Tuesday, 29 May 2012

BMW 6 Series Gran Coupé


The new BMW 6 Series Gran Coupé

BMW will expand the 6 Series range to three models in June 2012 with the introduction of the Gran Coupé. BMW’s first four-door coupé combines the elegant and sporty appearance of a classic grand tourer with the space and ease of access of an executive saloon.

A new 450hp V8 heads a range of three TwinPower Turbo engines, which also includes six-cylinder petrol and six-cylinder diesel powerplants. All three engines drive through an eight-speed automatic transmission and come with the full suite of EfficientDynamics technologies, including Auto Start-Stop, ensuring highly responsive performance goes hand-in-hand with low fuel consumption and emissions. Extensive use of aluminium in the body and chassis reduces weight and ensures that the 6 Series Gran Coupé has the agility and precision expected of a BMW.


Model
Price OTR from
Power
Hp
Torque   Nm
0 – 62mph Seconds
Top Speed Mph
Combined Mpg
CO2 Emissions g/km
BMW 650i Gran Coupé
£70,650
450
650
4.6
155*
31.7
206
BMW 650i Gran Coupé
£61,390
320
450
5.4
155*
35.8

181



BMW 650i Gran Coupé
£63,900
313
630
5.4
155*
49.6

148



* Electronically-limited 

 

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Monday, 28 May 2012

The new BMW 7 Series.


The new BMW 7 Series reinforces BMW’s commitment to building the finest flagship model possible with a focus on sporting elegance, superb refinement and luxurious comfort combined with efficient yet high performance powertrains.

Small design enhancements, including new optional Adaptive LED headlights, accentuate the strong, powerful lines and balanced proportions inherent to the 7 Series. Inside and the pursuit of innovation is apparent with an enhanced control display and a new optional multi-function Instrument panel providing access to the latest in BMW’s ConnectedDrive technology. Additional in-car refinement measures and further optimisation of the 7 Series’ chassis have led to an even higher level of driving comfort for the occupants.

With a revised range of highly efficient engines, a standard eight-speed automatic gearbox and the full array of EfficientDynamics technologies, the new BMW 7 Series combines enhanced performance with significantly reduced emissions and fuel consumption. The latest BMW 7 Series is also the first to be offered in the UK as an ActiveHybrid in both standard and long-wheelbase guises courtesy of a 3.0-litre six-cylinder engine mated to a synchronous electric motor and lithium-ion high performance battery which will allow for solus electrically-powered driving at given times.


Model
Price from OTR
Power
Hp
Torque
Nm
0 – 62mph Seconds
Top Speed Mph
Combined Mpg
CO2 Emissions g/km
BMW 760Li
£101,805
544
750
4.6
155*
21.1
314
BMW 750Li
£74,340
449
650
4.8
155*
32.8
199
BMW 750i
£71,340
449
650
4.8
155*
32.8
199
BMW ActiveHybrid7
£66,040
354
500
5.7
155*
41.5
158
BMW ActiveHybrid7 L
£69,140
354
500
5.7
155*
41.5
158
BMW 740Li
£64,505
320
450
5.7
155*
35.8
184
BMW 740i
£61,505
320
450
5.7
155*
35.8
184
BMW 740d
£65,305
313
630
5.5
155*
49.6
149
BMW 730Ld
£61,215
258
560
6.1
155*
50.4
148
BMW 730d
£58,115
258
560
6.1
155*
50.4
148

*Electronically limited.


Exterior Design: a stylish presence from every angle

The new BMW 7 Series is the epitome of BMW’s approach to making advanced, elegant and luxurious vehicles; the brand flagship and hence, a car with genuine presence as well as an air of sporting luxury. The main exterior changes are to the front and rear of the car, but in addition, the 8mm drop in the overall height of the vehicle has further accentuated the sleek profile of this machine.

From the front, the new 7 Series now presents the latest version of the famous BMW kidney grille which features a larger aperture but with nine instead of 13 slats for greater visual impact. In the lower section a full-width air intake is now split into three sections, defined by a pair of chrome bars on the outer edges and flanked by vertical air intakes that form part of the advanced aerodynamic package.

As an option, customers can now specify full Adaptive LED headlights, which with their crisp accent strip and familiar BMW corona rings not only supply excellent visibility at night, but further sharpen the frontal design of the new 7 Series.

In profile, the sleek, hallmark BMW proportions give the new 7 Series the unmistakeable air of BMW’s ultimate saloon, and are further boosted by the integration of the turn indicator into the lower part of the wing mirrors.

At the rear, the powerful, planted sense of the body design has been embellished by a deeper shade of red for the rear light units and the addition of chrome strips: one to link the light units, and another to link the rear reflectors (and a slim chrome bar between the four chromed tailpipes on the 760Li).


Interior: supreme luxury meets high technology

As befits a vehicle with the prestige of the new BMW 7 Series, the stylish cabin is a delightful place to spend time in, with its flowing forms and exquisite materials. With an interior trimmed in either Dakota or Exclusive Nappa leather, it is apparent that real craftsmanship has been employed in its creation and construction, executed with precise attention to detail. Additional soundproofing material has been incorporated in the B and C pillars, the sills and boot area, with careful sealing around the window frames and mirrors. New, variable-colour ambient lighting adds to the feeling of luxury.

