Drives: The Ultimate Joy Machine
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Planet BMW
US specific press release:
THE ALL NEW BMW 3 SERIES COUPE:
· Arrives in showrooms this September
· Unique in its design and interior
· New twin-turbo inline six-cylinder engine with 300 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque
· Intelligent BMW xDrive all-wheel drive system available for the first time in a coupe
· Xenon Adaptive headlights enhanced by four corona rings for characteristic BMW look
· Exclusive interior with seating for four and an enhanced lighting package
· Automatic seatbelt feed for added convenience
Woodcliff Lake, NJ – April 21, 2006… Introducing the latest expression of individual style – the all-new BMW 3 Series Coupe. With totally new looks, the newest BMW Coupe once again sets the benchmark for elegant design, luxury and value. In true BMW tradition, it also establishes a new standard of performance and driving dynamics with the introduction of an exceptional engine: the first inline six-cylinder with twin-turbochargers, high-precision fuel injection, and an all-aluminum crankcase.
The performance potential of this new 300 horsepower engine ensures that the 335i Coupe offers a significant improvement in performance while maintaining a level of efficiency for which the BMW 3 Series is renowned. The 335i Coupe will be joined in the U.S. by the 230 horsepower 328i Coupe.
In addition to the standard six-speed manual, both models will be offered with an available six-speed STEPTRONIC automatic transmission. Designed for responsiveness, the new automatic enhances driving dynamics without sacrificing fuel efficiency.
An additional dimension of driving dynamics, with the benefit of outstanding traction, will be offered with the introduction of BMW’s xDrive all-wheel drive. BMW xDrive is the most sophisticated and responsive all-wheel drive system on the market. It has proven its merits, in terms of agility and safety, in the ten models currently offered with xDrive in the U.S. Beginning this fall these merits will become available to Coupe drivers for the first time.
The premium character of the newest BMW Coupe is recognizable from the very first glance. Over and above the basic shape of the car and its elegant lines, the graphic design of the headlights, the detail of the rear taillights, the interior and even the exterior mirrors were specifically crafted for the new Coupe. These unique design elements reflect the unique character of this elegant and sporty new car.
The buyer who chooses a Coupe wants a car that satisfies their demand for elegant looks as well as driving dynamics. With all this in mind, BMW engineers and designers set out to create a unique yet unmistakable blend of design, features and – most particularly – driving pleasure.
Designed to reflect performance and elegance in the tradition of BMW Coupes
The new Coupe is unquestionably a BMW 3 Series. Yet despite its close technical ties to the Sedan and Sports Wagon, the new BMW 3 Series Coupe is unique in its design details. A genuine BMW from every angle, the new Coupe is an individualist through and through.
The character of any coupe is reflected in its profile. On the new BMW 3 Series Coupe the profile is unmistakably BMW. The long hood reflects BMW’s adherence to its tradition of inline six-cylinder engines. The long wheelbase, the passenger compartment set back as well as the low, sleek roofline which slopes gently into the trunk, are all characteristic of BMW Coupes.
In addition to the classic proportions, the shoulder, character and sill lines serve to enhance the sleek appearance. Both the shoulder line and character line stretch uninterrupted to the back of the car, allowing one’s eye to move quickly and smoothly from front to rear along the entire length of the car. The sill line on the lower edge of the door also flows into the front and rear air dams, reinforcing the dynamic nature of BMW’s newest Coupe.
The combination of lines flowing into one another reflects the performance potential. While the shoulder line rises slightly but consistently from front to rear, the character line flows in a long, stretched arch all the way from the front fender to the taillights. As the sill line, by contrast, moves up slightly to the rear in a slow and gentle curve, the distance between the character and sill lines becomes smaller around the rear wheel arches. The flare of the fender around the wheel also serves to give the character line extra tension in both an upward and outward direction.
The front view also shows a significant distinction from the 3 Series Sedan and Sports Wagon. The contours of the hood as well as the design of the front air dam and headlights give the new BMW 3 Series Coupe a particularly low and sporty look. The powerdome on the hood foretells the performance potential which lies beneath. Its lines follow a powerful silhouette extending all the way from the A-pillars to the outside corners of the BMW kidney grill.
The kidney grille, a typical feature of every BMW, stands out from the surfaces around it. Interaction with the three-dimensional kidney frame creates a look of power and unique style.
