Updates and enhancements to the perennial BMW sports coupe.
Woodcliff Lake, NJ – October 1, 2010…
Since the earliest days of the company, BMW Coupes have been elegant expressions of individual style and passion for driving. By the 1930's, a coupe was widely appreciated as a special automobile for people who regarded automobiles as much more than convenient transportation. The BMW 327 Coupe, introduced in 1938, was widely regarded as a truly outstanding example of that viewpoint and remains a legend to this day.
Updates and Enhancements for 2011 models
BMW has announced substantial enhancements to the 2011 3 Series Coupe, including outstanding style updates for 328i and 335i models and a new engine for 335i models. The 2011 3 Series Coupe models went on sale in Spring 2010. The 328i Coupe and 335i Coupe start at $37,575 and $44,025, respectively, including $875 Destination & Handling. The all-wheel drive models 328i xDrive Coupe and 335i xDrive Coupe start at $39,475 and $45,925 respectively.
Fundamentally unchanged are each car’s essential attributes of rear-wheel drive, near-perfect 50-50 weight distribution, remarkably precise steering, and skillfully engineered suspension…all of which conspire to produce the uniquely satisfying driving experience that is quintessentially BMW.
All-new is the engine for the 335i model. Internally designated the “N55,” this turbocharged, all-aluminum engine features essentially the same “short block” and 3.0-liter displacement of its predecessor, but benefits from five additional years worth of development and refinement. The result is an engine that is more responsive, more fuel efficient, and cleaner-running than its outstanding predecessor, but preserves the previous engine’s output and soul: 300 horsepower and 300 lb-ft of torque, and a 7,000 rpm redline. The 6-speed manual gearbox – beloved by North American enthusiast drivers - remains standard, and the well-known 6-speed Steptronic automatic is optional, now featuring “pull-style” shift paddles on the multifunction steering wheel.
The 2011 BMW 335i xDrive Coupe combines all-wheel drive with the power of BMW’s famed 300-horsepower, turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine. Likewise, the 2011 BMW 328i xDrive Coupe continues to impress with its 230-hp, naturally-aspirated 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine featuring magnesium-aluminum construction. On smooth, dry roads BMW’s xDrive gives a sporty, rear-wheel drive feel. But hit a wet or snow-covered road, and xDrive automatically sends more torque to the axle with more traction.
Fundamentally unchanged – and still not successfully challenged in other quarters – are the Coupes’ essential attributes of rear-(or all-)wheel drive, harmonious front/rear weight balance, outstandingly precise steering and skillfully engineered suspension…all of which conspire to produce the uniquely satisfying driving experience that is quintessentially BMW.
BMW’s xDrive is the most sophisticated and responsive all-wheel drive system on the market today. It has proven its merits, in terms of agility and safety, in the 19 BMW models currently offered with xDrive in the U.S.
In addition to the standard six-speed manual transmission, the BMW 3 Series Coupes are available with a six-speed Steptronic automatic transmission. Designed for responsiveness, this innovation enhances driving dynamics without sacrificing fuel efficiency.
The distinctive character of the BMW 3 Series Coupes is instantly recognizable from the very first glance. Over and above the basic shape of the car and its classic lines, the design of the headlights, the detail of the taillights, the interior and even the exterior mirrors were specifically created for the Coupes. These unique design elements reflect the special character of this elegant and sporty car. The driver who chooses a coupe wants a car with elegant looks as well as driving dynamics. With this in mind, BMW engineers and designers set out to create a unique yet unmistakable blend of design, features and most importantly, driving pleasure.
All-new turbocharged engine with Valvetronic for 335i
BMW 3 Series Coupe customers have a choice of two inline-6 engines that are the worlds’ finest. The 328i features 230 horsepower while the 335i has 300 horsepower and is the first inline-6 equipped with a single twin-scroll turbocharger, BMW’s Valvetronic throttle-less intake technology, High Precision direct fuel injection, and all-aluminum construction.
The 335i’s new inline-6 engine displaces 3.0-liters and develops maximum output of 300 hp at 5,800 rpm, with peak torque of 300 lb-ft available all the way from 1,200–5,000 rpm. Redline is 7,000 rpm. This is the same level of performance as the previous 3.0-liter twin-turbo inline-6 but with the innovation of twin-scroll technology and the integration of Valvetronic, this new engine is even more fuel efficient.
Historically, BMW engineers were never satisfied with the most often-cited downside to turbocharging: the frustrating “turbo lag” that occurs between the times at which driver presses the accelerator pedal and when the turbocharger develops sufficient rotation to increase power. Turbo lag is usually worse at low engine speeds. Other drawbacks included relatively high fuel consumption and poor emissions output. At the time, turbocharger technology was not a reliable, practical or efficient was to make power. For these and other reasons, BMW put turbocharged gasoline engines on the shelf for more than 20 years.
