Three World Debuts For BMW At Geneva Motor Show

Making their world debuts at the Geneva International Motor Show will be the BMW 3 Series Compact, with the revolutionary new British-built Valvetronic engine, the BMW X5 3.0d and the M3 with Sequential M Gearbox. Making their European debuts will be the flagship BMW X5 4.6is, the M3 Convertible and the revised M Coupé and M Roadster powered by the new M3 engine.

3 Series Compact with British-built VALVETRONIC engine technology

The second-generation BMW 3 Series Compact, which will go on sale in Britain in August 2001, combines performance, world-leading engine technology, style and versatility in an affordable package. It has the same wheelbase as the 3 Series Saloon, but the body is 21 cm shorter. Sports suspension and the most advanced engine technology on the market mean the Compact delivers the full measure of BMW performance and handling. All Compact models are rear wheel-drive.

Two models will be available at launch; the 316ti, featuring the British-built Valvetronic four cylinder engine, and the 325ti, powered by BMW's recently updated 192bhp straight six.

Valvetronic for 10 per cent fuel economy improvement

The 316ti is the first production car in the world to feature an engine with Valvetronic system. This technology, developed by BMW, eliminates the need for throttle butterflies. Instead, the fuel/air mixture entering the cylinders is controlled purely by the inlet valves. Both the timing and lift of these valves is infinitely variable, electronically and instantly.

This system means reduced fuel consumption (by 10 per cent), cleaner emissions and increased power. Fuel is burnt more completely in the cylinders while dispensing with conventional throttles reduces substantial pumping losses and so improves efficiency.

All BMW's four-cylinder Valvetronic engines are built at the Group's brand new engine plant at Hams Hall near Coventry, where £400m has been invested and in the long term,1500 jobs secured.

316ti

85 kW/116 bhp four -cylinder, Valvetronic, four valves per cylinder, double -VANOS, 180 Nm (133 lb ft), combined fuel consumption 40.9 mpg, top speed 125mph.

325ti

141 kW/192 bhp straight six, four valves per cylinder, double VANOS, 245 Nm (181 lb-ft), combined fuel consumption 31.7 mpg, top speed 146 mph.

X5 3.0d

Following in the highly successful footsteps of the X5 4.4i and the X5 3.0i (now on sale in the UK), the new 3.0d is the third X5 model to be introduced. Powered by BMW's highly praised Direct Injection, common rail, straight six turbo-diesel, the BMW X5 3.0d develops 135 kW /184 bhp and 410 Nm/302 lb ft of torque. It shares this engine with the widely acclaimed 330d and 530d models.

Performance is brisk and fuel economy outstanding for a vehicle of this type. Acceleration from 0-62 mph takes 10.5 seconds, top speed is 125 mph and fuel consumption on the combined cycle 29.1 mpg. The X5 3.0d is available with a five-speed Steptronic automatic gearbox, with the manual transmission to follow in mid 2002.

M3 with Sequential M gearbox and Drivelogic

BMW borrowed from Formula 1 gearbox technology to produce a new high performance transmission concept. Now in its second incarnation and significantly improved over the previous version, the Sequential M Gearbox (SMG II) will be available on the M3 (in the UK from the middle of 2001).

There is no clutch and gears are selected using paddles on the steering wheel, or by using the shift lever in the centre consol. The benefit of this system is extremely fast and precise gear shifting with changes taking as little as 80 milliseconds. It can also be driven in "self selecting" mode.

The system incorporates Drivelogic, which adapts to suit the driver's personal driving style, when using the automatic gear-shift function. It has 11 programs, ranging from balanced dynamic to strictly sport.

New M3 engine also in the M Coupé and M Roadster

The M Coupe and M Roadster are now powered by a modified version of the new 3.2 litre, six-cylinder M3 engine. Up by 4 bhp from the previous power unit, both cars now develop 325 bhp and reach 0-62 mph in 5.3 seconds compared to 5.4 seconds on the earlier model. Maximum torque remains the same at 350 Nm or 258 lb ft but now comes at 4,900 rpm. Maximum speed is electronically limited to 155 mph.

New standard features for the updated M Roadster and M Coupé include DSC III (Dynamic Stability Control III), chrome shadow finish alloy wheels and grey instrument dials with a light system on the rev counter to suggest reduced maximum engine speeds before the optimum oil temperature is reached. BMW's Tyre Defect Indicator system is also fitted as standard.

Two new colours, Phoenix Yellow and Laguna Seca Blue have been introduced. The M Coupé and M Roadster will be priced at £36,000, exactly the same price as the outgoing models.

Published 16 February 2001 Melanie Carter
 
 

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