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New BMW 3 Series includes a new 4-cylinder TwinPower Turbo, 8-speed automatic and start-stop; ActiveHybrid 3 model in 2012

BMW revealed first details of the new sixth-generation 3 Series; the 3 Series accounts for one-fifth of the company’s global sales. The sixth generation of the 3 Series is larger than its predecessor, with a wide track (front + 37 mm, rear + 47 mm), increased length (+ 93 mm) and augmented wheelbase (+ 50 mm). Despite the larger dimensions, the new car has a curb weight 40 kilograms (88 lb) below that of its predecessor.

BMW is applying a range of technologies to reduce fuel consumption and emissions. On the most-efficient end of the scale, the BMW 320d EfficientDynamics Edition, with peak output of 120 kW/163 hp, offers average fuel consumption in the EU driving cycle of 4.1 l/100 km (57 mpg US) and CO2 emissions of 109 g/km. BMW will add further engines to the line-up in 2012, when the BMW ActiveHybrid 3 (using a powertrain similar to that of the ActiveHybrid 5, earlier post) will also make its premiere.

A choice of four BMW TwinPower Turbo technology engines will be available for the new BMW 3 Series Sedan from launch, including two optimized diesel engines and, on the gasoline side, the familiar six-cylinder unit and a new-generation four-cylinder engine in the 328i offering substantially reduced fuel consumption and emissions. All the engines are well within the EU5 and US ULEV II limits. The new Driving Experience Control switch, which is available for all engine versions, provides the opportunity to extend these savings even further when ECO PLUS mode is selected.

Power is delivered to the rear wheels either via a standard-fitted six-speed manual transmission or, optionally, via an eight-speed automatic. The automatic, which can be combined with any engine, can achieve lower fuel consumption and emissions than with the manual unit. Both the manual and the automatic models are equipped with the Auto Start-Stop function for further savings.

BMW 328i: new four-cylinder TwinPower Turbo. The new-generation 2.0-liter gasoline engine will be available in two output ratings. The new four-cylinder units mark a return to the popular sports sedan’s roots—it was with lightweight, high-performance four-cylinder units in a similar vein that the BMW 3 Series made its debut back in 1975, with the first six-cylinder units for this series making their appearance at the 1977 Frankfurt Motor Show. A six-cylinder continues to top the engine line-up in the new BMW 3 Series.

The significant upgrade in power and efficiency is chiefly due to the use of BMW TwinPower Turbo technology, featuring technologies such as High Precision Direct Gasoline Injection, twin-scroll turbocharging, Double-Vanos variable camshaft timing and VALVETRONIC variable valve timing.

The new BMW TwinPower Turbo four-cylinder engine’s displacement of 1,997 cc delivers maximum power of 180 kW/245 hp at 5,000 rpm while, with twin-scroll turbocharging, the maximum torque of 350 N·m (258 lb-ft) is developed at 1,250 rpm and remains constant up to 4,800 rpm. The new BMW 328i accelerates from 0 to 00 km/h (62 mph) in 5.9 seconds, on its way to an electronically governed top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph).

Average fuel consumption of the BMW 328i in the EU test cycle is 6.4 liters per 100 km (36.8 mpg US), an 11% improvement on its 160 kW/218 hp predecessor. There is a similar improvement in CO2 emissions, which now stand at 149 grams per kilometer. The improvement is even more pronounced if the vehicle is equipped with the new eight-speed automatic, in which case fuel consumption is rated at just 6.3 liters per 100 km (37.3 mpg US), with CO2 emissions at 147 grams per kilometer (-15%).

This new engine is the most powerful in a new generation of four-cylinder gasoline units based on the same reduced-friction core engine, their different output ratings being achieved principally by modifications to the injection and turbocharging technology. This core engine is modelled on the current multi-award-winning six-in-line engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology.

Twin-scroll turbocharging. The new four-cylinder engines also feature twin-scroll turbocharging. Exhaust stream from cylinders 1 and 4, and the exhaust stream from cylinders 2 and 3, follow separate spiral-shaped paths to the turbine wheel. This reduces exhaust back-pressure at low engine rpm, allowing the energy of the exhaust gas pulses to be utilized as efficiently as possible.

