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New automatic climate control in the BMW 3 Series improves both air quality and fuel economy
20 February 2012
With the new automatic climate control system in the BMW 3 Series, BMW is offering a combination of increased interior comfort due to improved air quality and better fuel economy through intelligent control.
Besides automatic air circulation control, which is activated, for example, in increased concentrations of fine particulate and exhaust gases in tunnels or behind heavy-duty trucks, the standard air conditioning unit featured in the new BMW 3 Series employs an additional filter system that also becomes effective when switched to the air circulation mode.
As a result, says BMW, unpleasant environmental odors are almost entirely eliminated. The interaction between the automatic air circulation control and the filter system noticeably enhances air quality inside the BMW 3 Series. Even when the air conditioning is not in use, the additional filter remains active.
When opting for a two-zone automatic climate control system, both the driver and the front seat passenger are able to set the desired temperature for their seat area individually and according to preference. The temperature of the air leaving the air vents as well as the amount and distribution of air are automatically regulated.
Depending on the intensity and radiation angle of the sun, the automatic climate control system adapts its degree of effectiveness (solar compensation) and individually adjusts the interior temperature to the desired level on both the driver and front seat passenger sides. Additional air vents, likewise variably adjustable and located in the rear compartment, are to deliver a pleasant interior climate to backseat passengers.
In order to avoid fogged-up windows, particularly during the cold and damp season, the new BMW 3 Series is also equipped with an automatic sensor-controlled anti-fogging function, which intervenes by means of targeted ventilation as soon as visibility is restricted.
After a frosty night or when it is bitterly cold, the new climate control system quickly generates a high heat output. Within the defrosting area of the windscreen, the field of vision is evenly defrosted only shortly after a cold start. Even in sub-zero temperatures, the two-zone automatic climate control system featured in the BMW 3 Series warms the car within the foot and head areas after around ten minutes, including the rear compartment.
Each air vent of the automatic climate control system is controlled by a compact and centrally located flap mechanism, rendering additional stepper motors unnecessary. This all results in a saving of weight and space beneath the dashboard. Due to the compact design of the automatic climate control system, it is possible for the first time to offer the new BMW 3 Series with Head-Up Display—a new feature in the premium middle class.
Within the framework of EfficientDynamics measures, BMW engineers paid special attention to improving the fuel consumption of the new BMW 3 Series. When the driver switches to the ECO PRO mode, the new automatic climate control system operates using an optimized heating/climate strategy. Without any noticeable loss in comfort, fuel-efficiently is enhanced through reduced air-drying and cooling in the interior as well as through the intermittently deactivated air-conditioning compressor.
In BMW’s own environmental wind tunnel, engineers are working on additional fuel savings and further optimization of in-car climate comfort. The aim of BMW developers is to further shorten the engine warm-up phase, as higher temperatures reduce friction, which in turn facilitates lower fuel consumption and emission levels.
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