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The latest generation BMW 3-Series has finally gotten the optional M Sport treatment, with the German automaker releasing details on the package.
The new accessories will debut at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show and will come with a stylish new front bumper with larger air intakes, carbon fiber front splitters and black kidney grilles. For performance, the German automaker will offer upgrades on the powertrain, exhaust, and suspension. Unfortunately no details were announced on the performance upgrades, but we should know more when the Geneva gets underway next month.
Optional accessories from the M Performance Parts line for the new 3-Series will include 20-inch wheels, a roof box, a snowboard holder and a car cover. On the inside, BMW will offer all-weather floor mats, color-matched emergency brake handle, key fobs, rear storage and backrest bags.
The new 3-Series will make its way to America in August of this year. No pricing was announced on the M Sport package or its accessories.
GALLERY: 2012 BMW 3 Series M Sport
BMW will continue their tradition of providing patrol cars to the Munich police force thanks to a new contract that will contribute several hundred vehicles a year to the force.
The German automaker provided cruisers for the past 50 years and will continue to do so with its new 2012 3-Series and 5-Series sedans and wagons. They will also be adding the X3 crossover to the fleet for the first time. The updated police cars will come equipped with a customized iDrive system to control the sirens and lighting.
“I am glad that in the coming years, new BMW models will work for the police in Bavaria’s roads. As a longtime partner of the Bavarian police, we are proud that our expertise has convinced authorities and we continue to make our contribution to security in Bavaria, “said Alexander Thorwirth, head of sales to public authorities, operational and security vehicles.
There are smaller engines on the horizon for BMW‘s 3-Series cars, though a specific date isn’t set yet.
According to an article published by What Car?, BMW said it has exhausted engine technology within the currently offered sizes and that the future is to move towards smaller, more powerful technology.
BMW already stepped in this direction by returning the 2012 3-Series to a 2.0-liter turbocharged four, but this represents the most drastic step to date: a three-cylinder engine. While the powerplants motivating BMW cars are getting smaller, the turbocharging systems the company uses are getting larger — or at least more complex.
The company’s engineers are already planning to implement a tri-turbo system in their M cars by using a single, smaller unit that spools up on exhaust much faster to deliver power almost instantly. Then two larger units take hold and create the sort of forced induction necessary for big power from a small motor.
The three-cylinder engine that BMW is working on for the 3-Series use is still about a couple years off, according to the company and won’t be the same as the unit used in the upcoming i8 hybrid, which will be available in 2013.
Instead, the company is focusing on making an engine that will be able to power cars as large as the 3-Series without help from electric motors, which will remain mostly paired with the six-cylinder engines found in current Bimmer hybrids.
While unconfirmed by company executives, it’s believed that the next-generation MINI models will also make use of 3-cylinder powerplants.
[Source: What Car?]
BMW might be a little bit late to the whole “let’s release our Super Bowl ads before the Super Bowl” party, but they’re making up for it with quantity over quality.
Six short clips were released by BMW and only a pair of them will air during the big game on Sunday, but you’ll probably only see one of them on TV. What commercial you’ll see will be based on your region, with the New York Tri-State area getting an ad highlighting the 3-Series’ heated steering wheel, while the Southern California Los Angeles region will hear about BMW Connected Drive’s ability to read emails.
The additional four clips that BMW produced will be appearing online on streaming sites such as NBC.com, ABC.com and Hulu. All six clips were designed to be playful shorts to support the launch of the new BMW 3-Series Sedan.
“The BMW 3 Series is the global benchmark for a sports sedan,” said Dan Creed, Vice President of Marketing, BMW of North America. “With these shorts, we turn a spotlight on the innovations that make the 3 Series the standard to which others aspire.”
Check out all six digital clips after the break.
Whittled down from all the cars in the world, a group of 66 automotive journalists from across the globe have released their top 10 picks for the 2012 World Car of the Year and World Performance Car.
That list, which will be further narrowed this month, is initially selected by secret ballot and then submitted for re-evaluation by the panel.
Members then have a chance to rate each car based on overall merit, value, safety, environmental responsibility, emotional appeal, and significance. The top three are then scheduled to be announced March 6 at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show during a press conference.