The headlight units on the new BMW 3 Series Coupe also have a unique look. With the hood extending beyond the headlights as such, the characteristic four round headlights appear to have been cut-off at the top creating a sense of powerful, concentrated focus.
The new 3 Series Coupe will come standard in the U.S. with xenon adaptive headlights, accented by BMW’s corona light rings. The corona light rings not only serve as daytime running lights, but also draw attention to BMW’s characteristic four round headlights, making this new Coupe instantly recognizable as a BMW, day or night.
The design of taillights is also unique to the new 3 Series Coupe. Integrated flush into the body of the car, the lights are split into two sections and extend all the way up to the trunk lid, blending with the character lines from the side profile. Horizontal LED taillights give the car an unmistakable look at night. The horizontally flowing lines accentuate the wide track and low stance of the new Coupe.
The designers’ objective was to give the new 3 Series Coupe a balanced and harmonious look. The traditional “Hofmeister kink” at the bottom edge of the C-pillar now extends at an even more distinct angle into the shoulder line. To further accentuate this flow of lines, the window accent surround is now made in one single piece.
The exterior mirrors have been specifically designed and matched to the unique character of the new 3 Series Coupe. The contours of the mirrors reflect the profile lines while the mirrors blend seamlessly with the car’s overall design.
The emphasis on individual style, dynamic performance and exclusivity continues within the interior. Horizontal lines dominate the surfaces on and around the instrument panel which blend with the lines of the center console and door panels to give the interior a light but dynamic feel. In true BMW fashion the instrument cluster and key controls are angled toward the driver. Controls for the climate control as well as the audio and navigation systems are within easy reach of the front passenger. Given that the new Coupe is a four passenger car, the rear seat passengers are treated to a storage compartment between the rear seats.
An elegant ambience is created in the interior by special lighting and switches with a premium look and feel. The light contour edge on the door and side panels, which runs from the door pillar all the way to the rear passenger area, creates a particularly warm, indirect lighting effect. Controls and switches used frequently by the driver and passengers such as the door handles and gearshift are finished in high quality metallic trim for an elegant appearance as well as a premium tactile experience.
Inline six-cylinder engines enter new dimensions of performance.
The first impression the new BMW 3 Series Coupe delivers is one of stylish elegance and powerful dynamics. Its long hood reflects BMW’s longstanding tradition of inline six-cylinder engines.
The new BMW 3 Series Coupe will arrive in the U.S. with a choice of two six-cylinder engines including the world’s first inline six with twin turbos, high precision fuel injection, and an all-aluminum crankcase. It is the most powerful engine within BMW’s wide range of inline six driving machines that does not wear an “M” badge. This brand-new version develops maximum output of 300 hp in US-spec from 3.0 liters and generates peak torque of 300 lb-ft for powerful acceleration in any situation.
The combination of turbocharging and direct gasoline fuel injection offers a new dimension to efficient dynamics. Featuring high-precision fuel injection, the engine boasts a highly sophisticated and advanced direct fuel injection system. In true BMW fashion this results in outstanding performance combined with a significant reduction of fuel consumption.
A further advantage of turbocharging is that this is the most economical option to boost engine power and performance. For example, the turbocharged inline six weighs approximately 150 lbs less than an equally powerful eight-cylinder displacing 4.0 liters. And this lower weight means a significant advantage not only in fuel economy, but also in balancing the weight distribution of the overall car.
This new high-performance engine gives the light, aerodynamically sculpted Coupe truly outstanding acceleration and flexibility on the road. The twin turbo powerplant in the BMW 335i Coupe develops its power and performance much more spontaneously than a turbocharged engine of conventional design. Thanks to their lower inertia, the two small turbochargers build up pressure much faster than a single, large turbocharger, thus eliminating even the slightest turbo “lag”.
At the same time the new engine offers all the smoothness and refinement which has made BMW’s award-winning inline sixes so admired. Last but certainly not least, the impressive increase in power on the twin turbo engine versus a conventional normally aspirated six-cylinder comes without any significant increase in fuel consumption.
Featuring two turbochargers each supplying compressed air to three cylinders, the new turbocharged engine offers a new standard of spontaneity and responsiveness. Peak torque of 300 lb-ft comes smoothly and without delay, extending over a wide speed range from 1,400 – 5,000 rpm.