Two recent developments caused BMW to reconsider turbocharging. While many luxury-performance carmakers began to achieve power gains by building engines of ever-increasing displacement, BMW looked for a more efficient way; smaller engines and turbocharging made sense. Also, the technology transfer from BMW’s turbocharged diesel engines could easily be transferred to their gasoline-fired counterparts. Accordingly, BMW articulated its new approach to developing high-performance engines as part of its EfficientDynamics initiative.
The new N55 is the first BMW inline-6 to combine turbocharging, High Precision direct fuel injection, and Valvetronic variable intake technology. It features a single, mid-sized turbocharger with a “twin-scroll” housing to boost performance and minimize the response lag. Thanks to its housing design which maintains proper separation between streams of exhaust gasses, the turbocharger builds up pressure much faster than previous-generation turbochargers, thus eliminating even the slightest tendency for lag.
A further advantage of turbocharging is that this is the most weight-efficient method to boost engine power and performance. The N55 turbocharged inline-6 weighs approximately 150 lbs. less than an equally powerful eight-cylinder engine displacing 4.0 liters. This lower weight means a significant advantage not only in fuel economy, but also in balancing the car's weight distribution.
Using Valvetronic for the first time on a turbocharged inline-6 allows the engine to “inhale” air for combustion with virtually no delay and with reduced pumping losses. As a result, the engine makes power more quickly than ever before, and this is proven by the N55’s ability to reach peak torque at 1200rpm, 200rpm earlier than its predecessor.
As a result, the technology in the BMW 335i Coupe represents a significant achievement in terms of both performance and fuel efficiency. The advantages over a conventional turbocharged engine are not only clearly measurable, but easy to feel on the road.
Turbocharging typically includes intercooling of the engine's induction air, that is, cooling the compressed air that emerges, very much heated up by the compression process, from the turbocharger(s). Sometimes it's done with coolant; in the case of the N55 engine, it's accomplished with outside air. Intercooling is necessary to reduce the temperature of the incoming air to preclude detonation or "knocking" that can reduce power or, in the extreme, damage the engine. Of course, the N55, like all other current BMW engines, is equipped with knock control as part of the Digital Motor Electronics (DME) engine management system. On the N55 engine, the DME is now mounted directly to the top of the engine for better packaging and weight savings.
The significant loads and cylinder pressures of the N55 300-hp engine required the use of an aluminum engine structure with cast-iron cylinder sleeves. Altogether, the N55 weighs about 427 lbs. The 335i Coupe dual exhaust system runs at both sides of the vehicle. At low loads, a flap channels most gas through one side to reduce low-frequency exhaust "rumble." The 335i Coupe features an air-to-oil external oil cooler mounted in one wheel well as opposed to the N52's coolant-to-oil unit.
The peak power of 300 hp at 5800rpm has already been mentioned. At least as important is the fact that this engine can deliver its peak torque from 1200 rpm - not far above idling - to 5000 rpm. On the road, this power and torque result in outstanding performance. The 335i Coupe can accelerate from 0 - 60 mph in just 5.3 (5.5) seconds when equipped with the manual (automatic) transmission. The sense of urgency continues all the way to the electronically limited top speed of 130 mph (150 mph when equipped with the optional Sport Package). The 335i xDrive Coupe accelerates 0-60 mph in 5.2 (5.3) seconds when equipped with the manual (automatic) transmission.
Finally, the new N55 engine is able to achieve a more favorable emissions signature than its predecessor. The single turbocharger has only one exhaust path and feeds a single catalytic converter in place of the previous engine’s two. This means the exhaust gases are concentrated at the catalytic converter for better cold-start emissions performance, making the N55 a more environmentally friendly engine.
The 328i Coupe is powered by BMW's 230 horsepower, 200 lb-ft, 3.0-liter inline-6 engine, known internally as the N52. Its magnesium/aluminum construction and Valvetronic variable valve lift are features found only on BMW engines. The N52 achieves impressive progress on all performance and technology fronts, especially in its remarkably light weight of 357 lbs. An aluminum/magnesium engine block, hollow camshafts, plastic camshaft cover, improved combustion chambers, a further evolved Double VANOS , higher fuel injection pressure, sophisticated engine electronics, an electric coolant pump, a variable-volume oil pump and an oil/coolant heat exchanger are the other weight-saving features and improvements of this engine over previous generations.