The 2011 World Car of the Year was the Nissan Leaf, while the World Performance Car was the Ferrari 458 Italia. What we’re most curious about this year is the fact that the Porsche 911 made it into both categories.
The 2012 World Performance Car finalists are:
- Audi RS 3 Sportback
- BMW 1 Series M Coupé
- BMW M5
- Chevrolet Camaro ZL1
- Ferrari FF
- Lamborghini Aventador LP 700-4
- McLaren MP4-12C
- Mercedes-Benz CLS 63 AMG
- Mercedes-Benz C-63 Coupe AMG Black Series
- Porsche 911
The 2012 World Car of the Year finalists are:
- Audi A6 Sedan / Avant
- Audi Q3
- BMW 1 Series
- BMW 3 Series
- Chevrolet Volt / Opel/Vauxhall Ampera
- Citroen DS5
- Ford Focus
- Land Rover Evoque
- Porsche 911
- Volkswagen Up!
Be sure to tune in for our coverage of the 2012 Geneva Auto Show, where we’ll be bringing you the latest. Also, let us know what you think of both lists in the comments section below.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) fuel estimates are out for BMW‘s new line of 3-Series cars and it looks like they’ve caught the competition with their pants down.
The 2012 328i scores an impressive 24 mpg city and 36 mpg highway, that’s a 28 percent improvement in fuel consumption over last year’s model. What’s even better is that the 328i actually gets more power than the model it replaced for a total of 240 horsepower compared to last year’s 230. The 300-horsepower 335i doesn’t get a boost in oomph but as you may expect, is less thirsty in 2012. In fact, the automatic-equipped version is downright efficient, bragging 23 mpg city and 33 highway.
Though it might seem like it, these jumps don’t happen overnight, or by some magic gasoline fairy waving a wand. BMW achieved such impressive improvements in the 328i through cleverly engineered turbocharging and by lobbing a whole liter off of last year’s engine. That’s right, there’s a 2.0-liter inline four where there used to be a 3.0-liter six cylinder.
So what of the competition? The Mercedes-Benz C 250 has 39 fewer ponies than the 328i and only gets 21 and 31 mpg in the city and highway despite having a 1.8-liter engine. Audi‘s A4 uses a 2.0-liter turbocharged powerplant and also only gets 22 mpg city and 30 on the highway when equipped with their gas-saving continuously variable transmission, not to mention falling 29 horsepower short.
The jig is up for this model year, but it should be interesting to watch Audi and Mercedes-Benz respond to their Bavarian neighbor’s conservative consumption. Perhaps this is why BMW remains the top dog in the bratwurst pile.
BMW is cashing in on the chauffeur craze in China by offering a stretched version of the 3-Series exclusively to Chinese customers.
The longer wheelbase sedan will be sold as a 335Li, and will offer more legroom to Chinese consumers who want to be driven around but can’t afford a legitimate chauffeur car like Bentley or Rolls-Royce.
It might sound ridiculous that the mild-mannered 3-Series would merit a hired driver, but Audi has actually been advancing Chinese sales by offering the A6L and A4L sedans with “L” signifying the longer version.
The 335Li fits between the two Audi cars in terms of rear-seat legroom according to China Car Times. Chinese customers will be able to buy the car later this year, though it won’t be offered anywhere else in the world. That would have meant a lot of extra work on BMW’s part until recently. The German automaker will manufacture their Chinese 3-Series cars in partnership with Brilliance, a company they have worked with on several projects in the past.
[Source: China Car Times]
Car companies, much like any other, can go one of two routes when dreaming up a Superbowl commercial: funny or serious.
Cadillac chose the latter this year for their ATS commercial, but their ad didn’t do it for us. Throwing a deep commanding voice over an uninspiring electric guitar track and recycling what’s mostly old teaser footage of the ATS running around the Nurburgring race track was a let down. Most disappointing of all, the original teaser video was probably more exciting. The comparison they make between the BMW 3-Series and the ATS makes sense and so does hinting at testing in enemy territory, but it doesn’t impart the rah rah go USA spirit we would have expected.
