AW Preview - 2006 BMW 3-Series

Discussion in 'OT Driven' started by TriShield, Oct 27, 2004.

  1. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    Back to the Future: Eschewing its brethren, the new 3 Series exhibits timeless styling

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    GREG KABLE
    Posted Date: 10/26/04

    BMW's dare-to-be different designs are no more, at least on the new 3 Series coming next year. Shown here for the first time "officially"-we put quotes around that word considering the entire 3 Series brochure was spirited out of the company and revealed on the Internet two months ago (AW, Aug. 23)-the fifth-generation four-door sedan eschews the controversial styling established on the company's 1, 5, 6 and 7 Series models. Instead, BMW opts for a more timeless appearance that it hopes will see the new car continue to appeal to its fiercely loyal, but highly discerning, customer base.

    Set to star at Geneva next year, the 3 Series, codenamed E90, represents a major shift in BMW's model hierarchy. No longer entry level in the lineup-a position it occupied for 29 years-a myriad of changes aim at moving the sedan cautiously upmarket.

    Larger in every vital dimension, the car gets more powerful gasoline engines, a new rwd platform shared with the baby 1 Series, as well as an aluminum-intensive suspension, high-tech multiplex electronics and a long list of premium features-including iDrive.

    Presented as a sedan, there will also be wagons and uniquely styled coupes and cabriolets for North America by early 2007. Earlier plans to abandon the traditional naming policy and give upcoming two-doors a 4 Series nomenclature have been torpedoed by marketers. Also under intensive consideration, but yet to be granted production approval, is a five-seat multipurpose vehicle.

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    One look is enough to convince you the new 3 Series is a much less jarring example of present BMW styling, boasting more conventional cues than any of its siblings. The front end, dominated by a new interpretation of the classic kidney grille and round headlamps under clear glass lenses, is pure BMW, as is the prominent line running down the sides and the distinctive "Hofmeister kick" incorporated in the C-pillars.

    The rear end is also far less radical than what we've seen from BMW of late, and perhaps a little too derivative for some tastes. As is typical of BMW, the front overhang is extremely short, with the car's longitudinally mounted engine and gearbox set well back in the engine bay to help it achieve the best possible weight distribution.

    The reason for the more harmonious approach is simple. New BMW models don't get any more important than the 3 Series. Despite increased competition on all fronts, the 3 remains the cornerstone of BMW's business, accounting for a whopping 57 percent of global sales last year, or 528,258 worldwide. BMW knows all too well it cannot afford to risk sending buyers elsewhere.

    With the 1 Series now firmly established at the base of its lineup, BMW has seized the opportunity to take the 3 Series up in size. "The new 3 Series offers nearly as much interior space and luggage capacity as the old (previous-generation E39) 5 Series," says BMW development boss Burkhard Goeschel.

    Two new I6s will be available from the start of North American sales, a 2.5-liter in the 325i and a 3.0-liter in the 330i. We're told the 330i will push 255 hp, with the 325i coming in around 210 to 215 hp. Both engines come mated to a standard six-speed manual from Getrag. A six-speed automatic from ZF with a Step-tronic push/pull function will be optional, and an SMG unit with buttons on the steering wheel will be available on 330 models.

    A double-clutch gearbox similar to VW's highly acclaimed DSG is under development, but it won't be available immediately.

    With an added 25 to 30 hp and 221 lb-ft delivered at 2500 rpm, 1000 rpm lower than before, the new 330i manages to outgun today's car, reaching 60 mph in an estimated 6.0 seconds. Top speed remains at 155 mph. Fuel consumption improves by about 2.2 mpg thanks to a broader spread of gear ratios, longer final drive and improved aerodynamics.

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    The 330i's engine is now built on a lightweight magnesium block that shaves 22 pounds off its weight compared to aluminum. Magnesium also will be incorporated in the 2.5-liter six.

    We can confirm BMW is plotting the return of turbocharging to the lineup with a 3.0-liter, 240-hp I6 in a proposed 330Ti. It is aimed at bridging the gap between the regular line and a new 4.0-liter, 400-hp V8-powered M3. BMW also is developing a limited number of fwd 3s using the electronically controlled xDrive system found in the X3.

