BMW 3-Series Convertible
BMW announced substantial enhancements to the 2011 3 Series Convertible, including outstanding style updates for 328i and 335i models and a new engine for 335i models. The 2011 3 Series Convertible models went on sale in Spring 2010. The 2011 model 328i Convertible and 335i Convertible start at $46,375 and $52,575, respectively, including $875 Destination & Handling fee.
Fundamentally unchanged are each car’s essential attributes of rear-wheel drive, near-perfect 50-50 weight distribution, remarkably precise steering, and skillfully engineered suspension…all of which conspire to produce the uniquely satisfying driving experience that is quintessentially BMW.
All-new is the engine for the 335i model. Internally designated the “N55,” this turbocharged, all-aluminum engine features essentially the same “short block” and 3.0-liter displacement of its predecessor, but benefits from five additional years worth of development and refinement. The result is an engine that is more responsive, more fuel efficient, and cleaner-running than its outstanding predecessor, but preserves the previous engine’s output and soul: 300 horsepower and 300 lb-ft of torque, and a 7,000 rpm redline. The 6-speed manual gearbox – beloved by North American enthusiast drivers - remains standard, and the well-known 6-speed Steptronic automatic is optional, now featuring “pull-style” shift paddles on the multifunction steering wheel.
BMW 3 Series Convertible customers have a choice of two inline-6 engines that are the worlds’ finest. The 328i features 230 horsepower while the 335i has 300 horsepower and is the first inline-6 equipped with a single twin-scroll turbocharger, BMW’s Valvetronic throttle-less intake technology, High Precision direct fuel injection, and all-aluminum construction.
The 335i’s new inline-6 engine displaces 3.0-liters and develops maximum output of 300 hp at 5,800 rpm, with peak torque of 300 lb-ft available all the way from 1,200–5,000 rpm. Redline is 7,000 rpm. This is the same level of performance as the previous 3.0-liter twin-turbo inline-6 but with the innovation of twin-scroll technology and the integration of Valvetronic, this new engine is even more fuel efficient.
The profile of the BMW 3 Series Convertible is instantly recognizable at first glance. Beyond the basic shape of the car and its classic lines, the new design of the headlights, the enhanced depth and detail of the taillights, the interior, and even the exterior mirrors were specifically created for the 3 Series Coupe and Convertible. These unique design elements reflect the sporty character of the car. The driver who chooses a two-door vehicle desires a car with dynamic looks as well as driving performance. With this in mind, BMW engineers and designers set out to create a unique, unmistakable blend of design features and most importantly, driving pleasure.
It all begins with proportions. The new, long hood powerfully symbolizes BMW's loyalty to the inherently balanced inline-6 engine. The long wheelbase, short overhangs, the passenger compartment set aft and the low, sleek roofline which seamlessly slopes into the trunk are all characteristics of the BMW retractable hardtop Convertible.
In addition to the classic proportions, three design lines—the shoulder, character and lower sill lines— enhance the sleek appearance. Both the shoulder line and character line stretch uninterrupted to the back of the car, allowing one's eye to move quickly and smoothly from front to rear along the entire length of the car. The sill line of the lower edge of the door flows into the front and rear air dams, reinforcing the dynamic nature of BMW's newest 3 Series Convertible.
The combination of lines flowing into one another elegantly emphasizes the vehicles’ performance potential. While the shoulder line rises slightly but consistently from front to rear, the character line flows in a long, stretched arch all the way from the front fender to the new taillights. As the sill line, by contrast, moves up slightly to the rear in a slow and gentle curve, the distance between the character and sill lines becomes smaller near the rear wheel arches. The fender flare around each rear wheel also serves to give the character line extra tension in both an upward and outward direction.
Attractive new innovations at the front, side, and rear - integrated precisely into the overall look of the car- give greater emphasis to the sportiness of both models. At the same time, these modifications slightly extend the overhangs front and rear (now 1.14” and 0.12” longer, respectively), which adds a sleeker and even more athletic appearance.
The new, widened kidney grille, a signature feature of every BMW, suits the broad new hood and stands out from the surfaces around it. Interaction with the three-dimensional kidney frame creates a look of power and unique style. The frame around the kidney grille now features a chrome band precisely twisted within itself.
The 3 Series Convertible comes standard in the U.S. with Xenon Adaptive Headlights, accented by BMW's signature corona light rings. At the top, the new headlights merge into a trim bar cutting off the light beam to create that concentrated, focused look typical of a genuine BMW. The corona rings, now powered by super-bright LED light sources, can serve as daytime running lights (if that feature is activated), and also as evening city lights, making the Convertible instantly recognizable as a BMW, day or night. The upper edge of each headlight fixture is also illuminated by an LED light source.
The new design of the taillights is unique to the 3 Series Coupe and Convertible. The rear light cluster feature two-piece L-shapes and are further accentuated by a new color scheme. With two rows of light tubes that illuminate simultaneously, they create a night design with depth and dimension. Integrated flush into the body of the car, the lights are split into two sections and extend up the trunk lid, blending with the character lines from the side profile. Horizontal LED tube taillights give the car an unmistakable look at night. The horizontal flowing lines accentuate the wide track and low stance of the Convertible.
An additional horizontal contour line has been added to the rear air dam to further accentuate the width of the Convertible. It creates light-and-shade effects to give the entire rear end a flatter and smoother appearance.
The BMW 3 Series Convertibles provide a new dimension to open-air motoring with a retractable hardtop. Made of lightweight steel and operated by an electro-hydraulic mechanism, the three-piece roof opens in just 22 seconds (taking only one second more to close) and folds smoothly into the rear compartment of BMW's newest convertibles. The three-element steel roof structure ensures lower noise levels even at high speeds, enhances safety, creates a more luxurious and comfortable cabin and helps stiffen the chassis to provide precise handling.
The roof opens automatically in a flowing motion as each of the three elements rests above the other to create a compact package. The rear lid opens rearward and once the roof has been opened or closed and the hardtop is locked, the driver is able to open the trunklid in the usual manner. The trunklid also comes with a soft-close feature that draws the lid down gently and automatically.
The roof and luggage compartments are separated from one another by a partition that swivels when the roof is closed to provide maximum luggage capacity. Another convenient feature is that the roof can open by remote control when the car is equipped with the Comfort Access option. Like the roof controls within the interior, the remote control button must be kept pressed down for safety during the entire opening process because movement of the roof elements is interrupted whenever the button is released.
Like the exterior, the interior of the 3 Series Convertibles features sleek and flowing lines, powerful and tense surfaces and a highly attractive combination of convex and concave design elements.
The controls for air conditioning, audio and navigation systems were designed for optimum visibility and are within easy reach for the front passenger. Several controls and switches, including the door handles and gearshift lever are finished in Pearl Gray metal to provide a premium feel and an elegant appearance.
The side panels feature a smooth and sweeping design flow that extends from the dashboard to the backrests of the two rear seats. The center console also extends to the rear, serving as a storage compartment between the rear seats. Ambiance lighting, mounted on the door and the rear side panels, projects a warm, indirect lighting effect.
Source: BMW press