Despite the luxurious surroundings, BMW’s traditional ergonomic focus on the driver is apparent, with newly designed seats increasing the comfort and support for their occupants. Comfort seats are optionally available and can be ordered in combination with either folding tables or a new rear seat entertainment system that features 9.2-inch colour screens. These appear to be ‘floating’ thanks to their new slim design.

A further option is the individual rear Comfort seats, which features electrical adjustment for the seat back angle, seat position and head restraint. And for the ultimate in rear-seat comfort, BMW offers the long wheelbase version of the new 7 Series, with an extra 140mm in the wheelbase devoted to rear seat legroom and an extra 10mm of rear seat headroom as well.

The quiet, peaceful surroundings of the new 7 Series interior are an ideal place in which to enjoy the output of the new optional Bang & Olufsen Advanced audio system. With 1,200w of power and 16 speakers – including an illuminated centre speaker that extends out of the instrument panel using Acoustic Lens Technology – the finest sonic experience is assured.

The interaction between car and driver can be enhanced with the optional new multi-functional instrument panel, a beautifully integrated, 10.25-inch screen featuring black panel technology taking the place of the standard four dials.

The colour and information of this display varies on whether the driver has selected Comfort, Sport or ECO PRO mode with the Drive Performance Control button.

In Comfort mode, the classic four dials layout is retained but in digital form, while in Sport or ECO PRO mode the dials open up to allow for additional information. In Sport, the graphics turn an orange hue and the speedometer is replaced by a digital speed readout, with the gear currently selected displayed inside the rev counter if the steering wheel paddles are used to change gear manually.

In ECO PRO mode, the instrumentation turns blue and the rev counter is replaced by an EfficientDynamics display that turns grey if the car is being driven in an inefficient manner. Additional features of this system include a speedometer zoom function that enlarges the part of the dial showing the current speed, and the ability to show useful further information depending on the current situation - such as navigational data.

To complement the above, BMW has updated both the technical content and dashboard integration of the central control display. With improved graphics and contrast, deeper colours the control display also benefits from faster input reaction times and enhancements to the BMW Professional Navigation system.


Engines: fine tuned for perfection

The new BMW 7 Series is propelled by a range of petrol and diesel powerplants that utilise cutting-edge engine technology for a sensational mix of performance and economy.

The true flagship of the range is the BMW 760Li, powered by a 12-cylinder engine with twin turbochargers. This all-aluminium, 5,972cc V12 features TwinPower turbo technology, direct fuel injection and Double-VANOS variable camshaft control to produce 544hp and 750Nm of torque from as low as 1,500rpm. Predictably, this gives the 760Li superb acceleration and speed (0-62mph takes just 4.6 seconds and the top speed is limited electronically to 155mph), all delivered with the silky refinement you would expect. However, more of surprise given the power and performance of the 760Li is the fuel consumption of 21.1mpg combined with C02 emissions of 314g/km.

The alternative flagship for the range given BMW’s long standing commitment to a sustainable future is the BMW ActiveHybrid7. The 320hp 2,979cc engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology is taken from the ‘standard’ 740i and then adapted with a 55hp synchronous motor, a hybrid specification eight-speed automatic transmission, a lithium-ion high performance battery all wrapped into an intelligent energy management package to provide the first 7 Series hybrid to be offered in the UK.

Performance is brisk yet economical and with low CO2 emissions. With a max output of 354hp and 500 Nm of torque the ActiveHybrid7 can accelerate from zero to 62mph in 5.7 seconds and on to a top speed of 155mph. However, it is capable of this at the same time as achieving 41.5mpg and emissions of 158g/km.

The new BMW 750i features a revised version of the TwinPower turbo 4.4-litre V8, with optimised high pressure direct fuel injection and reduced charge cycle losses thanks to the clever integration of Valvetronic variable control of intake valve lift. The engine now delivers 10per cent more power at 449hp, and 8.5per cent more torque at a mighty 650Nm, developed over a broad rev band – enough for a 0-62mph sprint of 4.8 seconds and a top speed electronically limited to 155mph. Even more impressive is the 25 per cent improvement in efficiency: fuel consumption is now 32.8mpg and CO2 emissions are just 199g/km.

The new BMW 740i is powered by the superb TwinPower turbo 3.0-litre straight-six, a pioneer of BMW’s integration of twin-scroll turbo technology with direct fuel injection, Double-VANOS and Valvetronic for maximum throttle response and power with highly efficient consumption. The engine has a peak power output of 320hp and a maximum torque of 450Nm, the latter developed from just 1,300rpm, giving this 7 Series the same performance as the outgoing 740i, but with fuel economy stands at 35.8mpg with CO2 emissions of 184g/km.