Automatic transmission with optional shift paddles
All 3 Series manual transmissions offer several tangible benefits:
- Highly effective synchronization of shifting
- Light, pleasing feel as the shift lever is moved from gear to gear
- Sporty shifting, via short shift "throws" from neutral to each gear
- Use of lifetime transmission oil, which never needs to be changed
- "Clean bearings" design; protects bearings from contamination, ensures adequate lubrication at all times and therefore enhances durability.
The 3 Series Coupes can be equipped with the 6-speed Steptronic automatic transmission. Compared to the 5-speed unit it replaces, it's lighter, has a more effective torque converter, operates with fewer internal clutches, and can reduce fuel consumption, particularly at cruising speeds when 6th gear is in frequent use. In the 335i, and to appear in other models later, the automatic is the familiar ZF 6 HP 19, but in the TU, or Technically Updated, form.
As in all other current BMW automatics, the Steptronic feature offers drivers a choice of Normal, Sport and Manual modes. Park, Reverse, Neutral and Drive ranges (P-R-N-D) are in the right gate of the shift lever. The Sport mode, in which shifts occur at higher engine speeds, is engaged by moving the lever leftward from D; the Manual mode is engaged when the driver manually chooses a gear by tipping the lever (or shift paddles) forward (for downshifts) or rearward (for upshifts).
This transmission has two additional features, both of which enhance enthusiastic driving:
Design. Reflecting the legendary distinction of BMW Coupes
- Direct selection of Manual mode. If, while driving in D, the driver manually downshifts via paddle or shift lever, the Manual mode engages. But if the driver makes no further manual shifts within 15 seconds, the transmission returns to automatic operation. This feature was first introduced on the '06 Z4 Roadsters and Coupes.
- Shift paddles on steering wheel, offered on all 3 Series Coupes as a stand-alone option with the Sport Package and automatic transmission. There are two paddles above the steering wheel's horizontal spokes. Similar to the shift lever, pulling either paddle rearward commands an upshift; tipping forward produces a downshift.
The profile of the BMW 3 Series Coupe is instantly recognizable at first glance. Beyond the basic shape of the car and its classic lines, the new design of the headlights, the enhanced depth and detail of the taillights, the interior, and even the exterior mirrors were specifically created for the 3 Series Coupe and Convertible. These unique design elements reflect the sporty character of the car. The driver who chooses a two-door vehicle desires a car with dynamic looks as well as driving performance. With this in mind, BMW engineers and designers set out to create a unique, unmistakable blend of design features and most importantly, driving pleasure.
It all begins with proportions. The new, long hood powerfully symbolizes BMW's loyalty to the inherently balanced inline-6 engine. The long wheelbase, short overhangs, the passenger compartment set aft and the low, sleek roofline which seamlessly slopes into the trunk are all characteristics of the BMW Coupe.
In addition to the classic proportions, three design lines—the shoulder, character and lower sill lines— 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 of the lower edge of the door flows into the front and rear air dams, reinforcing the dynamic nature of BMW's newest 3 Series Coupe.
The combination of lines flowing into one another elegantly emphasizes the vehicles’ 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 new 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 near the rear wheel arches. The fender flare around each rear wheel also serves to give the character line extra tension in both an upward and outward direction.
Attractive new innovations at the front, side, and rear - integrated precisely into the overall look of the car- give greater emphasis to the sportiness of both models. At the same time, these modifications slightly extend the overhangs front and rear (now 1.14” and 0.12” longer, respectively), which adds a sleeker and even more athletic appearance.
The new, widened kidney grille, a signature feature of every BMW, suits the broad new hood and stands out from the surfaces around it. Interaction with the three-dimensional kidney frame creates a look of power and unique style. The frame around the kidney grille now features a chrome band precisely twisted within itself.
The 3 Series Coupe comes standard in the U.S. with Xenon Adaptive Headlights, accented by BMW's signature corona light rings. At the top, the new headlights merge into a trim bar cutting off the light beam to create that concentrated, focused look typical of a genuine BMW. The corona rings, now powered by super-bright LED light sources, can serve as daytime running lights (if that feature is activated), and also as evening city lights, making the Coupe instantly recognizable as a BMW, day or night. The upper edge of each headlight fixture is also illuminated by an LED light source.
The new design of the taillights is unique to the 3 Series Coupe and Convertible. The rear light cluster feature two-piece L-shapes and are further accentuated by a new color scheme. With two rows of light tubes that illuminate simultaneously, they create a night design with depth and dimension. Integrated flush into the body of the car, the lights are split into two sections and extend up the trunk lid, blending with the character lines from the side profile. Horizontal LED tube taillights give the car an unmistakable look at night. The horizontal flowing lines accentuate the wide track and low stance of the Coupe.
