2011 BMW 3 Series Sedan and Sport Wagon Press Kit

The BMW 3 Series Sedan and Sport Wagon

The 335i Sedan becomes even more responsive for 2011.

Woodcliff Lake, NJ – October 1, 2010... The BMW 3 Series is the internationally-recognized symbol of the intelligently sporty motor vehicle. It is also the best-selling premium vehicle in the world. For 2011, the 335i Sedan received BMW’s newest turbocharged inline-6 engine, enabling faster throttle response and an even smaller emissions signature.

Fundamentally unchanged – and still unchallenged by others – are the 3 Series’ 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.
Thanks to the various facets of BMW EfficientDynamics – especially via the diesel-powered 335d Sedan – the 3 Series experience is more satisfying than ever before.

The 2011 BMW 328i Sedan and 335i Sedan start at $34,525 and $41,975, respectively, including $875 Destination & Handling. The 328i xDrive Sedan and 335i xDrive Sedan start at $36,525 and $43,975, respectively, including Destination & Handling. The 335d sedan featuring BMW Advanced Diesel technology starts at $45,025, including automatic transmission and $875 Destination & Handling.

All-new is the engine for the 335i Sedan. 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 328i Sports Wagon starts at $37,075 and the all-wheel drive 328i xDrive Sports Wagon starts at $39,075. Both prices include $875 Destination & Handling.

BMW Advanced Diesel with BluePerformance: high-performance, high-efficiency twin-turbo diesel engine in the 335d Sedan.
As an important element of BMW EfficientDynamics, the 335d Sedan represents a significant step forward in combining high performance with high fuel efficiency. The 3.0-liter, twin-turbocharged inline-6 diesel engine powering the 335d – its predecessor has been widely acclaimed in Europe – is completely new to the U.S. Also new is its BMW BluePerformance emission-control technology.

Among the turbodiesel engine’s advanced attributes are aluminum construction, high-pressure direct fuel injection with piezo injectors (also a feature of BMW’s twin-turbo gasoline engines), and a turbocharging system that employs both a small and larger turbocharger for optimum response at low and higher speeds.

As a worldwide advance also being introduced in Europe, BMW BluePerformance controls emissions to a strict level that enables the 335d to be sold in all 50 U.S. states. Specific features of this system include an exhaust particulates filter and a Selective Catalytic Reduction exhaust after-treatment system.

Given the stringent emission control and fuel economy that will truly raise eyebrows (official EPA mileage ratings are not yet available), one might expect performance to suffer. On the contrary: this new power concept achieves not only abundant power (265 hp, 0-60 mph in 6.0 seconds with the standard 6-speed automatic transmission), but immense torque (425 lb-ft.) that gives the 335d all-speed acceleration response that simply has to be experienced to be believed. And – a quality of smoothness and sound that fully lives up to the BMW reputation for sonorous power.

Gasoline-powered 3 Series models: continuing the BMW tradition of smoothness, great sound and outstanding fuel efficiency.
The 328i models are powered by a naturally aspirated (i.e., non-turbo) engine featuring advanced, weight-saving magnesium/aluminum construction – still unique among the world’s automobiles. Its Valvetronic system enhances efficiency by employing variable valve lift, rather than a throttle, to regulate engine power. This engine produces 230 hp, 200 lb-ft. of torque, and EPA highway mileage ratings as high as 28 mpg (depending on model and transmission) in 2008. It is a sterling example of BMW’s long-standing tradition of the smooth, sonically delightful “inline six” that delivers excellent performance.

All-new turbocharged engine with Valvetronic for 335i

BMW 3 Series Sedan customers have a choice of two inline-6 engines that are the worlds’ finest. The BMW 328i features 230 horsepower while the BMW 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 Sedan 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 Sedan 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 Sedan 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; this is fully 70 hp up on the 2011 328i models. 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 Sedan can accelerate from 0 - 60 mph in just 5.4 (5.6) 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 Sedan accelerates 0-60 mph in 5.3 (5.4) 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 Sedan 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.

6-Speed Manual Transmission as Standard Equipment
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.
Available automatic transmission with optional shift paddles
Optionally, the 3 Series Sedans 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:
  • 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 Sedans 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.

Intelligent all-wheel drive in the 3 Series: the xDrive models.

Continuing for ’09 are the two Sedan models and one Sports Wagon model with BMW’s truly intelligent AWD system, now taking the system’s name into their model designations: 328i xDrive Sedan and Sports Wagon, and 335i xDrive Sedan. The Coupe models also have xDrive available.

At the core of this permanent AWD system is an electronically controlled multi-disc clutch that steplessly varies torque distribution between the front and rear wheels, and does so with near-instantaneous speed. xDrive doesn’t just optimize traction; it can also enhance both agility and stability on grippy as well as slippery road surfaces.

