an emergency
stop, or when the ABS system is in operation, the driver
behind the Coupé is warned of the danger ahead by an
additional illumination of the LED brake lights in the
The new BMW 3 Series Coupe comes
standard with runflat tires, featuring the latest
failsafe running qualities. They allow the driver to
continue for up to 240 km (150 miles) even under complete
loss of pressure. The standard Tire Pressure Monitor
alerts the driver when the pressure of any tire falls 30
percent below the ideal level.
Prices - Prices announced for
the UK will start from £28,090 (on the road) for the 325i
SE Coupé, and from £33,420 for the 335i SE Coupé.
In Switzerland (VAT incl.), prices will
start from 55,800 Swiss Francs for the 325i,
59,400 SF for the xDrive equipped 325xi, 63,600
SF for the 330d, 62,600 SF for the 330i,
66,200 SF for the 330xi, 67,200
for the 330xd and 67,100 SF for the 335i.