VALVETRONIC, Double-Vanos and direct injection. The combination of a high power output and a simultaneous reduction in emissions is achieved by VALVETRONIC variable valve timing and Double-Vanos variable camshaft timing. The latest generation of the VALVETRONIC system features a faster-acting, optimized stepper motor with integrated sensor. Seamlessly variable control of intake valve lift dispenses with the need for a throttle valve. Instead, the air mass is controlled inside the engine, resulting in faster response. At the same time, pumping losses have been reduced to a minimum.

Centrally positioned between the valves, solenoid injectors precisely control the supply of fuel. The fuel is injected very close to the spark plug, with a maximum injection pressure of 200 bar, resulting in clean and homogeneous combustion. The cooling effect of the directly injected fuel also results in a higher compression ratio than on port injection engines, bringing further efficiency improvements.

Design features. The performance of the new engine is also due to various innovative features of the core engine. For example, balancer shafts positioned at different heights result in optimized vibration absorption, while a centrifugal pendulum absorber integrated in the dual-mass flywheel brings a noticeable reduction in irregular running at low engine rpm. The driver can therefore make full use of the strong low-end torque without sacrificing smoothness. These factors all contribute to enabling the new 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine achieve refinement, noise and vibration of a kind that was previously confined to BMW six-cylinder engines.

320d. The new-generation BMW 3 Series Sedan features the BMW TwinPower Turbo four-cylinder diesel engine of its predecessor, which has been refined for even greater fuel economy and lower emissions with no reduction in power output.

The thermodynamically improved turbocharger enables lively power delivery right across the load range. An electric actuator adjusts the turbine blades with split-second speed in line with different engine loads, so that when the driver demands full throttle, the engine is as responsive in the low rpm range as it is at full load. Solenoid injectors supply the fuel to the cylinders at a pressure of up to 2,000 bar. High-precision fuel metering and high atomization quality result in clean and homogeneous combustion.

The 320d delivers unchanged maximum power of 135 kW/184 hp at 4,000 rpm, and torque of 380 N·m (280 lb-ft) on stream between 1,750 and 2,750 rpm. The new BMW 320d’s average fuel consumption in the EU test cycle of 4.5 liters per 100 kilometers (52.3 mpg US) and CO2 emissions of 118 grams per kilometer mark a 4% improvement on the predecessor model.

BMW 320d EfficientDynamics Edition. The 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine is from the same family as the regular BMW 320d engine and shares the same all-aluminium crankcase, VNT turbocharger and latest-generation common rail direct injection. Additional features like a slight reduction in maximum output rating, the rpm-reducing, friction-reduced powertrain design and an optimized aerodynamics package give this EfficientDynamics version of the new BMW 3 Series the lowest CO2 emissions in its class.

The new BMW 320d EfficientDynamics Edition develops maximum power of 120 kW/163

hp at 4,000 rpm and delivers its maximum torque of 380 N·m between 1,750 and 2,750 rpm. This sedan model accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 8.0 seconds and hits a top speed of 230 km/h (143 mph). Fuel consumption is 4.1 liters per 100 kilometers (57.4 mpg US), with corresponding CO2 emissions of 109 grams per kilometer.

The new BMW 320d EfficientDynamics Edition can now for the first time be combined with an eight-speed automatic transmission, and can operate just as efficiently with the new unit as with the standard six-speed manual transmission.

In all road speed ranges that are relevant in everyday driving, the engineers have achieved reductions in engine speed which have noticeable benefits for fuel consumption. For example, when cruising at 100 km/h (62 mph) in sixth gear, the engine is only turning over at 1,600 rpm. The “centrifugal pendulum absorber” fitted in the engine’s dual-mass flywheel ensures smooth, vibration-free running even at low engine speeds. It efficiently counteracts irregular running and eliminates vibration when accelerating. The diesel engine revs smoothly from low engine speeds and the accompanying sound is equally refined.

This extra refinement, and improvements to the Optimum Shift Indicator, encourage the driver to change to a higher gear more often and to shift down less frequently. The Edition-specific modifications include a longer final-drive ratio, an optimized aerodynamics package with a 10 mm (0.4 in.) drop in ride height and wheels with “turbine” styling. There is even a 15% reduction in the rolling resistance of the tires compared with the predecessor model.