Superlative chassis technology; Active Steering optional on 335i models.

Part and parcel of BMW’s tradition as The Ultimate Driving Machine is sophisticated chassis technology. All 3 Series models have BMW’s patented double-pivot strut-type front suspension with aluminum components on rear-wheel drive models for reduced unsprung weight. The rear suspension is a 5-link system engineered for a unique combination of agility and reassuring stability.

BMW’s steering is just as essential to the driving experience. All 3 Series models come standard with a hydraulic power-steering system whose road feel and precision are legendary; optional on 335i Sedans is Active Steering, which varies both the steering ratio and power assist to further enhance agility, particularly at low to medium driving speeds. Active Steering is another of those BMW innovations that truly has to be experienced to be believed.

Optimized occupant protection: including new Active head restraints on the front seats.
The 3 Series safety concept is based on a solid and rigid body structure that utilizes high-strength steels and targeted deformation elements to channel and absorb collision forces in the most effective way for crash safety. Specific safety equipment and systems include 3-point safety belts and adjustable head restraints at all (five) seating positions. LATCH attachments for child safety seats are standard at the outboard rear seating positions.

Introduced in 2009 were Active front head restraints, which in a rear-end impact employ fast-acting pyrotechnic activation to pivot the restraints’ forward portion into close proximity with the occupants’ heads: the head restraint, or headrest, moves up to 60 mm/2.4 in. forward and 40 mm/1.6 in. upward. This reduces their heads’ rearward motion, lessening the likelihood of whiplash or other head/neck injuries.

Standard airbag equipment in all current 3 Series Sedans and Sports Wagons includes 2-stage, optimally configured front-impact airbags; front-seat side-impact airbags; and a front-to-rear, curtain-type Head Protection system deployed from the interior ceiling.

Advanced forward illumination contributes to active safety.

A significant contribution to active safety, that is the avoidance of accidents, is Xenon Adaptive headlight technology, standard on 335i/335d models and optional on 328i models. In addition to the greater luminous power of Xenon lights, Adaptive means that the headlights “steer” with the front wheels, governed by the vehicle’s speed and the “yaw rate” at which its direction is changing. This occurs at all speeds and is especially beneficial at speed on curving rural roads at night.

Newly included on Sedans and Wagons with the Adaptive headlights are Cornering Lights, which direct an angled beam at each front corner to assist in situations of low speed and sharp turns. Additionally, on U.S. models both of these lamps illuminate when reverse gear is engaged. Also included is auto-leveling, which maintains accurate aiming with changing vehicle loading, acceleration and braking to reduce glare to oncoming motorists.

Class-leading automatic climate control.

BMW’s automatic climate control provides both effective automatic operation and a high degree of manual “override” control when desired. The 3 Series system is of recent design that incorporates highly refined airflow that is both high-volume and quiet. Fuzzy logic assists in effective temperature regulation, separately for the driver and passenger sides. Other features include activated-charcoal microfilter ventilation; temperature- and volume-controlled air to the rear passenger compartment; a bi-directional solar sensor to account for solar effects; automatic air recirculation when excessive air pollution is sensed; automatic reduction of blower speed when the vehicle comes to a stop; and a misting sensor that detects windshield fogging and adjusts system operation to clear it up.

3 Series Design: Unique, Unmistakable, and Elegant.
  • Subtle new details accent 3 Series’ dynamic character.
  • New headlights, taillights and side sills.
  • Even better ergonomics and esthetics inside.

The current 3 Series, already strong on BMW dynamism and identity, now gains an additional measure of both by virtue of discreet updates and refinements. At the rear, a widened track enhances these vehicles’ planted-on-the-road stance; careful and subtle modifications to the front, sides and aft end make the total design even more harmonious.

At the front.
A new, bolder front spoiler/bumper ensemble imparts sportier, stronger character. Its center air intake is larger than before, enhancing the air supply for mechanical components; upswept lines in the lower air intakes, the bumper itself and the newly shaped headlight clusters emphasize the wide stance. Double longitudinal hood lines, more 3-dimensional than ever, rise toward the A-pillars and frame the hood’s power dome. New lighting features include the layered turn-signal lenses, and on models with Xenon Adaptive headlights, BMW’s distinctive luminous rings now serve as Daytime Running Lamps (on all models, they also function as parking lights). The optional Park Distance Control now includes front and rear monitoring.; formerly PDC was offered on the 3 Series in a rear-only version.

In profile. The lower character line that runs from just behind the front wheel well to just ahead of the rear wheel well, is more prominently contoured and strongly expresses the low stance. On Sport Package-equipped models, new high-gloss Shadowline (black) trim more elegantly frames the side windows. And new wheel designs freshen the 328i models’ 16-in. and the 335i/335d models’ 17-in. standard equipment.