The choice of diesel powerplants in the new BMW 7 Series is headed by the powerful BMW 740d, a formidable exponent of BMW’s TwinPower turbo technology featuring two turbochargers for the familiar 3.0-litre straight-six. Thanks to minor detail improvements, this engine now produces slightly more power at 313hp and an extra 30Nm of torque to make a peak of 630Nm at just 1,500rpm. Performance, with the benefit of the standard new eight-speed automatic transmission, is dramatic, with 0-62mph achieved in only 5.5 seconds and a top speed electronically limited to 155mph. As ever, this performance is not at the expense of efficiency, with a frugal 49.6mpg recorded on the test cycle and CO2 emissions of just 149g/km.

The new BMW 730d retains its enviable position as the world’s most efficient luxury limousine. The 3.0-litre TwinPower turbo straight-six now produces 258hp and 560Nm of torque – both increases on previous outputs – but couples those figures with a combined fuel consumption of 50.4mpg and outstandingly low CO2 emissions of just 148g/km, a reduction of 30g/km versus its predecessor. EU6 compliance is also available as an option with no impact to emissions or fuel economy.

Maximising the efficiency of these engines is the new Eight-speed automatic gearbox, fitted as standard across the range, which helps the engine to work in its optimum rev band to the benefit of both performance and economy.


EfficientDynamics: a full suite of measures for the flagship

The BMW EfficientDynamics initiative encompasses every aspect of the vehicle, from the use of advanced and efficient engines, to lightweight body construction and innovative drivetrain electronics.

In a first for the 7 Series it is now offered with BMW BluePerformance giving a car so equipped the ability to already surpass the forthcoming 2014 EU6 emissions criteria. Thanks to the use of an oxidising converter, a diesel particulate filter and a catalytic converter to all reduce the harmful emissions, including nitrogen oxide, that exit the exhaust.

All new BMW 7 Series models (except 760Li) are equipped with an Auto Start-Stop function and Brake Energy Regeneration. Intelligent energy management is further enhanced by the ancillary units, which consume significantly less energy compared with conventional systems. Examples include the on-demand coolant pump, the electronically controlled oil pump and the new Electric Power Steering system, which offers potential savings of up to three per cent.

The ECO PRO mode modifies the powertrain management and programming of the heating and air conditioning, heated seats and exterior mirror heating to operate at optimum efficiency. It also encourages an economical driving style.

With the exception of the BMW 760Li, all engine variants feature a proactive driving assistant that can be switched on via the ECO PRO mode. Drawing on the latest navigation data, it recommends advance adjustment of the car’s speed with the aim of saving fuel.


A revised chassis for enhanced comfort

BMW’s engineers have fine-tuned the chassis of the new 7 Series for even greater levels of driving comfort and agility. The aluminium front double wishbone and integral-V rear axle have been carefully developed, with modified rubber bearings, ball joints, stiffer dampers and retuned kinematics the result. The self-levelling air suspension on the rear axle, now standard across the range, provides a smooth ride with excellent insulation from the road surface.

The BMW 7 Series features an electronically controlled damping system where each wheel can be adjusted individually according to the road surface and driving style, with compression and rebound settings varied independently of each other. The result is a superbly comfortable ride, with no loss in driver appeal when the car is driven in a sporting manner.

In addition all models, except 760Li, now feature electric power assistance for the steering, giving excellent steering precision with a reduction in fuel consumption thanks to the system only being operational on demand. Integral Active Steering is available as an option (standard on 760Li), which combines the Active Steering system with a rear axle that also plays its part: the steering angle and power assistance at the front and the rear is controlled with electric motors.

The large but lightweight braking system provides superb braking capability, and is backed up by a number of advanced electronic safety systems that are integrated into the Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) package.

Using Drive Performance Control, the driver is able to alter the accelerator response characteristics, engine response, power steering characteristics and the Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) thresholds. In addition, the Servotronic function, Integral Active Steering, the automatic transmission and Variable Damper Control are also integrated into this system. Drivers can choose between ECO PRO, Comfort, Sport and Sport+ modes. Each of these predefined set-ups activates different settings for the relevant powertrain and chassis components, with a greater variance amongst the settings for the new car.

Another button allows the driver to change the DSC settings. Selecting Traction mode, for example, makes it much easier to pull away on loose surfaces or in deep snow. In this mode, as well as in Sport+, the Dynamic Stability Control thresholds are raised and Dynamic Traction Control (DTC) is activated.

The new ECO PRO mode, meanwhile, helps the BMW 7 Series driver to make progress in an efficient, and therefore economical, manner. It does this by changing the accelerator mapping so that the same pedal travel delivers less power than in the standard mode; the transmission control strategy for the automatic gearbox is modified to bring forward upshifts and delay downshifts, while intelligent energy and climate management reduces mechanical power consumption and also the energy consumption of electrical systems - such as heated mirrors and seats.


Body and safety

The new BMW 7 Series is built around an extremely rigid passenger cell that strikes a perfect balance between weight reduction and core strength, satisfying the most stringent safety standards. Thanks to a carefully considered mix of materials - the roof, bonnet, front side panels, front spring struts and doors are all made of aluminium, while different grades of steel are used throughout. The body’s strength has been increased by around 60 per cent compared to its predecessor. Torsional resistance is now some 20 per cent higher too.

