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3 Series - E92 Coupe (2006 - ...) - Straight-six power units

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Straight-six power units entering new dimensions of performance.
The first impression the new BMW 3 Series Coupé gives the beholder is one of stylish elegance and powerful dynamics. And precisely this impression is also borne out by the car’s drivetrain – an impression ensured above all by straight-six power units fitted, as a reflection of an old BMW tradition, lengthwise at the front.

The new BMW 3 Series Coupé is making its entry into the market with a choice of three six-cylinder petrol engines, and with a truly outstanding new power unit making its debut in the top-of-the-range model: the world’s first straight-six with twin turbo technology, high precision fuel injection, and an all-aluminium crankcase. The most powerful engine within BMW’s wide range of straight-six driving machines, this brand-new version develops maximum output of 225 kW/306 hp from 3.0 litres and generates peak torque of 400 Newton-metres or 295 lb-ft for powerful acceleration at all times. And it almost goes without saying that the new 335i Coupé conveys this supreme potential into truly outstanding driving dynamics wherever you go.

The combination of turbocharging and direct gasoline fuel injection offers a particularly fascinating experience of efficient dynamics. Featuring high-precision fuel injection, the engine for the first time boasts a highly sophisticated and advanced direct fuel injection concept ensuring a significant reduction of fuel consumption also in practice and thus meeting the strict demands and standards applied by BMW.

A further advantage of turbocharging is that this is the most economical option to boost engine power and performance to a supreme standard:
The turbocharged straight-six power unit weighs approximately 70 kilos less than an equally powerful eight-cylinder displacing 4.0 litres. And this lower weight means a significant advantage not only in fuel economy, but also in spreading out the axle load harmoniously on BMW’s straight-six models.

This new high-performance power unit gives the light, aerodynamically optimised Coupé designed and built from the start for active handling truly outstanding acceleration and flexibility on the road, offering the driver an equally thrilling driving experience. The twin turbo power unit in the BMW 335i Coupé develops its superior power and performance much more spontaneously than a turbocharged engine of conventional design. And thanks to their lower inertia, the two small turbochargers build up pressure much faster than a single, large turbocharger, thus eliminating even the slightest turbo “gap” while allowing the engine to rev up full of power all the way to 7,000 rpm. 

At the same time the new engine offers all the smoothness and refinement which has made BMW’s straight-six power units famous the world over. And last but certainly not least, the impressive increase in power on the twin turbo engine versus the conventional normally aspirated six-cylinders comes without any significant increase in fuel consumption.

Featuring two turbochargers each supplying compressed air to three cylinders, the new turbocharged power unit offers a standard of spontaneity never seen before on an engine of this kind. Peak torque of 400 Newton-metres or 295 lb-ft comes smoothly and without delay, extending over a wide speed range from 1,300–5,000 rpm.

On the road, this superior power ensures outstanding supremacy so far provided only by much larger normal-aspiration power units: The BMW 335i Coupé accelerates from 0–100 km/h in just 5.5 seconds, with acceleration from 80–120 km/h (50–75 mph) in second-highest gear in 6.2 seconds. This superior power and performance then continues all the way to a top speed of 250 km/h or 115 mph, where the car’s dynamism is finally limited by electronic speed management. Average fuel consumption under the EU standard is just 9.5 litres premium/100 kilometres or 29.7 mpg Imp, certainly a very moderate figure for an engine of this calibre.

This extremely efficient increase in power and performance is attributable in particular to direct gasoline injection, the high-precision fuel injection concept developed by BMW ensuring a measurable advantage in fuel economy also in practice, without in any way limiting the dynamic qualities of the engine.

The main reason for this outstanding progress is the central position of the piezo fuel injector between the valves, the innovative injector opening up to the outside being able from this central position to spray fuel conically and consistently into the combustion chamber in the interest of smooth, overall coverage. This not allows only more precise dosage of the fuel/air mixture, but also provides a superior cooling effect for higher compression optimising the entire combustion process in its efficiency.