The Superbowl represents grandeur, excess and most of all pride. One day out of the year a single stadium becomes football’s cathedral. In keeping with that theme, commercials have no choice but to make us double over in laughter or jump from our seats in excitement, or just crack a prideful smirk.
Chrysler pulled that off last year with their “imported from Detroit’ commercial, but telling people to “go to green hell” is just plain cheesy. Hopefully you disagree, watch the video below and decide for yourself.
GALLERY: 2013 Cadillac ATS
Out of all BMW‘s sold worldwide, 1 in 3 is a 3 series sedan. The BMW 3-series is one of the German automakers most iconic name plates and has been revamped with quite a few new options and new exterior styling.
The new 3 series sits a little bit longer and a little bit wider than its predecessor but has managed to trim some fat; 88 pounds of fat to be exact. The most noticeable change at first glance is the headlight brackets, taking the iconic circular front lights and stretching them out to meet the kidney grills which gives the front end of the car a much more angry and aggressive look. The longer and especially the wider stance is noticeable thanks to horizontal lines that are continuous along the front and rear of the car.
The 328i will come standard with BMW’s newest engine offering, a turbocharged 2.0L four cylinder which delivers 240hp and propels the 328i from 0-60mph in 5.7 seconds. The 335i will also be an option in the 3 series lineup and will come packing a turbocharged 3.0L six cylinder engine which puts out 300hp and runs the 0-60mph test in 5.4 seconds.
Each BMW 3 series will now be offered with a choice of three product lines, each differing from the others in small ways, but distinct enough to get noticed. The three choices are the Sport Line, the Luxury Line, and the Modern Line. The Sport Line will come with black exterior styling bits, a 10mm lower suspension setup, and black and red color scheme on the interior. The Luxury Line will come standard with wooden accents on the interior and chrome styling bits for exterior including a different grill. The Modern Line builds off of the luxury line and takes it a little further with matte chrome exterior styling bits, a choice of aluminium, pearl metallic, or textured wood finish on the interior and a “dark oyster” dashboard and steering wheel. Eventually, BMW will offer an M version of its 3 series which will be designed for racing and performance enthusiasts.
The new 3 series can also be outfitted with the all new Active Hybrid system which mates the six cylinder turbo engine with an all new electric engine, giving the 3 series upgraded fuel economy. The combined output of the Active Hybrid system is 340hp and pushes the 3 series from 0-60mph in 5.9 seconds. BMW says that the average fuel consumption of the Active Hybrid model will be between 40 and 44mpg and will have the capability to be driven in all electric mode.
All of the engine options for the 3 series will be combined with a six speed manual gearbox as standard technology but can be had with an eight speed automatic transmission which is all new.
The new 3 series is not a major departure from the previous five iterations, but its adds some really convenient and cutting edge features to an already successful car.
GALLERY: BMW 3 Series
GALLERY: BMW 3 Series
Speaking to the Automotive Press Association (APA) today, Barra disclosed that GM will debut four global concept or production vehicles with one of the four being Cadillac’s new ATS.
The 2013 ATS will be Cadillac’s entry-level compact luxury sedan, featuring rear- and all-wheel-drive options making it a perfect competitor to BMW’s 3-Series, Audi‘s A4 and arguably Mercedes-Benz‘s C-Class. The ATS’s production should begin this summer and will be built alongside Cadillac’s CTS sedan, coupe and wagon in Michigan.
Cadillac has high expectations for their ATS, doing plenty of testing out in Germany including on the Nurburgring. They plan on making it competitive with the best vehicles in that segment, if not better.
12. Toyota Camry
While automakers and outside research firms publish sales figures and earnings reports on a regular basis, one metric we rarely get a glimpse of is how profitable each vehicle is. In an era of re-badging and platform sharing, one would think that the most profitable vehicles are those with a large number of derivatives to spread the cost around. But a new report from Bernstein Research suggests that two factors – price point and volume – are the keys to making big bucks off vehicles. And judging by the list, longevity seems to help as well.