An additional horizontal contour line has been added to the rear air dam to further accentuate the width of the Coupe. It creates light-and-shade effects to give the entire rear end a flatter and smoother appearance.
Deep Sea Blue Metallic, Vermillion Red Metallic, and Mineral White Metallic exterior colors will each become available for the new 3 Series Coupe this spring.
A cabin befitting a BMW Coupe
The emphasis on individual style, dynamic performance and exclusivity continues within the interior. Here again, the focus is on the driving experience. Horizontal lines dominate the surfaces on and around the instrument panel which blend with the lines of the center console door panels to give the interior a light but dynamic feel. In true BMW fashion, all operational and informational elements essential to driving are grouped on and around the steering wheel. Climate controls, as well as those for the audio and navigation systems, are within easy reach of the front passenger.
Because the Coupes are four-passenger cars, the rear seat passengers are treated to a center console between their individual rear seats which includes individual storage boxes, additional air outlet vents, and footwell lights.
The BMW 3 Series Coupes come standard with Dark Burl Walnut wood trim. As on other 3 Series models, Light Burl Walnut wood and Fine Line Aluminum trim are optional and Gray Poplar wood, similar to the 5 Series' Maple Anthracite, is also available. All these trim choices are no-extra-cost options. Like the standard Walnut, these materials appear on the dash, front and rear consoles, doors and rear side panels.
The standard leatherette upholstery is available in Black and Creme Beige, which is lighter then the familiar Sand Beige. For the optional leather upholstery, luxurious Dakota leather can be chosen as in the 3 Series Sedans and Sports Wagons. Here too, Creme Beige replaces Sand, and in addition there are Coral Red, Saddle Brown, Gray and Black. Upholstery leather appears on the seat facings, door inserts and door handle surrounds; other leather-trimmed items include the gear shift boot, handbrake grip and steering wheel.
In other items of trim that don't change with upholstery or trim options, the interior door handles, gearshift surround trim, steering wheel spokes, instrument dial and engine Start/Stop button surrounds, dash air-outlet adjusting tabs and the optional iDrive controller are in pearl-gray galvanic material.
An elegant ambiance is further created in the interior by special lighting and switches with a premium look and feel. Ambiance lighting, streaming down from under the ledge on the door and side panels, and running from the A pillar all the way to the rear passenger area, creates a particularly warm, indirect lighting effect.
Through its design and configuration, the cabin emphasizes the sporting and driver-oriented character of the 3 Series Coupes. Taking a seat behind the steering wheel, the driver will immediately focus on the instrument cluster which includes an oil temperature gauge positioned below the tachometer.
Buckling up has never been easier for the driver and front passenger because of the recently developed belt feeder arm: The seat belt integrated in the B-pillar, moved rearward in typical coupe fashion, is automatically "delivered" to the driver and front passenger once they close their respective door and the key has been inserted in 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 discreetly within the side panels, this system does not impair the elegant look of the interior.
Access to the two seats in the rear has been made even easier; the lever for releasing the seat positioners is fitted at the top of the outside of the backrest, and an “express button” is provided to quickly slide the power seat forward.
xDrive: BMW's first Coupes with all-wheel drive
Like the other all-wheel drive BMWs, the new 335i xDrive and 328i xDrive Coupes incorporate BMW's advanced xDrive all-wheel drive and traction system. xDrive operates as follows:
- Driving torque is always transmitted to the rear wheels, and most of the time, to all four wheels.
- The portion of torque transmitted to the front wheels is controlled by a multi-disc clutch that can be fully open, fully engaged or at any level of partial engagement in between. The torque split between the rear and front wheels is thus steplessly variable.
- Engagement pressure on the multi-disc clutch is directed by an electronic control system in response to actual road and driving conditions.
xDrive doesn't just optimize traction; it can also enhance both agility and stability on grippy as well as slippery road surfaces. Via the same type of logic that DSC employs to recognize and correct for excessive over-or understeer, xDrive adjusts the front/rear torque split to avoid these tendencies. If undesirable oversteer is sensed, the multi-disc clutch is completely closed, sending the maximum possible torque to the front wheels. If excessive understeer is detected, xDrive opens the clutch completely sending no driving torque to the front wheels. In the BMW tradition, the driver ensures optimum vehicle dynamics under a wide range of driving and road conditions.
