New BMW 3 Series Coupe In Depth  

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Page 1: Introduction
Page 2: Concept
Page 3: Design
Page 4: Power Units
Page 5: Automatic Trans.
Page 6: Suspension
Page 7: All Wheel Drive
Page 8: Body & Safety
Page 9: Light Concept
Page 10: Features/Equipment
Page 11: Production
Page 12: History

In Short

A typical BMW. But a very special BMW 3 Series. And a unique car.

That is the new BMW 3 Series Coupé. Introducing this truly outstanding two-door athlete, BMW is continuing a long tradition and, at the same time, setting entirely new standards in a highly interesting segment of the market.

This is the third time that the BMW 3 Series, following the Saloon and Touring, is being supplemented by a Coupé. And this time the new BMW 3 Series Coupé is more different, more unique than ever before. The individual character of the car is clearly recognisable at very first sight, with your eyes admiring the sporting and stretched lines of a body new in every detail.

The new Coupé also offers unique standards within the engine compartment, where BMW's 3.0-litre straight-six with Twin Turbo technology, High-Precision Injection and an all-aluminium crankcase is making its debut. This 225 kW/306 hp high-performance power unit gives the BMW 335i Coupé truly outstanding performance combined with impressive fuel economy. And no less than two other petrol engines as well as two diesel power units will be available for the BMW 3 Series Coupé right from the start upon the introduction of the new car.

Rear-wheel drive, optimised weight, harmonious axle load distribution and the most sophisticated suspension in the segment are further essential factors guaranteeing a truly fascinating driving experience. And for the first time, the BMW 3 Series Coupé is available with BMW's intelligent xDrive all-wheel-drive system.

Through its looks alone, the BMW 3 Series offers the very best in individual style, character, and driving pleasure. The two-door model stands out very clearly from the Saloon and Touring versions of the BMW 3 Series - and this unique look you will find not only behind the B-pillar, but also at the front of the car and within the interior.

At the same time the new 3 Series Coupé offers a standard of agility and driving dynamics quite unique in its segment. Through its handling and superior performance (not just on the top model) alone, the new BMW 3 Series Coupé simply begs the driver to show an active style of motoring. And in the process the new Coupé combines its sporting character with stylish looks. For while the design of the car exudes a feeling of power and dynamism in many respects, the overall look is full of sophisticated style and elegance.

Individual design from the powerdome to the rear end.

The special look of a coupé results above all from the side view of the car. Precisely this is why the BMW 3 Series Coupé boasts a short front overhang, long wheelbase, a passenger compartment moved far to the rear, low-slung A-pillars, low windows, and a smooth roofline tapering out gently towards the rear to give the car its very special silhouette. Large, voluminous wheel arches give the Coupé a distinctive look of power and performance, the flow of shoulder, character and side-sill lines emphasising the stretched dynamics and sleek appearance of the car.

Like the shoulder line, the character line extending from the upper edge of the front wheel arch along the door handle all the way to the rear emphasises the sheer length and elegance of the new 3 Series Coupé. The side-sill line rising up from the side as a distinctive, light-reflecting element moves up towards the rear of the car and is taken up and accentuated both in the front and rear air dams.

Through the curvature of the car's surfaces and the interplay of lines, the designers have created a side view again reflecting the dynamic style and characteristics of the Coupé. The character line of the car, for example, rises up and at the same time appears to extend outwards above the rear wheel arches, providing a touch of tension and sheer excitement.

This three-dimensional effect guides the eyes of the beholder to the area around the rear axle, the place where engine power is converted into dynamic performance also on the BMW 3 Series Coupé. At the same time the character and side-sill lines form an elliptical curve sweeping to the front and again emphasising the forward-moving dynamism of the car coming out particularly clearly in the three-quarter rear view.

Bi-xenon headlights with corona rings featured as standard.