At the rear.
Restating BMW’s traditional L-form are the taillight clusters of both Sedan and Sports Wagon models. Their two main segments, for the taillights and turn signals, are composed of LED rows for an even higher-tech look than before. On Sedans, the trunklid is newly shaped to go with the new taillight design. And the 0.6-in.-wider rear track does its part to strengthen an already road-gripping stance.

New colors. BMW paint colors are notable for their richness and eye-catching appeal. A total of 12 colors are offered with three new metallics for ’09: Space Gray, Tasman Green and Blue Water.

Interior: newly refined materials, surfaces and colors. Here too, subtle updates and refinements mark the newest 3 Series Sedan and Sports Wagon interiors. Materials and surface quality add appeal; certain functional elements including the optional iDrive controller and climate and audio controls offer refined appearance and tactile qualities.

The doorsill trims with their distinctive BMW script are new. The somewhat smaller iDrive controller has a fine galvanic surface, and is newly surrounded by the direct-select keys that enhance iDrive’s user-friendliness. There’s a larger storage tray in the center console including the auxiliary audio input and providing an appropriate place to lay an audio source. Door-panel design has been refined too; on the driver’s door the power-window and –mirror controls have been moved 2 cm rearward for an easier, more natural reach.

Colors and color contrasts have been improved, as well. Three new colors for the optional Dakota leather upholstery are offered: Oyster, Saddle Brown and Chestnut Brown. Interior trim choices are updated, too, with a new Fine Line aluminum trim replacing the former brushed aluminum and Light Burl Walnut replacing Light Poplar among the available wood trims.

Lastly, a heated steering wheel – much appreciated by drivers of other BMW Series in winter weather – is included with the optional Cold Weather Package for all models.

BMW iDrive, 4th generation: new graphics and controls.
  • New controller concept, high-resolution 8.8-in. control display.
  • Optimized menu structures, high-resolution graphics, and expanded range of functions.
  • Greater convenience and more intuitive operation via direct-select keys at the controller, plus more Programmable Memory Keys.
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.

User-friendlier Navigation.

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 xDrive: intelligent all-wheel drive that’s infinitely variable, satisfying agile, always reassuring.
  • BMW is the world’s most successful producer of premium vehicles with all-wheel drive.
  • Now smoother and more precise than ever, thanks to modulated brake intervention and torque compensation.
  • Available in three Sedan and Sports Wagon models, plus two Coupe models.
Increasingly, customers – particularly those who drive in snowy winter conditions – want all-wheel drive. In the 3 Series, five models – with new “xDrive” model designations – incorporate BMW’s unique and advanced AWD system of the same name.

This permanent, electronically controlled system varies the split between front- and rear-wheel driving torque according to driving conditions to produce an incomparable degree of comfort, traction and agility. Via a smooth, precisely controlled central multi-disc clutch, it directs torque to the wheels where the traction is best, reacting amazingly quickly to each change in driving conditions.

In most normal driving situations, xDrive apportions 40% of the driving torque to the front wheels, 60% to the rear to provide a typical BMW rear-wheel-drive handling feel. Sensors continuously and sensitively monitor the four wheels, detecting even the tiniest amount of slip; torque distribution adjusts in fractions of a second to match changing conditions. It all occurs so quickly, in fact, that the system almost seems to be anticipating slip; the driver is unlikely to perceive the need to adjust the torque split before xDrive accomplishes it.

Enhancing xDrive’s quick and precise action is the networking of xDrive and Dynamic Stability Control, the traction and stability system that’s standard on all BMW models. As part of BMW’s overall Integrated Chassis Management (ICM), this powerful and capable networking helps calibrate xDrive torque distribution and other chassis functions to instantaneous conditions. Thus xDrive and DSC react to varying road traction or abrupt steering, braking or acceleration by the driver, always endowing the vehicle with optimum stability and agility.

Via ICM, xDrive and DSC detect any incipient excessive over- or understeer, adjusting 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 all the torque to the rear wheels. In true BMW tradition, the driver enjoys optimum vehicle dynamics under a wide range of driving and road conditions. Finely dosed application of individual wheel brakes compensates for side-to-side traction variations, as well: this aspect of DSC was improved upon the current 3 Series’ introduction, via new analog brake actuation in this situation, as well as other stability-related or anti-lock brake interventions.

An illustrious history: from pioneering sports sedan to world leader in its class.
  • 1975: a new vehicle category is born.
  • Unending progress: BMW 3 Series as cutting edge.
  • Over five generations, always the benchmark.
Strictly speaking, the 3 Series’ chronicle begins in March 1966, when the BMW 1600-2 was introduced at the Geneva Salon (automobile show). That was the launch of the smallest BMW of the time, a compact 2-door sedan with a bit of coupe character, BMW’s front-engine/rear-drive layout and a definite sporting flavor. When a larger, 2.0-liter engine was installed, the model that captured the imagination of enthusiasts in the U.S., the 2002 was born. The actual 3 Series designation made its debut in the U.S. in 1976 – when the 2002 was succeeded by an all-new 2-door.