In a comparison test of BMW 3 Series, Mercedes-Benz C-Class and Subaru Legacy all-wheel drive models, Germany's authoritative auto motor und sport magazine had this to say about xDrive:
"The BMW has the most modern and adaptable concept. It works: With amazing aplomb, the 3 Series moves right ahead in knee-deep snow, and keeps its front and rear ends smartly under control. Where in other vehicles the driver may break out in a cold sweat on snowy roads, he or she can keep cool in the 3."
Traditional BMW driving dynamics further refined
The 3 Series Coupes offer class-leading agility through a combination of its significantly enhanced dynamic potential on the one hand and with the most sophisticated chassis control and assistance systems on the other. Together they provide a margin of safety for any situation in which a car might reach the limits of driving physics. In other words, the driver and passengers in a BMW 3 Series Coupe enjoy superior active safety at all speeds.
Traditional rear-wheel drive and a near 50/50 front-to-rear weight distribution give the BMW 3 Series Coupes ideal qualities for optimum driving dynamics. The specially tuned 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 rear suspension, the BMW 3 Series Coupes have the most advanced and sophisticated suspension in its class.
Although the 3 Series Coupes' double-pivot front suspension it is already familiar from the 5, 6 and 7 Series, the current 3 Series Sedans and Sports Wagons introduced this system to the 3 Series in '06 and the 3 Series Coupes incorporate it for the first time. It is a more elaborate concept than that of the predecessor models, featuring two lower arms working in combination with the spring/shock absorber strut. The previous, highly acclaimed, 3 Series system utilizes a single, curved arm. These two lower arms are the reason for the name "double-pivot."
By employing two lower arms, the system provides several fundamental advantages:
- Small positive steering offset, for best steering feel and control under all road conditions. Though the two arms don't actually intersect, if you extended their axes to a point where they do intersect, you will find a "virtual pivot point" that is ideal for achieving this result. Steering offset is the "lever arm" through which road forces act on the suspension system.
- Large steering caster, for outstanding stability in straight-line driving and excellent steering return action coming out of corners.
- Space for large brakes, by virtue of the arrangement of the two lower arms.
The 5-link rear suspension, introduced in the 3 Series Sedans and Sports Wagons, is also included on the 3 Series Coupes. In its concept, it could be described as a double-A-arm system with an additional lateral track rod; the upper and lower A-arms actually consist of two links each, their vertical positions differing. This is similar to the front suspension's dual arms. Advantages are extensive:
- As with the front suspension, there is a virtual pivot point for each pair of links, giving the engineers similar freedom in optimizing the system's geometry for best handling. As at the front, the axis connecting these virtual points is configured to ensure that driving, braking and road forces all act effectively on short leverage. The result is very precise handling, especially impervious to road disturbances.
- Under cornering forces, the system controls the rear suspension geometry in such a way as to achieve great agility while also ensuring predictable, stable handling.
- Contributing to this outstanding geometry is the wide and rigid basis on which the rear tires are "planted" on the road. The lateral links are extremely rigid also, as is the subframe.
- For the first time, all the suspension's links connect to the subframe; no longer does any link pivot directly from the body structure. This further reduces any effects of road irregularities on passenger comfort, and improves handling precision as well.
- Here too, the large and elaborate subframe contributes to energy management in the event of a crash - including the more severe rear-end impact that the 3 Series has been designed to withstand.
Reinforcement and support elements on the underfloor of the car optimize the stiffness of the chassis which enables the suspension to work with the highest possible degree of precision. Interacting with the low center of gravity and the specific set-up of the shock absorbers, the chassis and suspension work in perfect balance.
Following a tradition established with the previous Coupe generation, a sporty calibration of springs, shock absorbers, anti-roll bars and bushings is standard on the RWD 328i and 335i models. This calibration includes a 12-mm (0.5-in.) lowering of ride height; stated otherwise, the 328i xDrive Coupe rides 0.5 in. higher.
BMW's rack-and-pinion steering has been widely praised for its precision and feedback and the steering in the 3 Series Coupes is no exception. For the ultimate balance between agility at lower speeds and stability at higher speeds, BMW's innovative Active Steering is available as an option. By adjusting the steering ratio, steering angle, and power assistance (via Servotronic power assist) 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.
Active Steering can also work with Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) to help keep the car stable and under control when applying the brakes on surfaces varying in their frictional coefficient. In such conditions, Active Steering can correct steering quickly and precisely for optimum control.
The high-performance brake system requires 17-inch wheels to accommodate larger diameter brake discs which ensure outstanding stopping power and deceleration. Brake performance is further enhanced by BMW's Dynamic Stability Control. Introduced on the 3 Series Sedan, this latest DSC system 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 on the brake pedal.