The front air dam, headlight units and contours on the engine compartment lid of the BMW 3 Series Coupé are also new and truly unique in their design. Seen from the front, the car is low and wide, emphasising its sporting character. The lines of the powerdome stretching above the drive unit extend from the A-pillars all the way to the outer sides of the BMW kidney grille. The low-slung dual round headlights, in turn, merge smoothly beneath the engine compartment lid and thus look as if they were cut off at the top, giving the car a very self-confident and concentrated "face".

The new BMW 3 Series Coupé comes as standard with bi-xenon headlights featuring corona rings conceived and designed for daytime use. Indeed, these striking light rings create a double effect, making the car clearly visible at all times and showing the beholder from the start that this is a genuine BMW.

The LED rods in the rear lights also give the new BMW 3 Series Coupé unmistakable style and impression. Merging smoothly into the rear and side of the car, the light units are split up into two sections and extend all the way into the trunk lid. The entire rear view of the car is again low and wide, characterised in particular by smooth, horizontal lines. This emphasises the wide track and the sporting flair and appearance of the car also from this perspective.

A whole range of details contributes to the unique design of the new BMW 3 Series Coupé. Through their contours alone, for example, the rear-view mirrors designed especially for the Coupé take up the side lines of the car. And the design of the side window frames is also typical of BMW but nevertheless quite unique and different from all other models. The famous "Hofmeister kick" at the bottom of the C-pillars, finally, rises up into the shoulder line of the car, showing a distinctive angle pointing to the front. Indeed, to make this special effect possible in the first place, the chrome trim on the side window surrounds is made for the first time in one single piece, again standing out as a very special feature proving the sophisticated style and value of the Coupé.

Sleek dynamics also within the interior.

The aura of dynamism and exclusivity conveyed by the new BMW 3 Series Coupé through its body design alone continues consistently within the car. Indeed, the interior is dominated by powerful contours and flowing lines, with convex and concave shapes and surfaces flowing into one another. Conceived as a fully-fledged four-seater, the Coupé is perfect for fast travelling in a sophisticated ambience. The two individual seats at the rear are separated by a storage compartment in the middle, like the centre console separating the two front seats.

Horizontal lines on the dashboard and in the side panels accentuate the feeling of generous space. The instrument panel itself is inclined towards the driver at the top, the armrest on the side panel flows smoothly from the dashboard all the way to the backrests of the rear seats.

This exclusive ambience within the car is rounded off by the light contour lines on the inner door and side panels available as an option. Sealed off at the top, these light strips present the interior and surrounding areas in warm, indirect illumination. All controls and surfaces the driver and passengers touch particularly often, such as the door openers and shift lever, are finished in a particularly sophisticated metallic touch. To customise the interior, finally, the driver has the choice of exclusive colour schemes for the upholstery, roof liner, and interior panels.

Straight-six power units for efficient dynamics.

The new BMW 3 Series Coupé is entering the market with three petrol and two diesel engines. Focusing on straight-six power units fitted lengthwise at the front and conveying their power to the rear wheels, BMW is opting for a proven drive concept particularly rich in tradition. But still, there is ample space beneath the engine compartment lid for some spectacular innovations.

One example is that the new BMW 3 Series Coupé for the first time features a Twin Turbo 3.0-litre straight-six power unit, High-Precision Injection, and an all-aluminium crankcase. This 225 kW/306 hp power unit, while based on BMW's highly successful normal-aspiration six-cylinder, opens up a new era in engine development. For now BMW is combining the qualities typical of this six-cylinder with the power-boosting effect of two turbochargers and second-generation direct gasoline injection for the first time offering significant advantages in fuel economy also in practice.

The result of this combination, clearly, is a particularly thrilling rendition of efficient dynamics.

