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All-new BMW 3 Series Coupe
Twin-turbo, xDrive and Direct Injection

BMW 3 Series Coupe - front view.

BMW 3 Series Coupe - back view.

The new 3 Series Coupé will be available with rear-wheel drive or xDrive.

28th April 2006.

The vote couldn't come at a better time.

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.

The BMW 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 version.

BMW 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 SE.

BMW 3 Series Coupe - open door view.

Lower 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 (155mph).

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.

BMW 3 Series Coupe - front seats view.

BMW 3 Series Coupe - back seats view.

Storage compartment between the rear seats.

BMW’s all new high-precision Direct Injection system also contributes to performance and economy.

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.

BMW 325i CoupéAt 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.

BMW 3 Series Coupe - automatic seat belt delivery, 1.

BMW 3 Series Coupe - automatic seat belt delivery, 2.

BMW 3 Series Coupe - automatic seat belt delivery, 3.

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. Housed within the side panels, the belt delivery unit does not impair (upper  photo) the look of the interior.

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).

BMW 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.

BMW 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 Coupe.

Details of two future entry-point BMW 320i and 320d Coupé models will be announced at a later date.

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.

BMW 3 Series Coupe - steering wheel.

BMW 3 Series Coupe - steering wheel 2.

Controls 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.

BMW 3 Series Coupe - console and door storage.

BMW 3 Series Coupe - door handle backlighting.

BMW 3 Series Coupe - flexible door storage.

The new Coupé offers up to 440 litres of boot space (430 litres in the BMW 335i coupé), with other storage solutions in the interior.

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 detected.

BMW’s 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 lamp cluster.

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.

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