If the driver suddenly lifts off the accelerator pedal, Brake Standby positions the brake pads closer to the discs to further reduce stopping distances in an emergency. Brake Drying, 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.
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 has the option to completely deactivate DSC. An Electronic Limited-slip function comes into play in vigorous driving when DSC is completely de-activated. By appropriate application of only the rear brakes while cornering, DSC simulates a traditional mechanical limited-slip differential. This has the effect of better apportioning power between the two rear wheels and thus improving traction in this driving situation. (Which is not recommended on public roads; it’s more of a racetrack or driving-school exercise.)
The BMW 3 Series Coupes come standard with run flat tires. Featuring the most advanced fail safe running qualities, these tires allow the driver to continue for up to 90 miles at 50 miles per hour even with complete loss of pressure in one tire. The standard Tire Pressure Monitor gives plenty of warning and alerts the driver when the pressure of any tire falls 25 percent or more below the ideal level.
Ultra-modern body structure: lower weight, greater safety, improved responsiveness.
The BMW 3 Series Coupes are light, strong and stable. Its structure is tailored to approve agility, safety, and comfort while also contributing to overall vehicle efficiency.
Low vehicle weight and a high standard of torsional body stiffness are also crucial to the car's agility. In the event of a collision, the use of high-strength steel in critical areas, together with exactly defined deformation zones, ensures effective absorption and transfer of forces acting on the car's body.
Reinforced B-pillars are a particularly impressive example of the high standard of development and excellence in design that the BMW 3 Series Coupes have 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 while in the mold for top quality. The reinforcement tube is exactly matched to the space available.
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 BMW 3 Series Coupes is used to minimize even the slightest impairment of the passenger compartment. 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 a 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-long luggage compartment floor panel, rear panel and side walls. 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 integrity of the passenger compartment as a safe environment even in the most severe crash. The frontal and side airbags along with the curtain-type Head Protection System (for front and rear seat occupants), belt tensioners and belt force limiters are activated by sensor-controlled electronic safety systems as a function of the type and severity of a collision.
Enthusiastic driving calls for optimum visibility at night. That's why the BMW
3 Series Coupe comes standard in the U.S. with xenon adaptive headlights which “steer” the headlights themselves and operate at all speeds in response to steering angle, vehicle speed and yaw rate. New to the 3 Series Coupes are standard cornering lights, an angled beam at each front corner to assist in situations of low speed and large steering angles. Cornering lights are activated in left- or rightward direction by either a large steering angle or the turn signals and do not activate at speeds over 25 mph. When the headlights are on and reverse gear is engaged, the feature is activated at both sides.
Light rods in the rear light clusters stand out distinctly for a significant safety improvement 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 potentially 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 also brake harder.
BMW iDrive, 4th generation: cutting-edge graphics and controls.
- New controller concept, high-resolution 8.8-in. control display.
- Optimized menu structures, high-resolution graphics, expanded range of functions.
- Greater convenience and more intuitive operation via direct-select keys at the controller, plus more Programmable Memory Keys.
In the 3 Series, BMW’s iDrive system of controls and displays is offered in combination with the optional Navigation system. In the new 3 Series Sedans and Sports Wagons, iDrive enters its 4th generation building upon this pioneering development, while making it more natural, more intuitive, simpler and more elegant in its functionality – and more esthetically pleasing and enjoyable. In offering this new generation of iDrive, the
3 Series joins the new 7 Series that is also being introduced this autumn.
More intuitive operation, expanded functions.
With the 2002 7 Series, BMW initiated a new direction in the control of vehicle features and functions; via a multi-menu color display and a mouse-like controller usable by driver and passenger alike, a potentially crowded landscape of buttons and knobs was supplanted by a computer-logic control path.
An overarching attribute of iDrive was the separation of control (via the console controller) and display (the centrally placed iDrive monitor). This basic arrangement remains; the controller has been further developed and the display has evolved markedly.
Positioned centrally in the instrument panel, the new control display sets higher standards for logical, readily understood menus and attractive graphics. The controller has been refined for comfortable, intuitive selection and activation of functions via standardized turn, push and tilt motions, while being augmented with new direct-selection keys for specific menus, plus more of the Programmable Memory Keys that were added to the system in the 3 Series in 2007-08.
Greater functionality, satisfying to use: controller with direct-selection keys.
Benefiting from the newest biomechanics R&D, the state-of-the-art controller operates with tactile precision and clearly structured motions. New control elements, menu schemes and graphic representations in the control display become evident upon first use, yet user appreciation grows over the longer term. A graphic depiction of the controller in the display itself helps orient the user to the next control step; the rotation, pressing and tipping motions generally correspond to those of a computer mouse.