On the road, this power and torque result in outstanding performance. The 335i Coupe accelerates from 0 – 60 mph in just 5.3 seconds. This sense of urgency continues all the way to the electronically-limited top speed of 150 mph, when equipped with sport package.
This extremely efficient increase in power and performance is attributable in large part to gasoline direct injection. The high-precision fuel injection concept developed by BMW ensures a measurable advantage in fuel economy, without limiting the dynamic qualities of the engine.
To enhance this efficiency to an even higher level, the turbochargers are made of a particularly heat-resistant material which makes them immune to high exhaust gas temperatures in the interest of a fuel-efficient combustion process particularly under full load. As a result, the twin turbo technology in the BMW 335i Coupe represents a significant achievement in terms of both performance and fuel economy. The advantages over a conventional turbocharged engine are not only clearly measurable, but also easy to feel on the road.
BMW’s new twin-turbo inline six is making its debut in the new 335i Coupe. One cannot overlook the new 328i Coupe with its normally-aspirated inline six-cylinder engine. This is the latest model to take advantage of BMW’s weight-saving blend of magnesium and aluminum for the crankcase. The cylinder head cover and the bedplate are also made of aluminum. Fully variable Valvetronic valve management, an electric coolant pump and a fully controlled oil pump are features which serve to enhance the 328i Coupe’s efficiency and responsiveness.
The new engine in the 328i Coupe offers 230 horsepower and 200 lb-ft of torque. With 0 – 60 mph acceleration in just 6.2 seconds, this new “entry-level” Coupe is quicker than the previous top-of-the-line 330Ci Coupe.
Both models come standard with a six-speed manual gearbox for the pure driving enthusiast. For those who prefer an automatic a six-speed STEPTRONIC automatic is available. When ordered with the available sport package on the 335i Coupe, steering wheel mounted shift paddles are included, maximizing the sporting potential of the automatic.
The new six-speed STEPTRONIC automatic uses an innovative torque converter and enhanced management software to improve shifting responsiveness. The response time of the automatic transmission on the new BMW 3 Series Coupe is down by approximately 40 per cent compared with a conventional automatic transmission. While fast, responsive gear changes can make driving more fun, the optimized selection of the appropriate gear for all driving conditions helps to reduce fuel consumption. This new automatic is a textbook example of BMW’s pursuit of Efficient Dynamics.
Chassis and suspension: where power becomes performance.
Even with great looks and outstanding performance, it would not be a BMW Coupe if it did not also offer equally outstanding handling and responsiveness.
The new 3 Series Coupe offers class-leading agility through a combination of significantly enhanced dynamic potential on one hand, with the most sophisticated chassis control and assistance systems on the other. Together they provide a margin of safety for any situation in which the car might reach the limits of driving physics. In other words, the driver and passengers in a BMW 3 Series Coupe enjoy superior safety at all speeds.
Traditional rear-wheel drive and a near 50:50 front-to-rear weight distribution give the new BMW 3 Series Coupe ideal qualities for optimum driving dynamics. This, in combination with the high-tech suspension, enables the driver to convert the power and performance of the engine into an exhilarating driving experience. Boasting a double-pivot front suspension with spring struts made almost entirely of aluminum in combination with a five-link suspension at the rear, the new BMW 3 Series Coupe has the most advanced and sophisticated suspension in its class.
Reinforcement and support elements on the underfloor of the car serve to optimize the stiffness of the chassis which enables the suspension to work with the highest possible degree of precision. Interacting with the low centre of gravity and the specific set-up of the shock absorbers, the chassis and suspension work in perfect balance.
BMW’s rack-and-pinion steering has been widely praised for its precision and feedback and the steering in the new 3 Series Coupe is no exception. For the ultimate balance between agility at lower speeds and stability at higher speeds, BMW’s innovative Active Steering will be available. By adjusting the steering ratio, steering angle and power assistance to the speed of the car, Active Steering enables the driver to maneuver the 3 Series Coupe with minimum effort when parking and keep the car precisely on track at higher speeds.
The high-performance brake system requires 17-inch wheels to match the larger diameter of the brake discs which ensure outstanding stopping power and deceleration. Brake performance is further enhanced by BMW’s latest Dynamic Stability Control. Introduced on the 3 Series Sedan, BMW’s latest DSC incorporates several new functions. For example, DSC works to counteract the slightest brake fading effect even at extremely high brake temperatures by increasing brake pressure accordingly. This ensures maximum brake power even under the toughest conditions, without requiring the driver to exert any higher pressure.