The new BMW 7 Series is equipped as standard with front and side airbags for the driver and front passenger, plus head airbags for both rows of seats. Depending on the nature of the crash, integrated safety electronics ensure that only those airbags that are able to provide effective protection are actually deployed. Airbags that are not required therefore continue to be ready for action in the event of a possible secondary collision. All seats are fitted with three-point inertia-reel seat belts, and the driver and front passenger also have the benefit of belt latch tensioners. In addition, to guard against whiplash injuries following a collision from the rear, the front seats are fitted with crash-activated head restraints as standard.


BMW ConnectedDrive

A unique combination of driver assistance systems and mobility services places the new BMW 7 Series at the forefront of vehicle technology, entertaining, assisting and protecting the occupants.

Among the optional systems helping to maximise safety are BMW Night Vision featuring Dynamic Light Spot with pedestrian recognition technology; the anti-dazzle LED High-Beam Assistant; Driving Assistant Plus with Stop & Go function and Speed Limit Display, including the no overtaking display from reading road sign symbols.

The new BMW 7 Series also includes Dynamic Safety with attention assistant as standard. This safety feature initiates protective measures for the occupants if an accident situation is imminent. It includes seat belt tensioning, closure of any open windows, closure of sliding sunroof (if fitted), repositioning of passenger seat and automatic braking after impact.

A more powerful operating system governing the central Control Display ensures the entertainment programs are simpler to operate, optimises office and online services, and makes using the telephone that much easier. The BMW Professional Navigation system is now more powerful and features new and ultra-sharp map graphics and a 3D city mode, while passengers can take advantage of the full range of in-journey entertainment offered by BMW Online, all the office functions and BMW Mobile application preparation.

The new BMW 7 Series goes on sale in the UK on 22 September, 2012 priced from £58,115 OTR for a 730d SE rising to £104,050 OTR for a 760Li M Sport.

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BMW 3 Series 5 stars


The new BMW 3 Series is awarded 5 stars in the Euro NCAP crash test.

The new BMW 3 Series Sedan not only sets new standards of driving pleasure in the premium segment of the middle class - the level of safety it provides is also first rate. In the latest Euro NCAP series of crash tests, the new BMW 3 Series achieved the top rating and was awarded 5 stars. The sixth generation of the sport sedan completed this most arduous of test procedures, delivering excellent results in all of the test criteria. Following in the footsteps of its predecessor seven years ago, the new BMW 3 Series Sedan has again scored top marks for the brand, successfully completing test procedures which in the meantime have become significantly more challenging. The test procedures carried out by the Euro NCAP (new car assessment programme) are a measure of the protection offered by vehicles in the case of an accident, recognized by governments, motoring organisations and consumer protection groups throughout Europe. In addition to the protection afforded to the passengers in a number of different impact scenarios, active safety technology and pedestrian protection are also taken into account.

The passenger safety cell of the new BMW of 3 Series Sedan proved to be extremely resistant in both head-on and side impacts as well as in the side pole crash test. In all of the accident scenarios, the forces acting on the vehicle were safely channelled over clearly defined load paths and absorbed by generously dimensioned deformation zones. In addition, the extensive standard safety equipment including front and side airbags, side head airbags for both the front and the rear passengers, three-point automatic seat belts fitted to all seats, belt force limiters and belt tensioners in the front and ISOFIX child seat mountings in the rear provides both the driver and his passengers with extensive protection from injury, no matter what size they may be, or their seating position. In the event of a rear end collision, the active head restraints fitted to the front seats minimize the risk of whiplash injuries to the occupants of the vehicle.


The examiners also awarded high marks with regard to child safety. They certified that the new BMW 3 Series Sedan provides excellent protection in the event of both a head-on collision and a side impact. When test dummies fitted with sensors were strapped into seating systems designed for three year old and one and a half year old children, reassuringly at the moment of impact these "children" were all registered as maintaining stable positions with minimal head movements.

In order to optimise pedestrian protection, the new BMW 3 Series is designed with flexible structures and precisely modelled body areas at the front of the vehicle, which reduce the risk of injury to those on foot in the event of a collision. In the Euro NCAP crash test, the vehicle scored the maximum number of points for the design of the bumper and the front area of the bonnet. This very positive assessment also took into account the design of the structural elements at the front of the vehicle - those that are relevant to head injuries to children in the case of a collision.

The excellent results achieved by the new BMW 3 Series in the Euro NCAP crash tests is rounded out by the exemplary, comprehensive safety equipment.  This sedan is equipped with Dynamic Stability Control DSC and a tyre pressure indicator as standard equipment, optionally including the Active Protection System and the Enhanced Emergency Call with automatic location detection and determination of accident severity. Back in 2010, BMW received the special Euro NCAP Advanced Award for the BMW ConnectedDrive Advanced eCall, a capability unique in the middle class.
The 5-star rating won by the new BMW 3 Series highlights yet again the advanced level of safety technology designed into the current models of the marque. Since the expansion of the testing program in 2009, the BMW models undergoing the Euro NCAP crash tests have all, without exception, achieved the highest rating. Following the example set by the BMW X 1, the BMW 5 Series, the BMW X 3 and the new BMW 1 Series, the new BMW 3 Series Sedan has now also passed these tests with flying colours and been awarded 5 stars.