Number 12 on the list is the Toyota Camry, and for good reason. The Camry has a number of factors in its favor – massive volumes, an accessible price point and its made in America (currency fluctuations, particularly a rise in the euro or yen, can make exports unprofitable). Bernstein’s report notes that high volume cars at a medium price point are one of the keys to profitability, and the Camry might be the textbook definition of this formula. The Camry’s twin, the Lexus ES350, was absent from the list, but no doubt earns its keep, as a gilded version of the Camry.
The 2013 BMW 3-Series will start at $35,775 when it goes on sale in February. For that amount of coin, you can walk away with a base model 328i, while a 335i will set you back $43,275.
The base price for the two models has only been bumped up by $300-$350, but the newest 3-Series is a radically different car from the outgoing version, chock full of technology and gadgets that weren’t previously available like a self-parking system and a no-charge 8-speed automatic gearbox. 328i models now get a turbocharged 4-cylinder making 240-horsepower, while the 335i continues on with BMW’s legendary turbocharged inline-6.
Diesel, hybrid and wagon variants will all arrive and some point, as will a coupe and convertible, but the only confirmed tidbit we have is that an M-Sport edition will be hitting our shores in July, and carry a $5000 premium over the base car. Consider the M Sport a stop-gap until a new M3 gets here in a few years time.
BMW‘s i3 may not be getting as much buzz as the 2012 3-Series, but their upcoming compact city car is probably the most important vehicle they’ll launch all decade.
With the i3, BMW is moving in a totally different direction, both in terms of technology and sustainability. The i3 will have a chassis made of carbon-fiber reinforced plastic, a first for a volume production car, and will help offset the weight of the car’s electric powertrain.
BMW claims that the i3 will make 170 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque, good enough for an 8 second 0-60 mph time. While BMW has previously said that the i3 is a pure electric car, the vehicles spied here displayed decals declaring the i3 a “hybrid test vehicle”, leading us to wonder whether there will be some kind of range extender on board. Regardless, the i3 will require just one hour of charging to replenish the batteries by 80 percent, a figure that has us optimistic regarding the i3′s usefulness.
Our spy photographer noted that the styling is fairly close to the concept, and that the i3 will have rear suicide doors similar to the MINI Clubman, where the front door will have to be opened to access the rear doors.
Gallery: BMW i3 Spy Photos
BMW’s new 3-Series is poised to hit showroom floors shortly, and sometime in the near future a diesel model will join the 328 and 335 sedans in the North American market. There’s no exact timeframe or official release from BMW in regards to a diesel model, but a company insider has confirmed that one will be coming… just when is unknown.
It’s not a huge surprise that BMW wasn’t immediate on announcing a diesel option, given its new ActiveHybrid 3 that it surely wants to push to the public. The outgoing 3-Series’ 335d packed a 3.0L diesel inline-six with 265-hp and 425 lb-ft of torque. The assumption though is that the 3.0L won’t be finding its way into the new model, but perhaps a 2.0L four-cylinder diesel with 181-hp and 280 lb-ft of torque from the European 320d.
GALLERY: 2013 BMW 3 Series
[Source: Car and Driver]
Even though the 2013 BMW 3-Series hasn’t yet hit North American soil – it will do so at the Detroit Auto Show on January 12th – they are more than excited for the new generation of their best seller.
As with any BMW, we would take the MSRP with a grain of salt. A couple of add-ons and luxury necessities and your final sum will be substantially higher.
GALLERY: 2013 BMW 3-Series Sedan
News regarding the release of coupe, convertible and wagon variants will soon follow after the release of the all-new BMW 3-series.
Although the wagon is a less popular choice for 3-series purchasers in North America, sources confirmed that the wagon, known as the BMW 3-series Touring, will make it to our shores eventually. There was some speculation that it might not, after BMW dropped the 5 Series Touring in North America in favor of the 5 Series GT. That vehicle has subsequently been a flop and BMW is looking to reintroduce the 5er wagon to the U.S.
No date has been set, but the new 3 Series Touring will be available in Europe late 2013. Coupe and Convertible variants will be released later as well, while the outgoing E92 coupes are to be sold alongside the new sedan until replacements arrive. Rumors have suggested the coupe and convertible models could wear the ’4 Series’ badge.