Brake Standby positions the brakes closer to the discs after sudden lift off of the accelerator pedal to further reduce stopping distances in an emergency. Dry Braking, in turn, optimizes brake performance in the wet by using the brake pads to periodically dry the brake discs. Dynamic Brake Control automatically maximizes brake pressure whenever required in an emergency stop. Start-Off Assistant briefly holds the car when setting off on an uphill grade.
In a 3 Series Coupe equipped with Active Steering, DSC helps keep the car stable and under control when applying the brakes on surfaces varying in their frictional coefficient. DSC corrects the steering quickly and precisely for optimum control.
Dynamic Traction Control is another feature of DSC. Activation of DTC raises the threshold for intervention by the brakes, enabling the driver of a BMW 3 Series Coupe to set off smoothly on low friction surfaces such as snow. A benefit of DTC for the enthusiast is that it allows slight, easily controllable slip on the drive wheels even on a dry surface.
Of course, as in all BMWs, the driver also has the option to completely deactivate DSC in the new 3 Series Coupe.
BMW’s intelligent xDrive all-wheel-drive system will be available as an alternative to rear-wheel drive for those who need an extra measure of traction with BMW responsiveness. Acknowledged as the most sophisticated and responsive of all-wheel drive systems, BMW xDrive allows the new 3 Series Coupe driver to enjoy the ultimate driving experience in all types of weather and driving. xDrive not only distributes power to each of the four wheels as road conditions require, it partners with DSC to play an active role in helping to stabilize the vehicle at the onset of oversteer or understeer. It will be available this fall in the 328xi Coupe.
The new BMW 3 Series Coupe comes standard with runflat tires for both models. Featuring the most advanced failsafe running qualities, these tires allow the driver to continue for up to 150 miles even under complete loss of pressure. The standard Tire Pressure Monitor gives plenty of warning and alerts the driver when the pressure of any tire falls 30 percent below the ideal level.
Ultra-modern body structure: lower weight, greater safety, improved responsiveness.
The new BMW 3 Series Coupe is light, strong and stable at once. Its structure is tailored to improve agility, safety and comfort while also contributing to overall vehicle efficiency.
Low vehicle weight and a high standard of torsional body stiffness is also crucial to the car’s agility. In the event of a collision, the use of high-strength steel in critical areas, together with the exactly defined deformation zones, ensures effective absorption and, respectively, transfer of forces acting on the body of the car.
Reinforced B-pillars are a particularly impressive example of the high standard of development and excellence in design that the new BMW 3 Series Coupe has achieved, with a tubular structure throughout the B-pillars featured for the first time for added strength. This tubular reinforcement is made of ultra-strong steel in a warm-molding process and is heat-treated for top quality while still in the mold. The reinforcement tube is variably contoured in its cross-section, exactly matching the space available. Together with the crash box tailored to the loads, which act on the body, this ensures maximum safety.
The choice of materials and the arrangement of components at other points on the body also serve to optimize crash safety. The various properties of different types of steel and other materials are used to best effect. The space available for deformation on the new BMW 3 Series Coupe is used to minimize even the slightest impairment of the passenger cell. In a head-on collision, for example, dynamic deformation areas at the front keep impact energy away from the bulkhead and, accordingly, from the car’s footwells. In the event of a side-impact collision, the specially designed floor assembly ensures controlled transfer of forces acting on the car to the opposite side of the body.
The bulkhead support is made of innovative multi-phase steel offering outstanding strength and stability even on thin-gauge panels. Efficient interaction of the doors, the reinforced b-pillars, the seat structure and the instrument panel between the A-pillars serves likewise to maximize the strength of the side structure. The consequences of a collision from the rear are minimized by longitudinal carrier bars, a wide range of reinforcement elements, as well as the extra-strong luggage compartment floor panel, rear panel and side walls. Stable pillars and crossbars also help protect the passenger area in a rollover.
Naturally, BMW’s safety engineers sought from the start to fully maintain the passenger cell as a safe environment even in the most severe crash impact. Centrally masterminded restraint and support systems within the passenger compartment ensure individual occupant safety tailored for any contingency. The frontal, hip, side airbags along with curtain-type Head Protection System, belt latch tensioners and belt force limiters are activated by sensor-controlled electronic safety systems as a function of the type and severity of a collision. With its robust body enhanced by a wide range of active and passive safety features, the new BMW 3 Series Coupe meets all requirements for optimum results in all crash tests.