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Thursday, 24 May 2012

BMW Brand Store Paris


Grand Opening of new BMW Brand Store in Paris

BMW Group begins comprehensive programme to enhance customer retail experience
Robertson: We aim to be the benchmark in automotive retail.

The BMW Group celebrated the grand opening of its first new BMW Brand Store in the most luxurious area of metropolitan Paris in the Avenue George V tonight. The store was designed by the well-known, luxury retail architect, Eric Carlson and his team from Carbondale Architects and Version Architects.

With the grand opening of the 800m2 BMW Brand Store in the very heart of luxury retail, BMW is reaching out to shoppers with the objective of allowing them to experience the brand in their chosen environment. The new store was formally inaugurated by Ian Robertson, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Sales and Marketing BMW, together with the Architect, Eric Carlson, and the Head of BMW France, Serge Naudin, as well as a large number of VIP guests from Paris. BMW George V marks the launch of a new generation of BMW brand stores as well as the beginning of a comprehensive programme at the BMW Group which the company refers to as “Future Retail”.

Ian Robertson said in the French capital on Wednesday: “The world of retail has changed significantly – customer behaviour, needs and expectations have changed, as well as communication technology. As part of our corporate Strategy Number ONE, we critically reviewed our processes and customer feedback. We will now build upon our strengths and implement a comprehensive programme named Future Retail. This will entail a whole range of initiatives and tools designed to enhance the customer experience and to set new standards for retail in the automotive industry and beyond.”

 


With Future Retail, the BMW Group has three objectives – first, to increase the number of possible contact points with customers and prospects, second, to increase the services and benefits offered in its retail channels, and third, to enhance the retail experience at all touch points.

Therefore, customers can expect to see a number of new BMW and MINI retail formats, as well as several initiatives in the near future. These include, among others, a new online presence and social media activities, as well as a more appealing showroom appearance. Some aspects can be experienced already, such as a virtual product presentation which has already been implemented in the BMW Munich and Zurich branches, as well as MINI Westfield in London.

BMW is also in the process of introducing an additional role to the dealers, namely a Product Genius. The objective here is to better support customers with in-depth product knowledge as well as enabling the customer to better utilize and configure products in accordance with their particular needs. As the Product Genius needs to be mobile, he or she will be equipped with a state of the art Information Management System on a tablet device, allowing, for example, product configuration and in-depth explanation of features supported by visuals and films.

The first markets which are planned for the roll-out of Future Retail, including the Product Genius, are France, UK, China and the Netherlands.

Ian Robertson stated, “When it comes to recruiting and enabling the right people for the implementation of future retail, we will assist our dealers to attract, develop and retain the industry’s best professionals. This is of particular importance for the role of the Product Genius. Throughout all of this and supported by an increased number of customer contact points with our brands, the dealer’s role becomes even more essential – as our face to the customer and the provider of a true, personal and emotional, premium experience.“

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Monday, 14 May 2012

BMW 3 Series Touring


The new BMW 3 Series Touring

The new BMW 3 Series Touring will offer an even stronger blend of thoughtful practicality and outstanding driving dynamics when it comes to the UK in September. Larger, and more spacious inside than ever before, this truly versatile vehicle possesses a wide range of practical features in addition to the class-leading driving dynamics expected of any BMW.

A load capacity that is the largest in its class, complete with innovative storage solutions, is wrapped in a dynamically styled, strong but lightweight body that follows the same winning formula of previous BMW 3 Series Tourings over the years. After all, it was BMW that invented the premium Touring segment back with the E30 3 Series and it has proved a winning formula ever since then with an average 8,500 new car buyers a year.

Three advanced, powerful, yet frugal engine choices are available at launch. For example, the new BMW 330d Touring produces 258hp and 560Nm of torque, enough to reach 62mph from rest in just 5.6 seconds, yet still achieves 55.4mpg on the combined cycle. Further engine variants will join the range in due course.

Model
Power
Hp
Torque
Nm
0 – 62mph Seconds
Top Speed Mph
Combined Mpg
CO2 Emissions g/km
Price
OTR
BMW 328i Touring
245
350
6.0
155*
41.5
159
£30,400
BMW 320d Touring
184
380
7.7
143
60.1 (61.4)
124 (122)
£29,380
BMW 330d Touring
258
560
5.6
155*
55.4
135
£34,700

*Electronically-limited. **Automatic transmission only.

From the tip of the nose to the B-pillar, the 3 Series Touring is exactly the same as its Saloon brethren: an expressive front end, accentuated by the 37mm wider track over the previous generation model, creates the perfect foundation for the frontal styling. Twin headlamps, with LED accent lights, combine with the gently forward sloping BMW kidney grille to generate a purposeful face, further highlighted by the additional outer air intakes below the headlamps and the sweeping lines of the bonnet that converge on the grille.