The power unit of the BMW 335i Coupé develops its maximum torque

of 400 Newton-metres or 295 lb-ft at just 1,300 rpm, providing its power and performance much more spontaneously than a conventional turbocharged engine and revving up smoothly and consistently all the way to 7,000 rpm. On the road, this means impressive acceleration from 0-100 km/h in just 5.5 seconds, with top speed of the 335i Coupé being limited electronically to 250 km/h or 155 mph.

Despite this outstanding power and performance, the new top-of-the-range engine within the straight-six model series also offers equally outstanding all-round economy: In the EU composite test cycle, the BMW 335i Coupé consumes just 9.5 litres of premium fuel for 100 kilometres, equal to 29.7 mpg Imp. This efficiency is attributable, first, to the low weight of the entire engine, the Twin Turbo six-cylinder weighing some 70 kilos or 154 lb less than an eight-cylinder with comparable power. The second factor is High-Precision Injection allowing unprecedented economy in the consumption of fuel. Innovative piezo-injectors positioned right in the middle between the valves in the cylinder head ensure consistent and exactly metered fuel injection in every situation for a high degree of efficiency with superior fuel economy also in everyday traffic.

Optimised weight, more power.

The two normal-aspiration six-cylinders available in the new BMW 3 Series Coupé right from the start upon introduction of the car also offer an optimised balance of power, weight, and fuel economy: The power unit featured in the BMW 330i Coupé now develops maximum output of 200 kW/272 hp and peak torque of 315 Newton-metres or 232 lb-ft. Acceleration to 100 km/h comes in 6.1 seconds and top speed is again limited electronically to 250 km/h or 155 mph.

This impressive performance and the car's superior refinement are supplemented by a new record level of efficiency in the 3.0-litre normal-aspiration power unit: Averaging fuel consumption of just 8.8 litres in the EU test cycle, equivalent to 32.1 mpg Imp, the new BMW 330i Coupé is approximately 12 per cent more fuel efficient than its predecessor.

The use of magnesium on the crankcase, bedplate and cylinder head cover, together with the lightweight crankshafts, serves to significantly reduce the weight of the engine as such. Further advantages in efficiency are provided, inter alia, by fully variable VALVETRONIC valve management.

Both of these improvements are also featured on the 2.5-litre straight-six: Developing maximum output of 160 kW/218 hp and peak torque of 250 Newton-metres or 184 lb-ft, this engine gives the BMW 325i Coupé equally superior performance on the road. Acceleration to 100 km/h comes in 6.9 seconds; top speed is 247 km/h or 153 mph. And to substantiate the car's supreme efficiency also in this performance class, average fuel consumption under the EU standard is just 8.4 litres/100 kilometres, equal to 33.6 mpg Imp.

Diesel engines in the Coupé - more attractive than ever before.

Again, diesel engine technology offers a highly tempting and attractive alternative also on the new BMW 3 Series Coupé. And so the BMW 335d Coupé and the BMW 330d Coupé have two truly outstanding power units featured in the new car: powerful, economical, and naturally boasting a particulate filter as standard.

Particularly the BMW 335d Coupé offers outstanding superlatives in this context, the world's most dynamic six-cylinder diesel giving the car power and performance truly unique in this segment: Maximum output of the 3.0-litre straight-six diesel with Variable Twin Turbo technology is an impressive 210 kW/286 hp. Peak torque, in turn, is 580 Newton-metres or 427 lb-ft at just 1,750 rpm. And with maximum output coming at 4,400 rpm, the engine revs up smoothly all the way to 5,000 rpm.

This smooth and consistent surge of power naturally means dynamic acceleration on the road: From a standstill, the BMW 335d Coupé accelerates to 100 km/h in just 6.1 seconds, with top speed limited electronically to 250 km/h or 155 mph. Fuel economy in BMW's most powerful six-cylinder diesel is nevertheless very modest, amounting to just 7.5 litres of diesel fuel for 100 kilometres in the EU test cycle (equal to 37.7 mpg Imp).