Thus interpreted, rotation of the controller takes the user through menu selections; pressing it makes the choice. Tilting the controller to the left or right effects navigation through various menu levels. Via clear graphic organization in the form of stacked layers and onscreen depiction of controller movements, the user enjoys highly intuitive navigation. All menus are structured according to a consistent scheme, so that one is almost immediately at ease; menus are broad so that the user can view relatively numerous options without switching to another level. Also, functions are arranged so that in longer-term use the most important options are reached more rapidly.
An additional new refinement is four direct-selection keys, placed adjacent to the controller, for the most frequently used menus. These allow quick selection of CD, radio, phone and navigation menus, and are augmented by three further keys of general utility: one takes the user directly to the start menu (MENU), one to the most recently active menu (BACK), and the third (OPTION) presents various options within the current area. Thus searches are likely to be shorter, or unnecessary.
Familiar and proven, yet now more useful: Programmable Memory Keys.
An iDrive enhancement recently introduced in various BMW models represents a further user convenience: Programmable Memory Keys. When first introduced, there were six of them; now there are eight. Lined up above the audio controls, these allow the user to capture and store favorite or frequently used functions (radio stations, phone numbers, navigation destinations for example) on various keys and recall them instantly. The stored functions can be as specific and detailed as a navigation map in the preferred scale or an audio balance setting. And because the keys are sensitive not just to being pressed but also to being merely touched, one can see the stored function on the control display by lightly touching the key. If it’s the right one, the user need only press the key and it’s there, ready to use.
High-resolution display, preview maps and full-screen images.
With its 8.8-in., high-resolution monitor, the new iDrive displays remarkably attractive images. It’s a system appropriate to the vehicle it’s in, achieved via up-to-date hard- and software. White-on-black menu lists; effective symbols and icons; contemporary graphics; and clear, consistent color-coding are among the elements that enhance not only function but also esthetics.
Menu structures, too, make finding desired functions easier. In the Start Menu, all functional areas served by iDrive are listed. Selecting a given item leads to its menu layer, where the options of that level are also listed. This consistency in navigation assists in orienting the user, as does the “stacking” of menu layers in the display. Visual assists further contribute to clarity. And if the user gets to a place where he or she didn’t mean to be, the Back key usually reverses the error.
This overall refinement of functionality means simpler and more enjoyable use of the optional Navigation. Full-screen map displays offer outstandingly detailed views of the geography; maps as well as specific symbols can be shown in 3-dimensional form. Selected points of interest along the travel route appear with near-photographic realism.
Mere input of destinations reveals the new system’s impressive capabilities. If the destination appears on a list in the system, a preview map appears as the user scrolls the list; this can help distinguish between places with similar or identical names. If a destination (or a phone number) needs to be entered manually, this is done with a new, circular “speller” that makes the entry go more quickly.
Convenient combination of voice entry and controller operation.
Yet, another iDrive innovation is its ability to combine voice and controller entry called Multi-mode Input. The user can go back and forth between the two methods, while actually inputting; indeed, voice recognition can remain active during input via controller and the user can modify an input via voice. Voice recognition – BMW calls it Voice Command – is activated by its function key on the steering wheel, and de-activated either upon completion of the action or by pressing the key again. Voice Command is simplified by visual display of the available commands, yet its capabilities go further in that numerous synonyms of these commands are also recognized.
This newly enhanced iDrive introduces a very significant step forward in the operation of automotive features and functions. Greater efficiency, improved logic and clear, attractive displays help define and advance the 3 Series’ unique product character. The new iDrive helps the freshened 3 Series Sedan and Sports Wagon create a user experience that is truly unique.
BMW Ultimate Service™:
Providing owners with incredible value and peace of mind
The 2011 BMW 3 Series Coupe will feature BMW Ultimate Service™
, a suite of services that includes the BMW Maintenance Program (formerly called Full Maintenance), Roadside Assistance and the New Vehicle Limited Warranty. BMW AssistTM with TeleService is part of the optional Premium Package or can be ordered separately as a stand-alone option.
BMW Ultimate Service™ includes:
The BMW Maintenance Program
is the only no-cost maintenance program in the industry that covers wear and tear items like brake pads and rotors for 4 years or 50,000 miles, whichever comes first. BMW owners pay nothing for all scheduled inspections, oil changes, brake pads, wiper blade inserts and other wear-and-tear items.
BMW Roadside Assistance
is one of the industry’s most comprehensive plans available. Not only is it no-charge for the first 4 years, but there is no mileage limit. BMW drivers enjoy the assurance of on-the-road help 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, anywhere in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. This includes everything from flat tire changes, emergency gasoline and lock-out assistance, to towing, alternative transportation and even trip-interruption benefits. This service also includes valuable trip routing advice.
