2012 BMW 3-Series review and pictures

Posted on Monday, 20 February 2012 , 08:02:30 byAngela

Filed under BMWEuropeanGermanSedanSuperSport

BMW 3-Series

German carmaker, BMW will equip the 2012 3-Series with different new engines. For example, a new 320i with a 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder petrol engine that delivers 184 PS and 270 Nm of torque will be offered and all the output will be sent to the heels through a six-speed manual gearbox. This enables the car to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 7.3 seconds. Also, BMW specialists offer two new diesel variants that have a 2.0-liter, 4-cylinder engine. The 318d will be capable of delivering 143 PS and 320 Nm of torque and the car will be able to accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 10.9 seconds reaching a top speed of 202 km/h. An all-wheel-drive system called the xDrive will also be offered on the 320d, 320i, 328i and 335i.

Dynamic performance, efficiency and comfort - perfectly showcased: the new BMW 3 Series Sedan

BMW is expanding its range of engines for the new BMW 3 Series Sedan with the addition of three power units which are all characterised by high performance and outstanding efficiency. The BMW 320i is presented as the new entry-level variant among the petrol engine models. The range of diesel models is supplemented with the BMW 318d and the BMW 316d. What is more, the M Sports package developed for the new BMW 3 Series Sedan is also presented at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show. There is also a look ahead to further engine versions: BMW will be offering the intelligent all-wheel drive system xDrive for the new generation of the sporty sedan, as well as launching the BMW ActiveHybrid 3.

BMW 320i: increased athletic flair with BMW TwinPower Turbo Technology.

After the BMW 328i, the second representative of a new generation of 2.0-litre 4-cylinder petrol engines now sees its debut in the new BMW 320i. In the BMW 320i, the power unit with BMW TwinPower Turbo Technology delivers 135 kW/184 bhp at 5,000 rpm, putting a maximum torque of 270 Nm on stream from 1,250 rpm. This sets it 10 kW above the peak output of its predecessor model, while in terms of pulling power the improvement over the previous engine is as much as 60 Nm. The new BMW 320i with 6-speed manual transmission thus accelerates in just 7.3 seconds from zero to 100 km/h, making it 0.9 seconds faster than its predecessor.

In spite of these improved driving performance figures, the sedan is considerably more fuel-efficient. With an average rate of just 5.9 litres per 100 kilometres in the EU test cycle, the BMW 320i undercuts the fuel consumption level of its predecessor by 0.5 l/100 km or around seven per cent. The technological advance is even more striking in conjunction with the 8-speed automatic transmission: here the reduction as compared to the predecessor model with 6-speed automatic transmission is as much as 12 per cent.

The new 4-cylinder spark ignition engines are key elements of the BMW EfficientDynamics development strategy, geared consistently towards increasing driving pleasure while cutting back fuel consumption and exhaust emissions. The engine of the BMW 320i is based on a basic friction-optimised 1,997 cc engine whose performance differentiation primarily derives from its injection and turbocharging technology. The main components of the globally unique BMW TwinPower Turbo Technology include high precision injection, supercharging based on the TwinScroll principle, the variable camshaft control system double VANOS and the variable valve control system VALVETRONIC. Thus equipped, and fitted with an all-aluminium crankcase, these engines move into an output range which would otherwise only be achieved by conventional naturally aspirated engines with a higher number of cylinders and a larger capacity.

BMW 318d and 316d: high-torque, smooth-running and efficient.

The diesel power units available for the new BMW 3 Series Sedan also draw on state-of-the-art BMW TwinPower Turbo Technology. The latest generation common rail direct injection, turbocharging and all-aluminium construction ensure a high level of pulling power, running smoothness and unsurpassed efficiency in these modern 4-cylinder engines. A centrifugal pendulum in the dual-mass flywheel compensates for irregular revolutions and supports comfortable driving within low engine speed ranges. All diesel engines can be combined with the new 8-speed automatic transmission if required.

The power units of the models BMW 318d and BMW 316d are familiar from the respective predecessor models and offer the relevant driving performance figures. In the new BMW 318d, the 4-cylinder engine generates a peak output of 105 kW/143 bhp at 4,000 rpm, with the maximum torque of 320 Nm available between 1,750 and 2,500 rpm. Considering its acceleration rate of zero to 100 km/h in 9.1 seconds (automatic transmission: 9.3 seconds) and a top speed of 210 km/h, the new BMW 318d is highly economical. With both transmission variants it achieves an average fuel consumption of 4.5 litres per 100 kilometres. The CO2 emissions level is 117 grams per kilometre. In spite of enhanced driving performance figures, this means a saving of two and 14 per cent respectively as compared to the predecessor model.