As a result, this engine also clearly underlines the principle of BMW Efficient Dynamics, displaying the significant advantages it is able to provide. This superiority is attributable, first, to two-stage turbocharging with a small turbocharger cutting in first at low engine speeds and then followed at higher speeds by a large turbocharger and, second, by third-generation common-rail fuel injection incorporating piezo-injectors for a rapid and finely-metered supply of fuel and air.

Yet a further outstanding feature is that the power unit of the BMW 335d Coupé is the first all-aluminium diesel engine in its performance class. With weight reduced to 208 kilos or 459 lb, this benefits both the agility of the car as such as well as its all-round economy.

Developing maximum output of 170 kW/231 hp, the second version of the 3.0-litre straight-six diesel also offers a standard of performance most appropriate for a sporting two-seater. Maximum torque of 500 Newton-metres or 369 lb-ft, at any rate, guarantees a level of power and performance simply predestined for dynamic driving pleasure at all times. Acceleration from 0-100 km/h in 6.6 seconds confirms the sporting character of this diesel just as impressively as the car's top speed limited to 250 km/h or 155 mph. And featuring a new turbocharger together with the latest generation of common-rail fuel injection, the power unit of the BMW 330d Coupé enters a new world also in terms of economy, with average fuel consumption in the EU test cycle of just 6.5 litres/100 km (equal to 43.5 mpg Imp).

Offering the sports driver either manual or automatic transmission.

As an alternative to the six-speed manual gearbox featured as standard, the new BMW 3 Series Coupé is also available with particularly fast and responsive automatic transmission, which is standard on the BMW 335d Coupé. Featuring a highly effective hydraulic control unit, a new torque converter and extremely efficient control software, the newly developed six-speed automatic transmission ensures particularly fast and dynamic acceleration at virtually all speeds, shifting gears with a response time of only 100 milliseconds, regardless of whether the transmission has to shift down one or several gears in the process.

Selecting exactly the right gear in each case, the new automatic transmission also enhances fuel economy with the car driving at a smooth, consistent speed, while at the same time giving the driver the option to shift gears manually as desired. This option is provided by paddles on the steering wheel making the manual gearshift a truly dynamic and sporting experience.

Modern suspension technology for maximum precision.

The sheer power of the engine is matched in the new BMW 3 Series Coupé by equally superior transmission of this power to the road. Standard drive with the engine at the front and the drive wheels at the rear ensures maximum agility, directional stability, and safe handling at all times and within the entire speed range. Boasting a double-joint tiebar axle made largely of aluminium at the front and further enhanced by spring struts, as well as a five-arm axle at the rear, the new BMW 3 Series Coupé offers the most modern suspension currently available in its class. The low centre of gravity, excellent front-to-rear weight balance, and the special set-up of the dampers also help to give this two-door performer truly impressive driving qualities.

Rack-and-pinion steering with hydraulic power assistance ensures supreme precision and exact feedback on road conditions. And with the power of the engine being conveyed to the rear wheels, the steering is not in any way affected by drive forces.

As an option the BMW 3 Series Coupé is available with Active Steering specially tailored to the car: Depending on driving conditions, the driver is able to keep steering forces and the effort required to a minimum while remaining precisely on course without the slightest problem at high speeds.

The BMW 3 Series Coupé comes as standard with a high-performance brake system, the extra-large brake discs requiring the use of 17-inch wheels. The advantages on the road are superior stopping power, fading-free brake qualities, and wear reduced to a minimum. BMW is indeed the world's first car maker to fit its models with a continuous, ongoing wear indicator providing exact information on all times on the brake pads and their current condition.

DSC with enhanced functions for extra safety and dynamics.

