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BMW Offers Seven-Speed Double Clutch Transmission in 3 Series

A seven-speed double clutch transmission (DCT) for enhanced performance and economy is now available as an option for the BMW 3 Series Coupé and Convertible in Europe. The new gearbox, which applies similar technology to that used in an M3 equipped with M DCT (earlier post), is now offered on the 335i Coupé and Convertible models.

The DCT improves performance and economy by splitting the gearbox into the two assemblies, each with its own clutch—as the revs build or decrease in the current gear another one is already selected. A near seamless transition in gears and power is thus achieved benefitting both acceleration and consumption.

News of the new gearbox comes as the new six-cylinder 2,993cc diesel engine announced for the new 3 Series Saloon and Touring models is offered in the Coupé range. Now the BMW 330d Coupé is powered by a 245 hp (183 kW) powerplant, 14 hp more than the previous engine, and 520 Nm (384 lb-ft) of torque, 20 Nm more than before. The upgrade in performance means the 330d Coupé achieves zero to 62 mph in 6.0 seconds compared to 6.6 seconds previously, while also being capable of 5.7 L/100km (41.3 mpg US) on the combined cycle (vs. 6.1 L/100km) and emissions of 152 g/km (vs. 160 g/km).

Comments

Raymond

Expect new turbodiesel with the new DCT to be available in the USA by fall 2009. I'd buy a 330d getting nearly 40 mile per US gallon, that's to be sure. :-)

Chris

Deep in the International press release for the new BMW 3 Series appeared the fuel consumption figures for the latest 330i and 335d. The 330i now has a direct injection gasoline engine. If both cars have automatic transmissions, the 335d is now only 0.1 seconds quicker than the 330i to 62 mph, and is approximately 7% more economical. With diesel fuel considerably more expensive than gasoline, the cost per mile is going to be similar. Do you really want to pay extra for a less refined 335d with no savings in fuel costs? What should finally convince everyone that diesel fuel will never become popular in US cars is the fact that the 330i produces slightly less CO2 (~3%) than the much vaunted 330d. It's hardly surprising that the proportion of diesel cars sold in Germany is now predicted to fall away.

For the full picture, see: http://www.bmwusa.com/Standard/Content/AllBMWs/FutureVehicles/3SeriesSedan/Default.aspx

GreenPlease

@Chris

Note that the 330i is no longer available in the U.S. Instead the 328i is available and does not have GDI.

GDI and VVT has, without a doubt, narrowed the fuel economy gap between gasoline and diesel engines.

Chris

@ GreenPlease

Yes, the 328i is the current entry offering, but this comment is about the 2009 3 Series, already previewed by BMW US at:-

http://www.bmwusa.com/Standard/Content/AllBMWs/FutureVehicles/3SeriesSedan/Default.aspx

Whether the next 3.0 liter 3 Series is labelled 330i or 328i in the US doesn't really matter, and BMW isn't saying yet. What does is that you are about to be able to buy a cleaner, more economical and more powerful replacement for the current 328i which effectively makes the latest version of the 335d redundant in all markets which don't 'under-tax' diesel fuel.

And don't be surprised if BMW graciously consents to ship over the even cleaner and more frugal 2.0 liter 4-cylinder 320i, which outsells the 325i and 330i by a wide margin in Europe. Then watch all other BMW prices in the US climb away....

I'm waiting for BMW to sell a 120i in the US. I like small cars but the current US 1 series (128i) is as heavy as most midsize sedans...give it [the US 1 series] a frugal DI or Valvetronic 2.0L, hopefully chop a good 150lbs off the curb weight and it turns into a vehicle I'd love to get my hands on.

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