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2012 BMW 3 Series (F30)

2012 BMW 3 Series (F30)

Export of the BMW 3 series from South Africa began from the Rosslyn Plant a few weeks ago with local sales beginning mid March.

One of the most prominent changes on the car is the new BMW face which is said to emphasise the elegantly dynamic design of the new BMW 3 Series.

At a glance what you need to know about the car is as follows:

  • BMW 3 Series now available in three different equipment lines. That is, the Sport Line, Luxury Line and Modern Line. The video below will take you a through the differences in the variants. An M Sport package with special exterior and interior features is in the pipeline for the midyear in 2012.
  • Six-speed manual transmission as standard, eight speed gearbox can be specified in combination with any of the petrol and diesel engines in the range.
  • The Kerb weight is stated to be 40kg less than predecessor.
  • All engines are equipped with the latest BMW TwinPower Turbo technology.
  • The cars come equipped with a Driving Experience Control switch with Eco Pro mode; Auto Start-Stop function included as standard to help improve fuel efficiency.
  • The 3 Series has grown in size compared to its previous predecessor, with a wider track (front +37mm, rear +47mm), increased overall length (+93mm) and augmented wheel base (+50mm).

Powering the new 3 series is a choice of four engines:

  • 320i 2.0-litre 4-cylinder petrol engines, 135 kW at 5,000 rpm, reaching a maximum torque of 270 Nm from just 1,250 rpm. BMW 320i with six speed manual transmission accelerates in just 7.3 seconds from zero to 100 km/h. The fuel consumption is rated at just 5.9 litres per 100 kilometres on the EU test cycle (six speed gearbox) which drops to as much as 12% below that figure with the eight speed gearbox.
  • 328i 2.0-litre 4-cylinder petrol engines, develops 180 kW and peak torque of 350 Nm from as low down as 1,250 rpm and remains constant up to 4,800 rpm, accelerating the BMW 3 Series from 0 to 100 kph in 5.9 seconds. The average fuel consumption is just 6,4 litres per 100 kilometres with the six speed gearbox and drops to about 6.3 litres per 100 kilometres with the eight speed automatic gearbox.
  • 335i 3.0-litre 6-cylinder petrol engines, develops peak output of 225 kW at 5,800 rpm and maximum torque of 400 Nm at just 1,200 rpm Peak torque of 400 Nm is on stream between 1,200 and 5,000 rpm. The 0 to 100 km/h sprint time is just 5.5 seconds with the standard six speed gearbox.  The 0 to 100 km/h sprint on the 8 speed auto gearbox is is 0.5 seconds quicker than the predecessor. Fuel consumption in the EU test cycle is rated at 7.9 litres per 100 kilometres and 7.2 litres per 100 kilometres on the with the eight speed automatic gearbox.
  • 320d 4 – cylinder diesel engine, maximum power of 135 kW at 4,000 rpm, and powerful torque of 380 Nm on stream between 1,750 and 2,750 rpm. The 0 to 100 km/h acceleration is 7.5 seconds. The rated fuel consumption in the EU test cycle is 4.5 litres per 100 kilometre (six speed) and 16% lower with eight speed automatic gearbox.

In addition to the above engine lineup, in the last quarter of 2012, BMW expects to introduce the new BMW ActiveHybrid 3 which will see innovative BMW ActiveHybrid drive technology blend with the sporting character of the BMW 3 Series to dynamic and efficient effect. The BMW ActiveHybrid 3, will have a 3.0-litre 6-cylinder petrol engines coupled to an eight-speed automatic transmission with integrated electric motor. Under normal petrol mode the engine will produce 225 kW  and the electric motor when active will be able for limited periods to increase power by up to 40kW giving a maximum combined ouput of 250kW with a maximum combined torque of 450 Newton metres .

As components of the BMW EfficientDynamics technology line-up, the Auto Start-Stop function, Brake Energy Regeneration, Optimum Shift Indicator and need-based operation of ancillary components (including a disengageable air conditioning compressor) also play their part in reducing fuel consumption.

Added to which, the new Driving Experience Control switch not only offers Comfort, Sport and Sport + options, but also ECO PRO mode, which gives all the models in the range the potential to further improve these figures.

Using the Driving Experience Control switch, the driver is able to customise accelerator response characteristics, engine response, the power steering characteristics and the Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) thresholds. If fitted, the Servotronic function, the automatic transmission and Dynamic Damper Control are integrated into the system too. Using the simple-to-operate rocker switch on the centre console, drivers can choose between ECO PRO, COMFORT, SPORT and SPORT+ modes. Each of these predefined set-ups activates different settings for the relevant powertrain and suspension components.

The South African TV ad is shown below.

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