To enhance this efficiency to an even higher level, the turbochargers are made of a particularly heat-resistant material making them immune to high exhaust gas temperatures in the interest of a fuel-efficient combustion process particularly under full load. As a result, twin turbo technology in the BMW 335i Coupé offers significant progress in terms of both performance and fuel economy, advantages over a conventional turbocharged engine not only clearly measurable, but also easy to feel on the road.

BMW’s twin turbo power unit featuring high-precision fuel injection is making its world debut in the new BMW 3 Series Coupé. But at the same time the six-cylinder normal-aspiration power units to be admired in the new models also reflect the latest state of the art in drivetrain technology. A particular example is the engine of the BMW 330i Coupé, a model boasting a very special designation always acknowledged as the synonym for exceptional dynamism in a particularly attractive car. This will remain the case in future, the latest version of BMW’s 3.0-litre straight-six developing maximum output of 200 kW or 272 hp, plus peak torque of 315 Newton-metres or 232 lb-ft.

At the same time the engine is not only more powerful than ever before, but also extremely efficient and, weighing in at just 161 kg or 355 lb, exceptionally light. This low weight is attributable in particular to a new combination of materials, with the crankcase of the engine consisting of a magnesium outer shell and an aluminium insert. The cylinder head cover and the bedplate are also made of extra-light aluminium, with lightweight camshafts developed especially for the 3.0-litre straight-six again helping to optimise the car’s weight.

Fully variable VALVETRONIC valve management, the electric coolant pump, and a fully controlled oil pump are further features serving to optimise the car’s all-round level of efficiency.

In terms of both performance and motoring refinement, the six-cylinder normal-aspiration power unit is the most demanding and sophisticated engine of its kind the world over. And like BMW’s twin turbo drive technology, the naturally aspirated power unit is a particularly thrilling example of efficient all-round dynamics: Compared with its predecessor bearing the same model designation, the new BMW 330i Coupé offers a substantially higher level of power and performance combined with a significant increase in economy. Acceleration from a standstill to 100 km/h comes in just 6.1 seconds, with the car’s top speed limited electronically to 250 km/h or 155 mph.

Returning average fuel consumption of 8.8 litres in the EU test cycle (equal to 32.1 mpg Imp), finally, the new BMW 330i Coupé is 12 per cent more fuel-efficient than its predecessor.

The third straight-six power unit available in the new BMW 3 Series Coupé enables the more price-conscious enthusiast to enter the range at a similarly high level of excellence: The 2.5-litre in the BMW 325i Coupé, like the larger 3.0-litre version, comes with the same type of composite magnesium/ aluminium crankcase, infinitely variable VALVETRONIC valve management, an electrically controlled coolant pump, and a fully controlled oil pump. So here again, the combination of all these innovations serves to optimise the car’s performance and all-round efficiency, with the power unit in the new BMW 325i Coupé developing maximum output of 160 kW/218 hp and peak torque of 250 Newton-metres or 184 lb-ft.

This kind of power is sufficient for a top speed of 247 km/h or 153 mph, with the new BMW 325i Coupé accelerating to 100 km/h in just 6.9 seconds. Offering average fuel consumption of just 8.4 litres/100 kilometres (equal to 33.6 mpg Imp), this new power unit also sets the benchmark in its class in terms of all-round fuel economy.

Currently available only in Australia, there is yet another version of the 2.5-litre straight-six developing maximum output of 130 kW/177 hp in the BMW 323i Coupé, and thus once again convincingly proving the qualities of this engine principle. In Germany and other markets four-cylinder versions of the new Coupé are also to be expected at a later point in time, with the BMW 320i Coupé and, respectively, the BMW 320d Coupé then marking the entry-level models into the range in the petrol and diesel segments. 

BMW has already paved the way for the diesel engine in the coupé. Indeed, it was the predecessor to the new BMW 3 Series Coupé which, through its diesel version, made a significant contribution in overcoming the old prejudice against such a combination. And it is a fact that BMW’s modern six-cylinder diesels, through their high dynamic potential, significantly enhance the very character and nature of a coupé. Offering unique pulling force and a high level of fast-revving engine response combined with superior refinement, these outstanding power units combine sports motoring of the highest calibre with a high level of all-round economy.