The economical diesel model also features all the fuel economy-enhancing measures used on other models in the new BMW 3 Series, including Brake Energy Regeneration, the Auto Start-Stop function and on-demand control of ancillary units such as the oil and coolant pump.

BMW 320i, BMW 318d and BMW 316d. In spring 2012, BMW will launch three further engines for the series. The upcoming new BMW 320i will be the second model to be powered by a member of the new-generation 2.0-liter four-cylinder petrol engine family. In the new BMW 320i, this TwinPower Turbo engine will develop maximum power of 135 kW/184 hp at 5,000 rpm and peak torque of 270 N·m (199 lb-ft) at 1,250 rpm.

The two upcoming turbodiesel models will be based on the same 2.0-liter core engine that is used in the new BMW 320d. In the BMW 318d, the diesel powerplant will develop maximum power of 105 kW/143 hp at 4,000 rpm and peak torque of 320 N·m (236 lb-ft) available between 1,750 and 2,500 rpm. The extremely fuel-efficient BMW 316d, meanwhile, develops maximum power of 85 kW/116 hp at 4,000 rpm and maximum torque of 260 N·m (192 lb-ft), again at between 1,750 and 2,500 rpm. Further engine versions will follow, including a six-cylinder diesel unit and numerous xDrive models. Autumn 2012, finally, will see the launch of the BMW ActiveHybrid 3.

Auto Start-Stop, Brake Energy Regeneration, ECO PRO mode. The new BMW 3 Series Sedan is equipped as standard with an Auto Start-Stop function, which automatically switches off the engine during short stops at traffic lights or in stationary traffic, so as not to waste fuel. For the first time, and uniquely in this class, this system can be combined with the new eight-speed automatic transmission.

The new BMW 3 Series also comes with standard-fitted Brake Energy Regeneration. As far as possible, therefore, power for the vehicle electrical system is generated only during braking and overrun. When the engine is under load, the alternator can often be disengaged. This not only means that electricity can be generated with little or no effect on fuel consumption, it also grants the sports sedan livelier acceleration.

Finally, the new Driving Experience Control switch gives drivers the option of selecting ECO PRO mode which, by modifying the powertrain management and programming the heating and air conditioning, the heated seats and the exterior mirrors to operate at optimum efficiency, reduces fuel consumption by as much as 20%.

On-demand control of ancillary units. Intelligent energy management in the new BMW 3 Series 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 electromechanical steering system, which only consumes electric power when steering assistance is actually required. The special air conditioning compressor featured on many of the sports sedan models works on the same principle. As soon as the driver switches the air conditioning off, the belt drive to the compressor is disconnected by a magnetic clutch, to minimise power drain.

Lightweight and aerodynamic. Lightweight design brings further reduction in fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. Use of lightweight materials has played a significant role in reducing vehicle weight and in delivering high passenger cell safety standards, combined with a significant increase in strength. At the same time, these measures also help to ensure superior driving dynamics. Intelligent lightweight design is integrated into all areas of BMW vehicle development work and into all components, from the body and engine to the suspension.

Materials used include high and ultra-high tensile steels, a hot-stamped B-pillar, plastics and state-of the-art composites. Increased use of aluminium components in the engine and suspension systems has also further reduced the weight of the relevant assemblies.

ActiveHybrid 3. In autumn 2012 the new ActiveHybrid 3—a full hybrid at the premium end of the sports sedan class—will join the BMW 3 Series. BMW ActiveHybrid 3 is the fourth production model in which a model-specific combination of internal combustion engine and electric drive provides extra dynamism while at the same time reducing fuel consumption and emissions. In the BMW ActiveHybrid 3, ActiveHybrid technology has for the first time been integrated into the vehicle architecture right from the start. Among other things, this meant that a lot of space was saved.

