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Chris Bruce2011-10-17 09:54:46

Sixth-Gen BMW 3-Series Gets Total Redesign with New Styling, Engines and Tech

Sixth-Gen BMW 3-Series Gets Total Redesign with New Styling, Engines and Tech

The BMW 3-series is the world standard for compact, luxury sedans and has been since at least the 80s. In a move to command the media, BMW decided not to introduce the new, sixth generation 3-series at Frankfurt but instead did it today, October 14. 

The new 3-series grows significantly over the previous model. The front track is 37mm wider, and the rear track is 47mm wider. Length is increased by 93mm and wheelbase is up 50mm. This means that the 2012 3-series is actually larger than the E34 5-series produced from 1988 to 1996. Despite the larger size, extensive use of aluminum components means that the car is 40kg lighter than the previous generation. 

The larger space is mostly meant to increase rear passenger leg room. It is up 15mm and headroom is up 8mm. Trunk capacity is up 20 liters. 

The front end of the new 3-series is blunter and wider than the previous version. For the first time the headlights are integrated with the kidney grill. The wider front end has integrated LED running lights above the headlights. From the side the car echoes the current 5-series in styling.

For the first time, the 3-series will be available exclusively with turbocharged engines. The new base engine is the 2.0, liter turbocharged 328i. It produces 180kW/245hp and 350Nm (258lb-ft) of torque. It uses 6.4l/100km of petrol and can accelerate to 100km/h in 5.9 seconds. The most efficient model is the 320d EfficientDynamics with 120kW/163hp, and it uses 4.1l/100km of diesel and produces 109g/km of CO2. 

The most powerful engine is the 335i with 225kW/306hp and 400Nm (295ln-ft) of torque. It will accelerate to 100km/h in 5.5 seconds. It uses 7.9l/100km of petrol and produces 186g/km of CO2. With the eight-speed transmission it uses 7.2l/100km of petrol and produces 169g/km of CO2. 

A 320i, 316d, 318d and 3-series ActiveHybrid will arrive in late 2012. 

All of the engines are available with BMW's new eight-speed transmission with standard start/stop technology. 

BMW is adding new, optional technology to the sixth-gen 3-series. The new car will be available with a new, higher-resolution head-up display and Surround View that places cameras around the car to aid in tight maneuvering. Active Cruise Control, Lane Change Warning, Lane Departure Warning and Collision Warning are all also available. 

The new 3-series is available in three trim levels: Sport Line, Luxury Line and Modern Line. An M Sport Package will come late in 2012. Sport Line cars get a blacked-out kidney grill and mirrors, 17in or 18in wheels, sport seats and red interior trim. Luxury Line cars have exterior chrome accents and wood-trimmed interior. Modern Line cars get have satinated aluminum accents in all the places Luxury Line cars use chrome and a high contrast interior. The M Sport Package will have aerodynamic touches on the exterior, sport suspension, 18in wheels, Alcantara upholstery, M Sport leather steering wheel and gearshift. 

3 Series3 Series
3 Series Gen.53 Series Gen.5



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