From the side, the new 3 Series Touring is defined by the sweeping silhouette, with its smoothly sloping roofline and glasshouse that extends to the rear of the vehicle. The new car is 97mm longer overall and 50mm longer in the wheelbase than before and that, together with the steeply raked D-pillars, angle of the rear window and the traditional ‘Hofmeister kink’, adds a real sense of forward motion to the profile.

At the rear, the spoiler ‘peak’ that accentuates the long roofline, together with the horizontal lines and L-shaped lights set far out to the edges, combine with the 48mm wider track to plant the design on the road.

The interior design of the new BMW 3 Series Touring is identical to that of the recently introduced 3 Series Saloon. It’s a cockpit with a traditional BMW driver focus creating a sporty interior ambience that is conducive to driving enjoyment.

The clear, circular dials and the flatscreen monitor for the iDrive system integrated into the dashboard structure, define the instrument panel. The iDrive controller is mounted within easy reach of the driver down on the centre console.

More than ever, the cabin of the new 3 Series Touring demonstrates BMW’s commitment to quality, both in the range of materials used and the way the vehicle is assembled. This strength in depth is illustrated and personalised by the large range of interior trims and upholstery materials that can be combined in different ways.

To fulfil its brief as a genuine Touring model, the new 3 Series Touring clearly needed to offer customers a broad range of practical features. However, BMW has surpassed that brief, building on the achievement of previous model generations and offering class-leading interior space as well as stand-out new features.

The foundation for the new Touring’s class-leading attributes lies with its increased exterior dimensions. From them, the engineers have been able to improve the interior package for rear seat passengers considerably: there is now 17mm extra knee room and 9mm more headroom making ingress and egress to the rear seats is easier than ever before.

Front seat passengers gain larger door pocket storage areas that can accommodate a one-litre drinks bottle, complemented by two large cup holders on the centre console. These can be exchanged for a trinket tray, if so desired.

With its loading sill just 620mm off the ground (and protected by a stainless steel strip) the new rear luggage area is a significant 35 litres greater in capacity than the previous generation model, at 495 litres.


Greater practicality including new automatic boot opening

As standard on all models, customers benefit from luggage securing lugs, a pair of coat hooks, a luggage net and strap and a deep storage compartment on the left-hand side of the load area. The luggage cover can be stored under the boot floor when removed, thereby allowing it to be carried securely on a journey if it is to be required later on. The separate partition net can be used even when the rear seats ar folded flat.

These rear seats have a 40:20:40 split, and with a large through-loading hole in the centre can accommodate a number of skis or snow boards while four occupants are travelling in the car. With the seats folded, the total overall space is an outstanding 1,500 litres, with a near-level load floor and a wide tail gate aperture making the loading of large items easier than ever before.

As standard equipment the new 3 Series Touring receives an electrically powered boot, controlled either via the key fob, a switch on the A-pillar or a button on the boot itself. In addition, customers can enjoy further convenience with the Smart Opener feature offered as part of the Comfort Access option. When specified, the boot can be opened with the motion of a strategically placed foot beneath the rear bumper.

The new BMW 3 Series Touring has a split rear boot opening with the upper glass area able to open independently of the overall unit. This is unlocked electrically via a button located on the rear wiper arm, and then opened manually. It is particularly convenient when loading in small items, perhaps where space behind the vehicle is limited.

The optional storage package takes the practicality of the new 3 Series Touring a stage further, with a net on the left-hand side of the tailgate and a reversible floor section with a protective coating on the underside for when carrying messy items. There is also an adaptive load space attachment system of user-friendly plug-in elements to divide up the load space, which can be stowed under the boot floor when not in use.

Further options include aluminium roof rails and the electrically operated large panoramic glass sunroof. A trailer hitch, electrically powered to fold out of the rear bumper, turns the new 3 Series Touring not only into an admirable tow car, but can also be adapted for the easy fitment of bike racks.



Class-leading drivetrain options

At launch, the new BMW 3 Series Touring is powered by a choice of a petrol or two diesel powerplants, all using BMW’s TwinPower turbo technology. In due course, a much wider selection of engines will be offered, in line with the 3 Series Saloon models.

Likely to be the biggest selling model, the 320d uses the highly regarded 2.0-litre TwinPower turbo diesel engine from the previous generation, but with its own set of modifications to make it both cleaner and more frugal. The common rail fuel injection – via solenoid injectors operating at up to 2,000 bar – combines with a variable geometry turbocharger (with enhanced thermodynamic properties) to produce 184hp and 380Nm of torque. It matches these outputs with a superb combined fuel figure of 60.1mpg (61.4mpg when fitted with the eight-speed automatic gearbox) and a CO2 output of 124g/km (122g/km).

The initial petrol-powered offering is the 328i, the perfect demonstration of BMW’s current cutting-edge engine philosophy. This four-cylinder, 2.0-litre engine features all the latest TwinPower technology: high precision direct fuel injection, a twin scroll turbocharger, Double Vanos variable camshaft timing and BMW’s VALVETRONIC variable valve control.