The powertrain of the BMW ActiveHybrid 3 features a 225 kW/306 hp six-cylinder gasoline engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology and a hybrid-specific eight-speed automatic transmission with integrated electric motor which for limited periods can increase power by up to 40 kW/54 hp. Maximum combined output is 250 kW/340 hp, with a maximum combined torque of 450 N·m (332 lb-ft). Average consumption in the EU test cycle is expected to be less than 6.4 liters per 100 kilometers (37 mpg US). That means the ActiveHybrid technology in the BMW ActiveHybrid 3 offers fuel savings of around 12.5% compared with equally powerful conventionally driven BMW sports sedans.

The electric motor supplies the six-cylinder gasoline engine with supplementary driving power and can provide a boost function when extra-dynamic performance is required. BMW ActiveHybrid technology also allows the vehicle to run solely on electric power. In this zero-emission mode, the vehicle can cover a distance of between three and four kilometers (around 2 to 2.5 miles). Top speeds in all-electric mode range from 60 km/h (37 mph) under load to 160 km/h (almost 100 mph) on overrun (coasting).

When the driver applies more throttle, the internal combustion engine is engaged automatically, then disengaged on overrun. During overrun and braking, the electric motor acts as a generator, converting kinetic energy into electrical energy, which is used to charge the battery. This is the same principle as the Brake Energy Regeneration function on the regular models, although on the BMW ActiveHybrid 3 the amount of energy recuperated by the electric motor is many times greater.

In terms of utility and interior adaptability, the BMW ActiveHybrid 3 shows no significant differences from the other models in the series, since its high-voltage battery is integrated under the floor of the trunk, which offers 390 liters of trunk space.

ConnectedDrive. The BMW ConnectedDrive range of technology includes a portfolio of functions to ensure maximum comfort, infotainment and safety. Among the most prominent technologies developed under the banner of BMW ConnectedDrive are the comfort-enhancing systems BMW Parking Assistant, Surround View, Active Cruise Control with Stop&Go function, and Speed Limit Info with No Passing Info display. They are joined in the new BMW 3 Series Sedan by features which further increase levels of passenger comfort—such as Real-Time Traffic Information (RTTI), information and office services, and travel and leisure planners using the Google Maps and Panoramio services.

With new Bluetooth office functions from BMW ConnectedDrive, internet-based services such as weather, news etc., as well as calendar entries and text-based messages (SMS and e-mail), 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 on their smartphone or music player inside the car. Their playlists, stored song titles and relevant album cover artwork are then displayed on the on-board monitor. The BMW Connected app allows full in-car use of web radio and calendar functions, as well as social networks such as Facebook and Twitter. The “My BMW Remote” app, meanwhile, allows you to open and close the car and to control the auxiliary heating from the outside.

The new BMW 3 Series Sedan will be available with the new-generation full-color Head-Up Display. Key driving information is projected onto the windscreen so it appears directly in the driver’s field of view. Safety is given a further boost by the availability of the Lane Change Warning System and Lane Departure Warning System including Collision Warning. This technology warns the driver of a possible collision during a lane change manoeuvre or if the car strays unintentionally out of its lane. Meanwhile, the Active Protection safety package with extended protection measures and the Advanced eCall function help occupants to limit the consequences of an accident.

Speed Limit Info. In combination with the navigation system Professional or Business, Speed Limit Info helps alert drivers to the current speed limit on the road on which they are travelling. The camera integrated into the rear-view mirror continuously monitors road signs, including variable-message overhead signs on motorways and dual carriageways. This information is checked against the navigation system’s database of speed limits. The camera ensures that additional signs or temporary restrictions—at roadworks, for example—are taken into account.

As part of this function BMW ConnectedDrive introduces the No Passing Info display in the new BMW 3 Series Sedan for the first time. As with speed limits, if the system detects an overtaking restriction, a symbol of a road sign is displayed in the instrument cluster or optional Head-Up Display until this restriction changes or no longer applies. The system stores all the data temporarily, allowing the most recently recorded limits and restriction signs to be flagged up once again if the driver resumes a journey after a short break.

In addition, a Speed Limit Device can now also be ordered as an option. This system limits the car’s maximum speed to between 30 and 230 km/h (19 and 143 mph), as set by the driver using a keypad on the left-hand steering wheel spoke. The car can then accelerate without restriction up to the pre-set limit. Should the driver wish to exceed this speed even though the speed limit function is activated, a short, firm stamp on the accelerator lifts the restriction briefly. The function becomes active again as soon as the car slows back down below the pre-set limit.

Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go function. Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go function—ACC Stop&Go for short—not only maintains the desired distance to the vehicle in front, in heavy traffic it also slows the car to a standstill. Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go function is a further development of the familiar Active Cruise Control (ACC) system. At speeds between 30 and 180 km/h (19 – 112 mph), it enables drivers to cruise along comfortably in free-flowing traffic on motorways or country roads at their preselected speed and while maintaining their desired distance to the vehicle in front. If traffic conditions demand, the system also adjusts the car’s distance automatically to the vehicle ahead of it.

ACC Stop&Go likewise relieves the workload on the driver of the new BMW 3 Series Sedan in slow-moving traffic and tailbacks. In stop-start conditions the car is braked to a standstill, if required, and pulls away again automatically. This allows the driver to move comfortably with the flow of the traffic and delegate the job of creeping, stopping and moving off to the car. If the car has been at a standstill for a longer period of time (more than three seconds), the driver has to give the command for the car to automatically pull away again by nudging the accelerator or pressing the “Resume” button on the multifunction steering wheel. The driver can adjust the car’s speed at any time while the system is activated by pressing the accelerator or brake pedal, and so retains ultimate responsibility for the car at all times.

The maximum deceleration applied by Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go function at low speeds is 4 m/s2 (13 ft/s2). At higher speeds, it is limited to 2.5 m/s2 (8 ft/s2). If the driver needs to intervene because the vehicle in front is braking extremely heavily, he or she is prompted to do so by visual and acoustic signals. At the same time, the deployment thresholds of the Brake Assistant are lowered and the Brake Standby function of the DSC system is activated.

Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go function works using a latest-generation radar sensor. The “full-range” radar can detect vehicles travelling up to 200 meters (656 ft.) in front of the car in virtually any weather conditions. This sensor is integrated discreetly into the front apron of the car and needs no individual adjustment. The system’s measuring beam is sufficiently broad at distances up to some 60 meters (approx. 200 ft.) from the car that vehicles in the adjacent lanes can be detected by the radar sensors—within certain limits—earlier than with the conventional ACC system. If another vehicle moves into the same lane as the driver’s car, Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go function adapts the speed of the BMW 3 Series precisely to that of the vehicle moving over.



Bigger but lighter and much more fuel efficient. That's the right way to go.


GCC should be featuring the story on BMW's ActiveE Electric Coupe. We will not get green cars on the road by continuing to pretend ICE vehicles are okay to drive.

How about the whole MSM get on the program to promote EVs as THE new direction of transportation??


The important thing is to provide mobility with as little pollution and resource usage as possible.

Evs are one way, hybrid ICEs are another and enhanced ICEs are a 3rd way.

BMW have chosen enhanced ICEs, blending into Hybrids over time - so let's see how they get on.
There is no point in picking winners by fiat, define the required outcomes and let the market decide the winners.

A small number of perfect but unaffordable EVs are not the solution, a large number of affordable, enhanced/hybridised ICEs could well be.


Combustive fuel energy has had its millennium. Time to move on. When the Model A arrived, we didn't attempt to attache a team of horses for extra HP. It arrived as the "horseless carriage."

Time to quit hanging on to old ideas and make the jump to new ones. Energy is abundant throughout the universe - and we know how to make us of it.


But we don't know how to store it economically.


Basically I have to agree with Reel$$ on this one. Burning various feed stocks for cooking and heating is killing over 2,000,000 every year and making 20,000,000 more sick. Burning fossil fuel to produce electricity and/or in our ICE gas guzzlers will eventually kill as many.

By the way, our gas guzzlers are not improving. From March to September 2011 the new vehicles went from 23.0 mpg down to 22.1 mpg. Almost unbelievable but true. The negative trend should be changing in 2012/2013.


Get real !

Even China’s totalitarian regime has learned (maybe better than we) that you cannot pick winners.

Read mahonj's post again.

It's short, succinct and irrefutable.

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BMW is unmatched in terms of style, performance, technology, safety and comfort, providing customers a truly complete driving experience. Now its going green that really good!!

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Jason Nelson

Good article. These BMW 3 Series changes should help the model better compete in its class.

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