Over five generations, the 3 Series has always remained true to the values set by the 2002: a compact, sporty, maneuverable, stylish and nicely powered automobile – that was also practical for everyday transportation for at least four persons. Yet, this Series has nurtured another role: that of the cutting edge of automotive progress and the benchmark of what has become an established market segment. A segment, by the way, that didn’t exist then; the 1600-2 and 3 Series created it.

1st generation: the 3 Series was a true Original.

That 1st-generation 3 Series, offered in the U.S. from 1976 through 1983 as the 320i, was offered elsewhere first with four, then later five different engines. In the U.S. 320i with a 2.0-liter motor, that was later updated with a smaller but more advanced 1.8-liter 4-cyinder engine. In Europe, the crowning version was the 323i introducing the Series’ first 6-cylinder engine and heralding a new era in compact, yet sophisticated and powerful sports sedans.

2nd generation: model proliferation brings many choices.
Offered in the U.S. from 1983 into 1994, the 2nd generation began as a discreet, but thorough updating of the 1st-generation 2-door (but soon added the first 4-door body in the Series). At the same time, the first 6-cylinder 3 Series U.S. models appeared with the 325e, powered by an enlarged (2.7-liter) version of the 323i’s 2.3-liter six, specifically engineered for high fuel economy. Other variations included a convertible and an all-wheel-drive system; eventually the 325e and its variants were replaced by smaller-engine (2.5-liter), yet higher-performance 325i models. “s” versions of both were offered in North America giving the Series’ sporty image a boost.

3rd generation: a “big leap” in design.

This generation debuted here in the U.S. in 1991 and was offered into 2000. It looked much more different from its predecessor than had the 2nd from the 1st; conceived with greater comfort and safety in mind, it was also significantly larger. 4- and 6-cylinder engines were offered ranging over time all the way to 2.8 liters and 190 hp. With a long hood and its cabin set farther back, the 2-door became a true coupe. The convertible became a mainstay of the Series, and the Compact, offered as 318ti in the U.S., was developed to extend the Series’ price range downward. This version of the 3 Series first appeared on Car and Driver Magazine’s10Best list in 1992. The 3 Series would go on to appear on every list since then, a feat achieved by no other car.

4th generation: the 3 Series struts its stuff.

This time the styling evolution reverted to gentle; the 4th generation updated its predecessor’s design theme, but aimed it elegantly toward the 21st century. Production began in 1998 and continued through 2006: 4-door sedans came first, then coupes, convertibles and the first 3 Series sports wagon to be offered in the U.S. As another
3 Series first, this generation was offered only with 6-cylinder engines from beginning to end growing from the initial 2.8 liters to 3.0.

Another strong trend took shape as the Series acquired higher levels of luxury and electronic driving assists: antilock braking, traction control and eventually stability control became standard. BMW’s pioneering Head Protection System also made its 3 Series debut with this generation. Vehicle and Key Memory introduced the concept of variable, customer-selected functions, while new options such as Xenon headlights, Navigation and the Steptronic automatic transmission enhanced the driving experience and maintained the Series’ innovation role.

5th generation: bringing the 3 Series up to today.
The Geneva Salon of 2005 saw the debut of today’s 3 Series generation. As usual the 4-door sedans came first; soon after the sedans made their U.S. debut as ’06 models, they were joined by the sports wagon. This was another more dramatic design step, accompanied by a revolutionary new engine: with the magnesium/aluminum composite construction that continues in the newest 328i models. Yet, another innovation followed shortly: the xDrive all-wheel-drive system, replacing the mechanical concept of earlier BMW AWD systems with fully electronic control.

It’s a story of focus, care, adherence to clear values – a consistent vision of quality and a sporting yet practical driving and ownership experience. The latest round of 3 Series evolution and improvement, described in this release, is a validation and continuation of this story.

BMW Ultimate Service™:
Providing owners with incredible value and peace of mind

The 2011 BMW 3 Series Sedan and Sports Wagon 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 Assist™ 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 four 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 four years, but there is no mileage limit. BMW drivers enjoy the assurance of on-the-road help 24 hours a day, seven 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 – four-year/50,000-mile coverage of the vehicle.
  • Rust-perforation warranty – 12-year/unlimited-mileage coverage.

BMW Assist™ 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.

TeleService 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: www.bmwgroupna.com.

# # #

Journalist note: Information about BMW and its products in the USA is available to journalists on-line at www.bmwusanews.com.
# # #