The entry-level diesel engine of the BMW 316d is particularly geared towards economy. It is able to deliver a maximum output of 85 kW/116 bhp at 4,000 rpm, putting a maximum torque on stream of 260 Nm between 1,750 and 2,500 rpm. This enables the sedan to accelerate from zero to 100 km/h in 10.9 seconds (automatic transmission: 11.3 sec), achieving a top speed of 202 km/h. The average fuel consumption is 4.4 litres per 100 kilometres (automatic transmission: 4.5 litres), with CO2 emissions at a level of 115 and 116 grams per kilometre respectively.

The progressive BMW BluePerformance Technology is available as an option for the BMW 320d EfficientDynamics Edition as of spring 2012, combining the diesel particulate filter and oxidation catalytic converter with an NOx catalyst storage. The system brings about a significant reduction in nitrogen oxides, remaining comfortably within the threshold stipulated by the EU6 emission standard.

Intelligent all-wheel drive for the new BMW 3 Series Sedan.

The intelligent all-wheel drive system BMW xDrive will also be available for the new BMW 320d in future as an alternative to the standard rear-wheel drive. In addition to the characteristic benefits of all-wheel drive, BMW xDrive - with its electronic control system and extremely fast power distribution between front and wheels - also guarantees superior traction, maximum safety, excellent handling and optimum application of engine power in all weather and road conditions. A new set-up, enhancing agility and precision on bends too, provides an ideal combination of dynamic performance and comfort and an excellent basis for absolute driving pleasure.

The new BMW 320d xDrive accelerates in 7.5 seconds from stationary to 100 km/h, in conjunction with the optional 8-speed automatic transmission this figure is reduced to 7.4 seconds. Fuel and exhaust emission levels are remarkably low in the all-wheel drive sedan: the BMW 320d xDrive with manual transmission has an average fuel consumption of 4.8 to 4.9 litres per 100 kilometres and a CO2 emissions level of 127 to 129 grams per kilometre. The average fuel consumption of the automatic version is in fact only 4.7 to 4.8 litres per 100 kilometres, with a CO2 emissions level of 124 to 126 grams per kilometre (figure depends on the tyre format selected).

The first all-wheel drive was premiered in a BMW 3 Series model back in 1985. Even then, power transmission to both axles was not solely aimed at optimising traction on critical surfaces but also served to enhance agility and driving dynamics on bends. In the current version of BMW xDrive, the all-wheel drive system is networked with Integrated Chassis Management (ICM), enabling instant identification and analysis of changing driving situations so as to be able to make the appropriate regulatory interventions early on. These can be applied by xDrive either on its own or in combination with Dynamic Stability Control (DSC). This means that data such as steering angle, accelerator pedal position and transverse acceleration are also included in the calculation of driving status. Unlike conventional all-wheel drive systems which respond only to spinning wheels, xDrive detects any tendency towards a lack of traction in advance and is able to proactively counter the risk of oversteering or understeering by means of the appropriate intervention.

Here, power distribution between the front and rear axle is varied in such a way that the handling properties characteristic of the BMW 3 Series Sedan are still preserved even when taking bends in sporty style. In terms of the xDrive set-up, BMW consistently maintains the characteristics typical of rear-wheel drive. This means that in normal driving situations the BMW 320d directs 60 per cent of the drive torque to the rear axle, so that drive steer is largely eliminated in the all-wheel drive model, too. In order to ensure maximum steering precision and directional stability, the intelligent system feeds more drive power to the rear wheels when entering a bend, thereby guaranteeing sheer driving pleasure.

In terms of hardware, too, BMW continues to expand the supremacy of its all-wheel drive system. The consistent refinement of axle drive and transfer box results in both optimised efficiency and a reduction in weight. Nowadays the electromechanical actuators in the transfer box make do with fewer components, while the use of a thinner oil in the rear axle differential minimises frictional losses. These features help keep differences in fuel consumption and weight between standard and all-wheel drive to a minimum.

In the new BMW 3 Series, the range of models with BMW xDrive starting out in July 2012 will be continually extended, and other attractive combinations with different engines will follow (BMW 320i xDrive, BMW 328i xDrive, BMW 335i xDrive).

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