    Dynamically, MacPherson struts remain up front, but they are now made from aluminum for sharper responses; the rear end adopts a complex five-link steel arrangement in place of today's four-link system. Along with the standard suspension, there is an optional sport setup that lowers ride height by 0.6 inch and adds firmer springs and dampers. BMW's Dynamic Drive will not be made available on the new 3 Series due to its weight and cost. The track measurements increase front and rear, and weight distribution is reported to be 50:50 front-to-rear. This is achieved in part by placing the battery low down in the floor of the trunk and replacing the spare tire with a puncture repair kit. The 325i rides on 16-inch wheels shod with 205/55 tires, while the 330i gets 17-inchers wrapped in 225/45. Optional are 18-inch wheels with low-profile 255/35 tires.

    There has also been a radical overhaul of the steering. Along with a standard speed-sensitive rack-and-pinion system, BMW will offer active front steering as an option.

    Unlike the 5 Series, which features aluminum structure ahead of the A-pillar, the new 3 retains full steel construction as a cost-saving measure. BMW has not divulged weight figures, but the 330i will likely tip the scales at 3190 pounds, which is very close to the current car's weight despite the new one's larger dimensions and added equipment.

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    Among the safety features are two-stage driver and passenger airbags, thorax airbags on the outer seatbacks and curtain airbags. Also included on all 3 models is BMW's latest dynamic stability control. On uplevel models, DSC includes a "Start Off" mode to prevent rolling back on hills, "Soft Stop" to reduce dive under heavy braking and "Dry Braking," which lightly clamps the calipers to dry the discs in wet conditions.

    The interior leans heavily toward that found in the 5 Series, a highly modern look that lacks the driver-centric appeal of past 3 Series. On models equipped with optional iDrive, the dashboard boasts two different cowlings, one for the instruments, the other for a wide-screen monitor, while the switch-gear is minimized with functions concentrated within iDrive's rotary dial between the front seats. Models without iDrive receive just the single cowling and revert to more traditional switchgear.

    Options include active cruise control, bi-Xenon headlamps with or without the adaptive function that adjusts them in tandem with the front wheels, keyless entry, a choice of two different navigation systems, and a series of DVD-based infotainment systems, the top version of which uses Pro Logic7 surround sound.

    The extended wheelbase and widened track have liberated greater interior space in a move BMW claims will see the 3 Series more closely challenge Audi's A4 and Mercedes' C-Class for overall versatility and trunk space.

    Production of the new 3 Series starts in December at three BMW factories: Munich and Regensburg in Germany, and Rosslyn in South Africa. Later, the car will also roll from the company's new Leipzig factory under construction in former East Germany.

    2006 BMW 330i

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    ON SALE: May 2005 base price: $37,000 (est.)
    POWERTRAIN: 3.0-liter, 255-hp, 221-lb-ft I6; rwd, six-speed manual
    CURB WEIGHT: 3190 pounds (est.)
    0 to 60 MPH: 6.0 seconds (est.)


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  2. repost good bye..

    e90 sucks donkey nuts..

    e46 forever
     
  3. WS6Formula350

    WS6Formula350 molestache amririte?

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  4. Mugatu

    Mugatu Ask me about market research. OT Supporter

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    :ugh: That back-end is anything but timeless - it looks like crap.

    The rest of the car is nice though.
     
  5. ccrooks

    ccrooks New Member

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    not a fan...
     
  6. SlowNegative

    SlowNegative Her name is Rio

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    I love how they try to write off the styling as more conservative relative to the 5/7/Z/etc. They all look bad, but I think the new 3-series is far worse than any other model. Nothing about that car is striking or worth the premium price tag.
     
  7. AMan

    AMan ???????????

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    At least they didn't make the rear end look like the 5 and 7 series. I don't think that it looks bad. Its going to grow on people.
     