In addition, BMW has hinted that the 3 Series diesel may return to the U.S. as well. A 335d wagon? Now wouldn’t that be nice!
GALLERY: 2012 BMW 3 Series
While the BMW 3-Series diesel never really took off in the North American market, diesel powered Bimmers make up about 50 percent of European 3-Series sales, and the brand reports similar numbers for the X5 in North America.
BMW USA execs admit that there’s still an issue of convincing customers regarding how well modern diesels operate, but also said that oil-burners may be crucial to meeting future CAFE standards. While this left the door open for a diesel 3-Series, BMW USA has ruled out a 3-series wagon, stating that volumes would be so minimal that it would be difficult to justify selling it Stateside.
Ian Robertson, BMW’s head of sales and marketing, also derided the auto industry’s obsession with cylinder count and displacement, stating that BMW’s forthcoming nomenclature would reflect performance rather than the actual displacement – the new 328i, for example, would actually use a 2.0L turbocharged 4-cylinder rather than a 2.8L 6-cylinder engine.
[Source: Inside Line]
The 2013 BMW 3-Series, codenamed the F30, was revealed today by BMW, and the most noteworthy change is the first four-cylinder engine for North America since the 318i of the late 1990′s.
So far, we know that the 328i will pack a 4-cylinder turbo displacing 2.0L and putting out 245 horsepower and 258 lb-ft of torque. Peak torque will come at just 1,250 rpm, an astoundingly low figure that should translate into excellent real world acceleration. The 335i will put out 306 horsepower and 295 lb-ft of torque. An 8-speed automatic or 6-speed manual will be available, and BMW even claims that the 335i is capable of 32.6 mpg on the highway.
The car is slightly larger (3.6″ longer overall, about 2 inches longer in wheelbase and slightly wider front and rear tracks) but sheds 88 pounds of weight, while a hybrid and M-Sport version will also be offered.
Gallery: BMW 3-Series
In celebration of sponsoring the 2012 London Olympics, BMW has announced two new Performance Editions for the popular 1-Series and 3-Series. Inspired by their very own BMW London 2012 Performance Team, the Performance Edition models will feature M inspired body styling and accessories outfitted to the three-door and five-door 1-Series while the 3-Series Performance Edition will only be available on the sedan.
For the 1-Series, the Performance Edition features M aerodynamic bodystyling, 18-inch M wheels in a dark chrome finish, Shadowline exterior trim, dark chrome exhaust tips and dark line rear taillights. Giving the car a sportier ride and handling capabilities is M Sport Suspension while the inside receives Royal Blue stitching on the seats, an M Sport leather steering wheel and gearshift leaver and floor mats with Royal Blue piping. Of course on the exterior, the car will be representing its inspiration with London 2012 exterior badges.
The Performance Edition can be added for about $2,400 more than the equivalent ES model and pricing for the 116i Performance Edition three-door starts at around $31,125.
The 3-Series sedan receives a similar set of modifications, starting with the M aerodynamic body kit to the 18-inch wheels. Finishing off the exterior is a chrome exhaust tip and London 2012 badges. The interior features sport seats and floor mats with similar blue piping along with the M Sport leather steering wheel. With a little less modifications than the 1-Series offering, the 3-Series Performance Edition is only $800 more than the equivalent ES sedan. Pricing for the 318i Performance Edition sedan starts at a little under $40,000.
Either model is available in Alpine White, Titanium Silver, Bluewater and Black Sapphire colors and are currently on sale in the UK.
In addition to the London 2012-inspired models, BMW will be bringing several of their Efficient Dynamic diesel cars, hybrid and electric vehicles, bicycles and motorcycles to the London 2012 Games.
GALLERY: BMW 2012 London Performance Editions
BMW has unveiled a new M Sport tuning package for the 2012 3-Series alongside a special European Exclusive Edition package available for either the coupe or convertible.
The Exclusive Edition package keeps the classy styling the 3-Series intact, but adds 18-inch V-spoke wheels painted in Space Grey. In addition, customers will be treated to an exclusive exterior color, Mineral Grey, as an option, while the mirrors are finished in a contrasting Oxide Silver. For the interior of the Exclusive Edition, owners can opt to have the seats in an custom Pearl Grey with grey stitching or a black with white stitching package. Floor mats featured color-matched piping while the interior trim can be adorned with BMW’s Bamboo Grain Anthracite finish.