In its superior efficiency, the brake system is supported by DSC Dynamic Stability Control with innovative functions of particular interest. Indeed, this latest generation of DSC not only performs the ABS brake control function and maintains the car's stability on slippery surfaces by intervening in the brakes, but also compensates any decrease in deceleration as a result of extremely high brake temperatures. The regular Dry Braking function serves furthermore to ensure optimum brake power also in the wet, Brake Standby preparing the brakes for immediate use whenever required. Should the need for deceleration and stopping power be particularly great, DBC Dynamic Brake Control maximises brake pressure. CBC Cornering Brake Control counteracts any undesired swerving or spinning motion of the car when applying the brakes slightly in a bend. And in conjunction with Active Steering, finally, DSC ensures fast and precise steering control also on surfaces with varying frictional coefficients, thus providing additional stability whenever necessary.

On loose, slippery surfaces, integrated ASC stability control guarantees optimised traction, while DTC Dynamic Traction Control moves up the thresholds for DSC brake intervention, enabling the driver to set out and pick up speed smoothly and consistently also, say, on loose snow with the drive wheels slightly spinning.

DTC also helps to provide a particularly sporting and active style of motoring, allowing light spin on the drive wheels and thus enabling the driver to take bends in a controlled drift. And last but certainly not least, the driver of the new BMW 3 Series Coupé has the option to fully deactivate DSC whenever he wishes.

Intelligent xDrive all-wheel-drive system for the 3 Series Coupé.

For the first time, the new BMW 3 Series Coupé is available with BMW's intelligent xDrive all-wheel-drive system. As an alternative to standard drive, this superior all-wheel-drive technology offers even better traction and driving stability on slippery or loose surfaces. Electronically controlled, variable distribution of drive forces front-to-rear not only optimises the transmission of power on roads with a low frictional coefficient, but also enhances the car's driving dynamics by counteracting any trend towards over- or understeer.

The new BMW 3 Series Coupé comes as standard on 17-inch light-alloy rims combined with 225/45 R 17 runflat tyres. A further feature is BMW's tyre defect indicator permanently monitoring air pressure and warning the driver once the level of pressure drops more than 30 per cent beneath the ideal figure.

Ultra-modern body structure: less weight, more safety.

The intelligent combination of innovative and proven materials plus modern production technology gives the new BMW 3 Series Coupé a particularly light but very stable bodyshell approximately 10 kilos or 22 lb lighter than the bodyshell on the Saloon. The use of innovative plastic side panels on the Coupé, in turn, also helps to optimise the weight of the car at the front end as a particular advantage in terms of enhanced driving dynamics: Compared with conventional steel components, the front panels are approximately 50 per cent lighter.

Production processes have also become more straightforward through the development of this new material, the new front side panels, unlike plastic components in the past, no longer requiring separate application of the paintwork and separate assembly after having been painted. Instead, they can go through the standard painting process together with the entire bodyshell of the car, since, through their enhanced thermal and geometrical consistency as well as optimised expansion and uptake of moisture, the painted side panels also look exactly the same as conventional steel components after completion of the car.

New production processes are also used for the car's steel components, the B-pillars on the Coupé being reinforced for the first time by ultra-high-strength steel tubes made in a process of thermal forming. Interacting with the doors, the seats and the instrument panel bulkhead between the A-pillars, these tubes again serve to ensure maximum stability.

Yet another "strong" point is that forces acting on the car in a side-on collision are conveyed via the floorpan to the other side of the vehicle. The support holding the bulkhead in place, to present yet another example, is made of innovative, particularly strong multi-phase steel.

Maximum occupant safety in a head-on collision is provided, inter alia, by dynamic deformation zones in the front end of the car. Longitudinal support bars, specific reinforcements as well as the strong finish of the luggage compartment floor, rear panel and side panels, finally, serve to minimise the consequences of a rear-end collision.

All-round occupant protection.

Through their carefully conceived arrangement and appropriate dimensions, the load-bearing structures, crash boxes and deformation zones effectively protect the passenger cell from impact energy. Within the interior itself, carefully interacting restraint and safety systems masterminded by one central safety unit ensure individual safety and protection for each of the car's occupants. The frontal, hip, thorax and curtain head airbags, belt latch tensioners and belt force limiters are all activated by sensor-controlled safety electronics as a function of the type and severity of a collision.