With active driving calling for optimum visibility at night, the new BMW 3 Series Coupe comes standard in the U.S. with xenon adaptive headlights. Light rods in the rear light clusters stand out distinctly for a significant improvement of safety in the dark.
Whether in the dark or during the day, two-stage adaptive brake lights make an important contribution in enabling following drivers to recognize a dangerous situation well in advance. Whenever the driver applies the brakes particularly hard, and when the ABS function is activated, light intensity in the two-stage taillights is increased accordingly, prompting drivers following from behind to brake harder, too.
Impressive standard and optional equipment
The list of comfort features boasted as standard equipment in the new BMW 3 Series Coupe is just as long and impressive as the list of safety elements. Particularly in the area of top-quality audio, navigation and telematic solutions, BMW offers optional high-tech concepts originally developed for the most outstanding luxury performance cars.
Here again, the focus is on the actual driving experience. The seating position at the rear is lower than in the Sedan, for example, gives the car’s occupants optimum headroom despite the low roof line of the Coupe. At the same time not only the driver and front passenger, but also the rear passengers will immediately feel and enjoy excellent side support.
The door handle trim, gearshift lever cover and vent grille adjusters, as well as the decorative trim in the leather sports steering wheel all come in Pearl Gray chrome surface finish developed exclusively for the new BMW 3 Series Coupe. The starter button is also finished in this material.
Through its design and configuration, the cockpit emphasizes the sporting and driver-oriented character of BMW’s new Coupe. Taking a seat behind the wheel, the driver will immediately focus on a newly designed instrument cluster which includes an oil temperature gauge positioned below the tachometer.
Buckling up in the new BMW 3 Series Coupe, both the driver and front passenger benefit from the newly developed belt feeder arm: The seat belt integrated in the B-pillar, moved back in typical coupe fashion, is automatically “delivered” to the driver and front passenger once they close the door and once 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 conveniently within the side panels, this new system does not impair the elegant look of the interior.
Access to the two seats at the rear has been made even easier. The lever for releasing the seat position is fitted in perfect ergonomic arrangement at the top on the outside of the backrest.
The new BMW 3 Series Coupe was conceived from the start as a four-seater. Comfort for rear seat passengers is further enhanced by the center console which includes individual storage boxes with a cover on top, additional air outlet vents and footwell lights.
The world of the BMW Coupes: combining traditional and new values
The mission to develop a coupe has always been a particularly demanding but interesting challenge for the automotive engineer. After all, the driver opting for a coupe is a truly discerning driver looking for the ultimate driving experience. With this in mind, BMW has succeeded time and again over the years in meeting the great demands made of the coupe buyer while, at the same time, consistently resetting the benchmark in this segment.
The coupe has a long tradition at BMW. Even back in the 1930s, the BMW 327 was lauded as a truly outstanding two-seater and remains a legend to this day. Even back then, the coupe was widely appreciated as a particularly sporting grand tourer with two doors and a fixed roof.
These fundamental features remain virtually unchanged to this day. The lines typical of a coupe combine a long and sleek front section with a dynamic roof line tapering out gently to the rear. Unlike a thoroughbred sports car, the typical coupe offers ample space for more than just two occupants as well as a separate luggage compartment providing room for ample luggage.
The new BMW 3 Series Coupe takes up proven traditions in terms of drive technology as well. Developing a coupe, BMW always seeks to enter new dimensions in driving dynamics. This is why particularly powerful engines and new chassis control systems regularly make their debut in a coupe. Now the new BMW 3 Series Coupe is continuing this tradition with BMW’s new twin-turbo inline six featuring high-precision fuel injection.
As a modern interpretation of a traditional car concept, the new BMW 3 Series Coupe is unquestionably a very special car. Even more than its predecessor, the new 3 Series Coupe stands out from its Sedan counterpart through its distinctive design. In the process the new BMW 3 Series Coupe ensures a particularly refined combination of active driving pleasure and visual appeal.
The new BMW 3 Series Coupe is, above all, a BMW designed to deliver the ultimate driving experience. The all new BMW 335i Coupe and 328i Coupe will arrive in U.S. showrooms this September.