With its compact, light, all-aluminium construction, this 1,997cc powerplant has a linear power delivery with superb throttle response. Maximum power is 245hp and peak torque stands at 350Nm, developed from just 1,250rpm and then held all the way to 4,800rpm. Accordingly, performance figures are suitably dramatic, with 0-62mph arriving in just six seconds and a top speed electronically limited to 155mph. Even so, the 328i has a combined fuel consumption figure of just 41.5mpg and emits only 159g/km of CO2.

The current pinnacle of the diesel line up is the 330d model. Using the award-winning 3.0-litre, all-aluminium straight-six engine but with substantial modifications over the previous generation, this powerhouse redefines smooth, frugal performance in this market segment. BMW engineers have managed to further lower internal friction and reduced the weight of the engine, while optimising the fuel injection system. There’s a new air intake and a lighter crankshaft to boost throttle response, along with lighter turbine blades in the turbocharger and modifications to the pre-injection phase of the solenoid injectors - operating at 1,800 bar – for the same reasons.

The result is 258hp at 4,000rpm, and an immense 560Nm developed over a broad plateau between 1,500rpm and 3,000rpm. Unsurprisingly, when mated to the standard 8-speed gearbox on this model, the 330d possesses some outstanding performance figures, with 62mph achieved from a standing start in only 5.6 seconds, and a top speed electronically limited to 155mph. As ever, the trump card is this level of performance blended with outstanding efficiency: the 330d achieves 55.4mpg on the combined cycle, and emits just 135g/km of C02, making it a particularly clean high performance choice.

Later in the year the new 3 Series Touring range will be expand with a 320i petrol engine producing 184hp and 270Nm torque, plus a further pair of 2.0-litre diesel engines – the 318d and 316d. The former will produce 143hp and 320Nm of torque, while the latter will have 116hp and 260Nm of torque. Fuel consumption and emissions data will follow in due course.

The 328i and 320d models come as standard with a six-speed manual gearbox, which in the case of the 320d has dry sump lubrication. It also features innovative carbon friction linings for the synchromesh. The new eight-speed automatic gearbox – standard on the 330d – has been designed to be so efficient, both through its intelligent lightweight design and software control – that it is virtually a match for the manual option in this area, and up to 15 per cent more efficient than the old six-speed automatic gearbox from the previous generation model. Customers looking for an even sportier drive can specify a sports option for the new automatic transmission, offering more dynamic shift algorithms and gearshift paddles mounted on the steering wheel.


BMW EfficientDynamics

BMW’s Efficient Dynamics initiative means the new 3 Series Touring comes as standard with the Auto Start-Stop function, Brake Energy Regeneration and the ECO PRO function. Advanced ancillary units, such as the on-demand coolant pump and the electronically controlled oil pump, further enhance intelligent energy management.


The most dynamic chassis in class

With a longitudinally mounted engine sat far back in the chassis, rear-wheel drive, superb weight distribution and a light, stiff bodyshell, the new BMW 3 Series Touring has all the right ingredients for ride and handling excellence. To that end, BMW engineers have sought to improve upon the already highly regarded package of the previous generation model by careful honing of the core components.

With its longer wheelbase (50mm) and wider front and rear tracks (37mm and 48mm respectively) the new car gave those engineers an even better basis with which to work their magic on. The double joint tie bar front axle with its spring struts and anti-roll bars, has torque struts, wishbones and swivel bearings made from aluminium to reduce the unsprung mass. Given that it doesn’t need to counter any torque steer (thanks to the rear wheels receiving the torque from the engine), the kinematics of the front axle can be devoted to offering the finest handling and steering precision.

For the rear axle, the new 3 Series Touring uses BMW’s advanced five-link arrangement with significant improvements. The long wheel travel and precise location it provides the new 3 Series Touring with both agility and excellent comfort properties, including isolation from noise and vibration.

Customers can choose to further enhance the dynamic handling of their new vehicles with two suspension options. The M Sport suspension, featuring a 10mm drop in ride height, provides firmer springs and damping as well as thicker anti-roll bars. Selecting this option also brings with it 18-inch M alloy wheels. There is then the further option of the Adaptive M Sport suspension, with electronically controlled damping that adjusts the damper mapping to the road surface and driving situation. The driver can also use the Driving Dynamic Control switch to vary the basic suspension tuning between more comfortable or sportier settings according to individual preference.

The new BMW 3 Series Touring is fitted with an electromechanical power steering system that only operates when steering assistance is actually required. Not only is this system lighter and more fuel efficient than conventional power assistance systems, it offers a high level of steering precision. The BMW 330d Touring and BMW 328i Touring come as standard with the Servotronic function for speed-sensitive steering assistance, while Variable Sports Steering is also available as an option, providing different steering gear ratios depending on the angle of the steering wheel.

The job of restraining the new BMW 3 Series Touring falls to its lightweight floating caliper brakes with large inner-vented discs, while the aluminium front calipers provide a useful further reduction in unsprung masses. The driver’s inputs are backed up by a suite of advanced electronic safety systems integrated into the Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) system. An M Sport brake option is available for performance-orientated customers, with aluminium four-piston fixed callipers at the front and two-piston fixed callipers at the rear, along with generously sized brake discs.