In the interest of safe driving at night, the new BMW 3 Series Coupé comes as standard with bi-xenon headlights, with the adaptive headlight and turning light functions available as options. Through the striking looks of their light rods, the rear lights also ensure superior safety in the dark. Two-stage adaptive brake lights, in turn, help to prevent the risk of collisions from behind: In the event of a particularly forceful braking manoeuvre, the adaptive brake lights come on over a larger area, encouraging drivers following from behind through the larger and brighter brake lights to apply their brakes all-out as well.

Four seats, lots of space: the interior.

Considering its engine output and dynamic qualities, the new BMW 3 Series Coupé appeals above all to the sporting and active motorist. Still, the driving pleasure the car has to offer is a truly outstanding experience not only for the driver himself, but also for up to three passengers accompanying the man - or woman - at the wheel. For the new BMW 3 Series Coupé is conceived and designed as a genuine four-seater, offering ideal conditions for relaxed travelling in style on all seats.

The centre console extending all the way back to the rear subdivides the rear seats bench into two independent, separate seats offering passengers generous headroom and freedom of movement in general thanks to the low-slung seat position. Access to the two rear seats is facilitated by the comfort entry function on the front seats. The backrest release lever for the front seats is positioned at exactly the right ergonomic point at the top on the outside of the seat backrests themselves.

Offering capacity of 440 litres or 15.4 cubic feet (430 litres/15.1 cubic feet on the BMW 335i Coupé), the luggage compartment sets yet another record in this segment. Substantial capacity is also provided by the folding storage boxes in the inner door panels. Indeed, this special feature provided for the first time in the new BMW 3 Series Coupé allows the driver and his passengers to take along their belongings in appropriate privacy, kept appropriately out of the way of prying eyes looking in from outside.

An innovation for extra comfort: automatic seat belt feed.

The front seats in the BMW 3 Series Coupé also ensure superior comfort on long distances and excellent side support on winding roads and in dynamic bends. And using the seat belts is facilitated to an even higher standard by the newly developed belt feed units literally handing the belts over to the driver and front passenger once they have closed the doors and the driver has inserted the wireless key into the box opening to the right of the steering wheel. With the belts themselves being housed within the B-pillars moved far to the back in typical coupé style, the belt feed unit is geared in its function to the seat occupancy detector, meaning that the two belt feed units are only activated when the front passenger's seat is also occupied. And with the belt feed units being housed conveniently within the side panels when not in use, they do not in any way disturb the overall, harmonious appearance of the interior.

The door openers, grab handles, gearshift lever bracket and air vent adjuster, as well as the trim rings in the leather sports steering wheel featured as standard, all come in a special Pearl Grey chrome surface developed specifically for the new BMW 3 Series Coupé - and the same colour is also featured on the starter button trim.

In both the petrol and diesel models, all the driver has to do is press this button to start the engine. The design of the cockpit as such also accentuates the sporting and driver-oriented character of the Coupé, the driver's eyes immediately focusing on the speedometer and rev counter extending up to 280 km/h or 175 mph and, respectively, 8,000 rpm on the BMW 335i Coupé (and 260 km/h or 160 mph and, respectively, 7,500 rpm on the other models).

Individual and exclusive features.

Offering a wide range of safety and comfort features, the BMW 3 Series Coupé makes even the shortest trip an outstanding experience in pleasure. Numerous customisation options also give the driver the opportunity to tailor his or her car to his personal wishes. Supplementing the wide range of standard equipment, therefore, the new BMW 3 Series Coupé is available with a large number of high-tech solutions for audio, navigation, and telematics purposes, features originally developed strictly for the luxury performance car and now making their way into this segment. Again, this clearly underlines the exclusive character of the new BMW 3 Series Coupé.


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