Given all these qualities, the harmonious combination of diesel technology and the new BMW 3 Series Coupé hardly comes as a surprise. Indeed, this combination is highly impressive in every respect, particularly as the new BMW 3 Series Coupé is entering the market from the start with a very powerful and muscular straight-six diesel. This outstanding engine develops its power and torque from 3.0 litres engine capacity and features newly developed turbochargers with variable turbine geometry, electrical throttle butterflies and common rail fuel injection boasting the latest generation of piezo-injectors. 

Another standard feature is the diesel particulates filter interacting with pre-catalysts close to the engine not only to absorb the very finest particles, but also to reduce nitric oxide emissions. Hence, BMW’s six-cylinder diesel stands out not only through enhanced power and performance on even better fuel economy, but also through all the requirements and qualities required for fulfilling strict environmental standards also in future. And last but certainly not least, the reduction in weight by approximately 25 kilos or 55 lb provided by the all-aluminium crankcase has a significantly positive effect on the car’s handling.

The new power unit featured in the BMW 330d Coupé establishes a new benchmark in particular in terms of midrange torque and acceleration in the middle segment of the market and, perhaps even more so, in the segment of sports coupés. Maximum output of 170 kW/231 hp, together with peak torque of 500 Newton-metres or 369 lb-ft, are clear signs of extremely powerful and muscular performance. Thanks to its newly developed turbocharger and the latest generation of common rail fuel injection, this power unit is in a position to combine impressive performance with supreme motoring culture and a level of all-round efficiency up once again over the previous model.

Acceleration to 100 km/h, therefore, comes in 6.6 seconds and top speed is 250 km/h or 155 mph, placing the new BMW 330d Coupé firmly within the exclusive group of particularly dynamic two-door performers. Average fuel consumption of just 6.5 litres/100 kilometres, equal to 43.5 mpg Imp, finally, sets a new standard also in terms of fuel economy and cost of ownership.

All petrol and diesel versions of the new BMW 3 Series Coupé come as standard with a six-speed manual gearbox. Despite the wide range between the lowest and highest gear, close gear increments ensure an ongoing, continuous surge of power with each gear picking up from the former gear at the optimum engine speed. On the road, this guarantees spontaneous and lasting, powerful acceleration as well as fuel consumption optimised also at high speeds.

As an option the new BMW 3 Series Coupé is available with a fundamentally upgraded six-speed automatic transmission meeting the demands made of an automatic gearshift more convincingly than ever before not only in terms of superior comfort, but also in the dynamic conversion of engine power into genuine driving pleasure.
The hydraulic system enhanced to an even higher standard than before, an innovative torque converter, and management software significantly improved in performance ensure not only even better responsiveness to every movement of the gas pedal, but also extremely rapid choice of the optimum gear. The response time of the automatic transmission on the new BMW 3 Series Coupé is down by approximately 40 per cent compared with a conventional automatic transmission, with shift time as such being almost halved. And thanks to direct determination of the appropriate gearshift lane, shifting down by more than one gear at a time does not take any longer than shifting down in the usual process gear-by-gear.

A further point is that the almost fully enclosed converter lock-up clutch, being directly connected to the engine, enhances the impression of particularly dynamic performance to an even higher standard. Should the driver wish to give the transmission an even more sporting and dynamic character, in turn, he is able to select the appropriate gear by means of paddles on the steering wheel. This ensures a very spontaneous and fast gearshift, since the driver is able to activate the paddles directly whenever the gear selector lever is in position D.

While a short and fast gear response benefits above all an active style of driving, optimised selection of the appropriate gear also helps to reduce fuel consumption, again showing to what extent the principle of Efficient Dynamics has determined the development of BMW’s new automatic transmission.

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Last Updated on Wednesday, 05 May 2010 10:38  
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