BMW New Vehicle Limited Warranty:
All 2011 BMW passenger vehicles are covered by BMW’s excellent Limited Warranty, which includes:
- New-vehicle warranty – 4-year/50,000-mile coverage of the vehicle.
- Rust-perforation warranty – 12-year/unlimited-mileage coverage.
provides the driver with services that enhance on-the-road security and convenience, for added peace of mind. The BMW Assist and Bluetooth® System is included in the Premium Package or available as a stand-alone option. BMW includes the Safety Plan for 4 years at no additional cost. BMW is the only manufacturer that offers this duration of service as other manufacturers only include the first year of service. The BMW Assist Safety Plan
is a subscription based service that is subject to certain limitations.
The in-vehicle equipment for BMW Assist includes GPS technology and hands-free communication functions to deliver emergency and other services, accessed via buttons in the overhead or center console. The BMW Assist system transmits the location and vehicle information to the BMW Assist Response Center. A response specialist speaks with the vehicle occupants to coordinate dispatch, notify emergency contacts on file, and link BMW Roadside Assistance or emergency services as needed and/or requested. A severe accident automatically activates the Automatic Collision Notification function. The BMW Assist Safety Plan also includes Door Unlock and Stolen Vehicle Recovery services, which can save the owner time and money. New to BMW Assist is MyInfo, which allows users to send business listings and street addresses with associated phone numbers from the internet, directly to their BMW.
automatically notifies the BMW center when a vehicle will need service. A service advisor then proactively calls the customer to set up a convenient appointment and have the needed parts ready.
BMW Assist subscribers can also enroll in the BMW Assist Convenience Plan
(available at an additional cost of $199 per year) to avail themselves of many BMW Assist concierge services, from finding the lowest fuel price or the best French restaurant in the area to information on flight arrival gates or times, as well as receive directions, and traffic and weather information. On 2007 and later models, a selected destination and its phone number can be sent directly to the BMW Navigation system (if so equipped) and the customer’s Bluetooth linked mobile phone, after a push of the Concierge menu option. New in 2009 was BMW Search, which allows those vehicles equipped with both the BMW Navigation and BMW Assist system to gain online access to the Google Maps database inside the vehicle to quickly find a desired business with just a key word. The Convenience Plan also includes Critical Calling, a service that can connect the driver to a requested party via a response specialist in case their mobile phone is not in the vehicle or its battery is discharged.
Lastly, the BMW Assist system includes Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity with phonebook access and speech recognition for dialing by name or number via the steering wheel controls. Use of this feature requires a customer-provided compatible Bluetooth mobile phone. To learn more about BMW Assist, please visit www.bmwassist.com
Performance with a conscience
BMW strives to produce its motor vehicles and other products with the utmost attention to environmental compatibility and protection. Integrated into the design and development of BMW automobiles are such criteria as resource efficiency and emission control in production; environmentally responsible selection of materials; recyclability during production and within the vehicle; elimination of CFCs and hazardous materials in production; and continuing research into environmentally friendly automotive power sources. Tangible results of these efforts include the recycling of bumper cladding into other vehicle components; water-based paint color coats and powder clear coats; near-future availability of hydrogen-powered models; and various design and engineering elements that help make BMWs easier to dismantle at the end of their service life.
BMW Group In America
BMW of North America, LLC has been present in the United States since 1975. Rolls-Royce Motor Cars NA, LLC began distributing vehicles in 2003. The BMW Group in the United States has grown to include marketing, sales, and financial service organizations for the BMW brand of motor vehicles, including motorcycles, the MINI brand, and the Rolls-Royce brand of Motor Cars; DesignworksUSA, a strategic design consultancy in California; a technology office in Silicon Valley and various other operations throughout the country. BMW Manufacturing Co., LLC in South Carolina is part of BMW Group’s global manufacturing network and is the exclusive manufacturing plant for all X5 and X3 Sports Activity Vehicles and X6 Sports Activity Coupes. The BMW Group sales organization is represented in the U.S. through networks of 338 BMW passenger car centers, 336 BMW Sports Activity Vehicle centers, 143 BMW motorcycle retailers, 100 MINI passenger car dealers, and 31 Rolls-Royce Motor Car dealers. BMW (US) Holding Corp., the BMW Group’s sales headquarters for North America, is located in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.
Information about BMW Group products is available to consumers via the Internet at:
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Journalist note: Information about BMW and its products in the USA is available to journalists on-line at www.bmwusanews.com.
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