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3 Series - E92 Coupe (2006 - ...) - Ultra-modern body structure

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Ultra-modern body structure: lower weight, greater safety.
The new BMW 3 Series Coupé is light, strong and stable all in one, combining supreme agility with equally outstanding solidity. Benefiting from its modern and sophisticated body structure, the new BMW 3 Series Coupé is able to combine features and qualities also in this area formerly regarded as incompatible.

This superiority is attributable to the innovative skills of BMW’s safety engineers now using the most advanced materials and production methods. Compared with its Saloon counterpart, for example, the new BMW 3 Series Coupé is 10 kilos or 22 lb lighter. Inter alia, this reduction of weight is attributable to the use of plastic side panels at the front of the car.

Like low weight, a high standard of torsional body stiffness is also crucial to the car’s fascinating agility. And in the event of a collision, the use of high-strength steel on the extra-large carrier structures, together with the exactly defined deformation zones, ensures effective absorption and, respectively, transfer of forces acting on the body of the car.

Reinforced B-pillars are a particularly impressive example of the high standard of development and excellence in design the new BMW 3 Series Coupé has to offer, with a tubular structure throughout the B-pillars featured for the first time in the interest of extra strength. This tubular reinforcement is made of ultra-strong steel in a warm-moulding process and is heat-treated for top quality while still in the mould. A further feature is that the reinforcement tube is variably contoured in its cross-section, exactly matching the space available. Together with the crash box precisely tailored to the loads actually acting on the body, this ensures maximum safety at all times.

The choice of materials and the arrangement of components at other points on the body also serve to optimise crash safety to an unprecedented standard, naturally taking the various properties of different types of steel and other materials into account. The space available for deformation on the new BMW 3 Series Coupé is therefore used in perfection in order to avoid even the slightest impairment of the passenger cell. In a head-on collision, for example, dynamic deformation areas at the front keep impact energy away from the bulkhead and, accordingly, from the car’s footwells. In the event of a side-on collision, in turn, the specially designed floor assembly ensures controlled transfer of forces acting on the car to the opposite side of the body.

The bulkhead support is made of innovative multi-phase steel offering truly outstanding strength and stability even on thin-gauge panels. Efficient interaction of the doors, the reinforced b-pillars, the seat structure and the instrument panel between the A-pillars serves likewise to maximise the stability of the side structure. The consequences of a collision from the rear, in turn, are minimised by longitudinal carrier bars, a wide range of reinforcement elements, as well as the extra-strong luggage compartment floor panel, rear panel and side walls. Stable pillars and crossbars protect the passenger area even in a rollover.

Efficient interaction of all deformation areas and carrier structures was carefully analysed from the start in developing the new BMW 3 Series Coupé both in virtual simulations and in real-life crash tests. And an additional point considered in this context was the minimisation of repairs after a slight collision.

Naturally, BMW’s safety engineers also sought from the start to fully maintain the passenger cell as a survival area even in the most severe crash impact. Precisely this is why interacting, centrally masterminded restraint and support systems within the passenger compartment ensure individual occupant safety tailored to current requirements. The frontal, hip, thorax and curtain head airbags, belt latch tensioners and belt force limiters are activated by sensor-controlled electronic safety systems as a function of the type and severity of a collision. So that with its robust body enhanced by a wide range of active and passive safety elements, the new BMW 3 Series Coupé meets all requirements for optimum results in all crash tests relevant the world over.

With active motoring calling for optimum visibility at night for reasons of safety alone, the new BMW 3 Series Coupé comes as standard with bi-xenon headlights. As an option, these highly effective headlights may be further enhanced by adaptive headlight control for bends and winding roads, while light rods in the rear light clusters stand out distinctly for a significant improvement of safety in the dark.

Whether in the dark or during the day, two-stage brake lights make an important contribution in enabling motorists following from behind to recognise a dangerous situation well in advance: Whenever the driver applies the brakes particularly hard, and when the ABS function is activated, light intensity in the two-stage headlights is increased accordingly, prompting drivers following from behind to brake harder, too.


Last Updated on Wednesday, 05 May 2010 10:38  

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