  8. brownbear

    brownbear OT Supporter

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    car companies really need do something about the goddamn shark fins
     
  9. SlowNegative

    SlowNegative Her name is Rio

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    Hopefully there will be an e46 330i ZHP waiting for me when I'm ready to replace my wife's 2002 325i sport :hs:
     
  10. AMan

    AMan ???????????

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    Does anyone else think that the silver colored interior accents make the car look cheap?
     
  11. Quikstep

    Quikstep New Member

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    I prefer the E46. I'm not liking this trend of all cars getting bigger and bigger. I like my cars compact :hs:
     
  12. TV-MA

    TV-MA Guest

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    that interior looks like garbage to me.. bah.. I love the M series. and all.. but that looks like a honda Civic interior.. no offense to civics..
     
  13. ASav

    ASav New Member

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    not bad :)
     
  14. Sito

    Sito Each To Their Own

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    :ugh: at the lights, then again I said that about the current 3 series and then they grew on me.
     
  15. Ruiner

    Ruiner Evil Inside

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    Horrible... :barf:
     
  16. what year is your mroady? my friend has a 2000 mroadster.. fun
     
  17. SlowNegative

    SlowNegative Her name is Rio

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    I wonder if there will be a MY2006 e46 M3 or if they will shoot it between the eyes as well in 2005.
     
  18. SlowNegative

    SlowNegative Her name is Rio

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    2001. One of my good friends has a 2000 M Coupe, s52 engine is no joke.
     
  19. Ruiner

    Ruiner Evil Inside

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  20. TV-MA

    TV-MA Guest

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    porsche > .*

    Make Porsche Ruf
    Model 1997 CTR-2
    Powertrain Layout Rear Engine / RWD
    Base Price $280 000

    Dimensions
    WheelBase 2271 mm / 89.4 in
    Length 4290 mm / 168.9 in
    Height 1300 mm / 51.2 in
    Width 1735 mm / 68.3 in
    Weight 1381 kg / 3045 lbs
    Front / Rear Track F 1405 mm / 55.3 in
    R 1453 mm / 57.2 in

    Engine
    Configuration Twin Turbo Flat 6
    Valvetrain SOHC, 2 valves / cylinder
    Displacement 3600 cc / 219.7 cu in
    Power 387.8 Kw / 520.0 bhp @ 5800 rpm
    Torque 684.7 Nm / 505.0 ft lbs @ 4800 rpm
    Bore 100.0 mm / 3.9 in
    Stroke 76.4 mm / 3.0 in
    Compression Ratio 8.0:1
    BHP / Liter 144.44 bhp
    Redline 6700 rpm

    Transmission
    Type 6-Speed Manual
    Final Drive 3.44:1
    1st Gear Ratio 3.15:1
    2nd Gear Ratio 1.79:1
    3rd Gear Ratio 1.27:1
    4th Gear Ratio 0.97:1
    5th Gear Ratio 0.76:1
    6th Gear Ratio 0.60:1

    Chassis & Body
    Steering Rack & Pinion w/ Power Assist
    Tire Sizes F 245/35ZR-19
    R 285/30ZR-19
    Brake Types Carbon Fibre Discs
    Brake Size F 356 mm / 14.0 in
    R 356 mm / 14.0 in
    Available ABS Yes
    Body Material Unit Steel w/ Composite Panels

    Performance
    Top Speed 217.0 mph / 349.2 kph
    0 - 30 mph 1.5 seconds
    0 - 60 mph 3.6 seconds
    0 - 100 mph 7.9 seconds
    0 - ¼ mile 11.4 seconds
    Lateral Acceleration Not Available
    EPA City / Hwy Not Available
     
  21. AMan

    AMan ???????????

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  22. SlowNegative

    SlowNegative Her name is Rio

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    How the hell did a Ruf Porsche get in an e90 3-series thread? :ugh:
     
  23. TriShield

    TriShield Super Moderator® Super Moderator

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    The interior on that M5 is quite drab.
     
  24. Ruiner

    Ruiner Evil Inside

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    I was wondering that as well.
     
  25. TV-MA

    TV-MA Guest


    it just does..
     

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