The more exciting news for those of use not in Europe is the new M Sport package. Popular amongst BMW enthusiasts, the M Sport package gives the 3-Series more aggressive M-inspired styling. The new M Sport package will include a new suspension, exclusive Silverstone paint and 18-inch Ferric Grey wheels. Those familiar with the M Sport package will also quickly recognize the black window trim and black-painted exterior mirrors.
The full body kit replaces the front bumper, side skirts and rear bumper, giving the 3-Series an all new look. The rear bumper features a rear diffuser and an M rear spoiler is optional. On the inside, the sport seats feature M detailing along with an M Sport steering wheel, stainless steel pedals and an M aluminum driver’s footrest.
GALLERY: BMW 3-Series Edition Exclusive and M Sport Edition
Make way for the new winners! Let’s give the Saab 9-5 and the Volkswagen CC three cheers for earning their places as IIHS Top Safety Pick award winners.
Earning good ratings for performance in the Institute’s roof strength test for rollover protection, these luxury vehicles also brought in good ratings for front, side, and rear crash protection, and both come standard with electronic stability control. It’s interesting to note that Top Safety Pick only applies to the front-wheel drive Volkswagen CC – that’s because the heavier all-wheel drive version only rated acceptable in the roof strength test.
Taking the test this time around were eight midsize to large family and luxury cars, but only the 9-5 and CC came out on top. The 2011 Lexus ES 350 earned a good rating for rollover protection, but didn’t get an award because it didn’t make the grade when it came to rear crash protection. Other contenders that earned acceptable ratings for rollover protection were the BMW 3 series, Chevrolet Impala (models built after July 2010), Infiniti G, Lexus IS 250/350, and Saab 9-3.
Brand equity can take decades to build up. It’s the sign of a business model that worked and has continued to work. So when you’ve got a name like the Big Mac you don’t just toss it aside. That is, unless you’re BMW. A new report suggests the German automaker will re-badge its 3 Series as the 4 Series.
Surely the folks from Bavaria haven’t lost all their German sensibilities you must be asking yourself? And you’d be right. The 3 Series sedan will in fact carry on badge. The coupe and convertible models will, however, become 4 Series models.
This fits with BMW’s 5 Series and 6 Series division, plus it apes similar badging strategies by Audi, with the A4/A5 and Mercedes-Benz with the C-Class/E-Class Coupe.
In addition, BMW will also adjust its numbering system for the 1 Series. As has been reported in the past, the hatchback models will retain the 1 Series badge (and will likely only be front-wheel drive), while the next-generation 1 Series coupe and convertible will instead be 2 Series versions.
A carefully thought out marketing strategy perhaps, but has BMW tossed out one good brand in the process? What about the M3?
Discuss this story at 4series.org
BMW will expand its Chinese joint venture with local automaker Brilliance, in an effort to build 300,000 cars per year in China. BMW’s joint venture near Beijing currently builds the 3-Series and 5-Series, and will add the X1 crossover in 2012.
Plans call for new factories dedicated to vehicle assembly, stamping and a paint shop. These plants will be good for an additional 200,000 units according to BMW.
With China now serving as BMW’s third largest market, expanding domestic production makes sense for the brand, with BMW Chaiman Norbert Reithofer noting that “BMW vehicles are very popular in China. We anticipate that this growth will continue in the future.”
[Source: Inside Line]
Diesel gets its own magazine? You better believe it, buddy, and those fans are pretty influential—the 335 beat out 12 other cars and SUVs who make their diesels available in the United States, with factors ranging from performance, comfort and emissions to that all-important fuel economy. The 335 received 29.6 percent of the votes; 83% of total votes came Stateside.
“The 335d truly is changing the way Americans feel about diesel,” said Paul Ferraiolo, BMW manager of product planning and strategy. “Fans of ‘The Diesel Driver’ share our passion for the great performance and efficiency of our BMW Advanced Diesels. They are the embodiment of BMW EfficientDynamics.”