Body and safety

The new BMW 3 Series Touring offers its occupants outstanding active and passive safety. Careful selection of raw materials, a high-strength structure and intelligent use of lightweight design principles, the body meets the most exacting safety standards and, in conjunction with highly efficient restraint systems, guarantees maximum occupant protection. Compared to its predecessor, body stiffness has been increased by more than 10 per cent, and yet the overall structure weighs 40kg less than before.

The BMW 3 Series Touring comes as standard with front and side airbags for the driver and front passenger, as well as head airbags for both rows of seats. All seats are fitted with three-point inertia-reel seat belts, while the driver and front passenger also have belt latch tensioners and belt force limiters, with ISOFIX child seat attachment points on the rear seats.


Equipment and model lines: More choice, more options.

The new BMW 3 Series Touring benefits from a particularly generous amount of standard equipment throughout the range. The entry-level ES model features 17-inch alloy wheels and chrome exhaust pipe trim, plus the automatic boot opening. Inside, there is automatic air conditioning, the BMW Professional radio with 6.5-inch colour screen and iDrive control, keyless start, cruise control, Driver Performance Control featuring ECO PRO mode, a USB audio interface and the 40:20:40 split rear seats. SE models add PDC front and rear, an automatic dimming mirror, two-zone air conditioning and automatic lights and wipers.

From there, the 3 Series Touring customer has a broad range of model line options featuring the new Sport, Modern and Luxury, and topped by the M Sport variants.

Sport adds further dynamism to the exterior design with black kidney grille slats, in a chrome-coloured surround, and gloss black inserts in the front apron. Alloy wheels are 17-inch or 18-inch items in double-spoke design (18-inch items are bi-colour), while optional high-gloss black for the exterior mirrors and matching paintwork for the B-pillars takes the theme a stage further. Inside, red is used for the trim rings, scales in the circular dials and stitching on the sports steering wheel, while a base trim strip in high-gloss black with coral red accents underlines the sporting ambience of the cockpit. The standard sports seats can be specified in a choice of three different types of upholstery and four colours, while the ignition key features a black finish with red detailing.

Luxury possesses a more elegant, discreet appeal, with 11 chrome kidney grille slats and two slightly offset chrome trim strips in the front apron air intakes, and a high-gloss chrome trim strip running horizontally above the air scoop. In contrast to the Sport, the window frames and weather strip are trimmed in chrome; at the rear, a high-gloss chrome trim runs above the rear apron and there’s a chrome tailpipe embellisher. Unique 17-inch or 18-inch alloy wheels in multi-spoke design add to the visual impression. Inside, chrome elements – such as the surround for the radio and air conditioning units, and part of the ignition key – combine with high-gloss wood strips, seats with distinctive stitching and a choice of two upholstery materials in four classically elegant colours, to create an exclusive ambience.

Modern features satin-finish aluminium for the kidney grille and the double trim strips for the air intakes, complemented by 17-inch or 18-inch turbine-style alloy wheels. The light-coloured dashboard, with a steering wheel in dark oyster, works with leather upholstery or cloth-leather combinations in oyster or black. There’re a choice of three trim surfaces with accent strips in pearl-effect chrome, and a unique three-dimensional structure for the surface of the wood. The oyster-coloured ignition key features matt silver detailing.

The M Sport option features a new aerodynamic package including numerous body components and the BMW Individual High-gloss Shadowline trim. The optional exterior paint shade of Estoril Blue metallic sets the model further apart, as do the 18-inch or 19-inch M alloy wheels. Inside, features such as the M door sill finishers, an M leather steering wheel and an M driver’s footrest create the right sporting ambience, while the M Short-gearstick (in models with a manual transmission), M Sport suspension and the optional M Sport brakes with contrasting blue paint finish define the model from a technical perspective. Dakota leather covers the interior including the front sports seats, while trim elements in Aluminium Hexagon with accent strips in either Estoril Blue matt or high-gloss black add the finishing touch.


ConnectedDrive

The new BMW 3 Series Touring features a raft of driver assistance and mobility services at the vanguard of this market segment. BMW groups them under the ConnectedDrive term due to the intelligent way they interact with each other, to the benefit of the customer.

Highlights include the latest full colour Heads Up display, the Lane Change and Lane Departure Warning system – which includes a collision warning system with a braking function monitored by radar and cameras – and the Active Protection Package that pre-empts a collision and readies the car’s systems. Further options include the High Beam Assistant and Adaptive Headlights, the Surround view camera and Parking assistant and Active Cruise Control with a Stop and Go function.

ConnectedDrive enables the extensive use of external mobile phones and music players, with offerings from BMW Live and BMW Online. Thanks to new Bluetooth office functions, internet-based services along with calendar entries and text messages can be viewed in the Control Display of the iDrive operating system and read out via the Text to Speech function. In addition, passengers can access their personal music library.

The BMW Connected app allows the use of web radio and social networks like Facebook and Twitter in the car. Using the My BMW Remote app, meanwhile, lets you remotely unlock and lock the car as well as control the auxiliary heating. Finally, information and office services along with travel (RTTI traffic information is a further option) and leisure planners using the Google Maps and Panoramio services are also available.



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