The BMW 3 Series is an internationally recognized symbol of the intelligently sporty motor vehicle. It is also the best-selling premium vehicle in the world. Updates for the 2009 Sedan and Sports Wagon models include; a subtle exterior-design freshening, refinement of interior design and functions, new and/or revised options, a new generation of the iDrive control and display system and expansion of ConnectedDrive functions.
The new Sedans are distinguished by a freshened design at the front, in profile and in the rear view; the new Sports Wagons receive the same front-end and profile updates, as well as most elements of the rearview changes.
At the front, width is more strongly accented, though actual width is unchanged. BMW's traditional 4-headlight look is emphasized by the lamps' setting in new chromed "tubes;" the more recently traditional luminous rings around the headlights newly serve as Daytime Running Lamps on vehicles with Xenon Adaptive lights (optional 328i models, standard 335i models). The turn-signal lamps get a new, vertically layered look; in combination with the Xenon headlights these are in LED technology.
In profile, the side sills/rocker panels set a stronger lower accent; newly shaped side mirrors not only have crisp new contours, but also provide an enlarged visual field for the driver.
At the rear, the bumper, taillights and (on the Sedans) trunklid are all newly shaped for a stronger emphasis on the 3's sporty character. The taillights' typical L-shape is now more in evidence, and new LED lighting sources illuminate the taillights and turn-signal lamps. And an actual increase in rear track adds new emphasis to these vehicles' wide stance in rear and ¾ views.
As an important element of BMW EfficientDynamics, the new 335d Sedan represents a significant step forward in combining high performance with high fuel efficiency. The 3.0-liter, twin-turbocharged inline 6-cylinder diesel engine powering the 335d - its predecessor has been widely acclaimed in Europe - is completely new to the U.S. also new is its BMW BluePerformance emission-control technology.
Among the turbodiesel engine's advanced attributes are aluminum construction, high-pressure direct fuel injection with piezo injectors (also a feature of BMW's twin-turbo gasoline engines), and a turbocharging system that employs both a small and larger turbocharger for optimum response at low and higher speeds.
As a worldwide advance also being newly introduced in Europe, BMW BluePerformance controls emissions to a strict level that enables the 335d to be sold in all 50 U.S. states. Specific features of this system include an exhaust particulates filter and a Selective Catalytic Reduction exhaust after-treatment system.
Given the stringent emission control and fuel economy that will truly raise eyebrows (official EPA mileage ratings are not yet available), one might expect performance to suffer. On the contrary: this new power concept achieves not only abundant power (265 hp, 0-60 mph in 6.0 seconds with the standard 6-speed automatic transmission), but immense torque (425 lb-ft.) that gives the 335d all-speed acceleration response that simply has to be experienced to be believed. And - a quality of smoothness and sound that fully lives up to the BMW reputation for sonorous power.
All other 3 Series models continue with their (also) acclaimed 3.0-liter inline 6-cylinder gasoline engines.
The 328i models are powered by a naturally aspirated (i.e., non-turbo) engine that features advanced, weight-saving magnesium/aluminum construction - still unique among the world's automobiles. Its Valvetronic system enhances efficiency by employing variable valve lift, rather than a throttle, to regulate engine power. This engine produces 230 hp, 200 lb-ft. of torque, and EPA highway mileage ratings as high as 28 mpg (depending on model and transmission) in 2008. It is a sterling example of BMW's long-standing tradition of the smooth, sonically delightful "inline six" that delivers excellent performance.
For those who desire more than merely excellent performance, the 335i models are powered by a completely distinct 3.0-liter six, boosted by twin turbochargers and fed with fuel by High Precision direct fuel injection. This unique and highly advanced unit delivers 300 hp and 300 lb-ft. of torque, 0-60-mph times as quick as 5.4 sec., and EPA highway mileage ratings up to 26 mpg. If the 328i engine has been enthusiastically acclaimed, the 335i unit has garnered downright deliriously praise, particularly by the automotive enthusiast media.
Continuing for '09 are the two Sedan models and one Sports Wagon model with BMW's truly intelligent AWD system, now taking the system's name into their model designations: 328i xDrive Sedan and Sports Wagon, 335i xDrive Sedan. The Coupe models also have xDrive.
In the 328i models - Sedan and Sports Wagon, rear-wheel- and all-wheel-drive models - a 3.0-liter unit with advanced, weight-saving magnesium/aluminum composite construction and Valvetronic variable valve lift provides smooth, sonorous and fuel-efficient power.
Valvetronic, a patented BMW innovation, varies valve lift to regulate engine power; when the driver steps down on the accelerator pedal, instead of a throttle opening wider, intake-valve lift increases. A throttle imposes a restriction to incoming air; Valvetronic eliminates this restriction, significantly enhancing efficiency particularly at low to medium speeds. This is reflected in excellent fuel economy, plus very spontaneous response to that accelerator pedal. Valvetronic also enhances engine smoothness in idling and gentle driving, and makes for excellent cold starting.
This engine delivers 230 hp @ 6500 rpm and has a 7000-rpm redline, so it is in the great tradition of smooth, powerful and high-revving BMW gasoline engines. Yet its torque peak of 200 lb-ft. occurs at relatively low engine speed for a gasoline engine - 2750 rpm - so it's also a responsive partner in everyday driving, not requiring frequent shifting to maintain a brisk pace with the standard 6-speed manual transmission. 0-60-mph times for the 328i Sedan are 6.3 sec. for the manual, 6.9 sec. for the automatic; 2008 EPA city/highway mileage ratings are 18/28 mpg with manual, 19/28 with automatic. Acceleration times and EPA ratings vary for the Sports Wagon, and for the Sedan and Sports Wagon in their xDrive (all-wheel-drive) versions.
The 335i Sedan and its AWD stablemate 335i xDrive are powered by a totally distinct 3.0-liter inline 6, with an aluminum block, different bore and stroke dimensions, and most importantly twin turbochargers. High-pressure direct fuel injection with piezo injectors, a concept shared with the 335d diesel engine, and special turbo-related cooling features complete the description of an engine that has garnered almost delirious praise in the enthusiast media and beyond. It develops a full 300 hp @ 5800 rpm, has the same 7000-rpm redline as the 328i engine, and generates a fulsome 300 lb-ft. of torque all the way from 1400 to 5000 rpm - a somewhat diesel-like characteristic.
Here the twin turbochargers are both small, each of them serving 3 of the 6 cylinders. Their smallness enables them to respond quickly to the driver's demands reducing turbo engines' historical "turbo lag" to a minimum. This engine does not have Valvetronic, as turbocharging works best on a gasoline engine with a conventional throttle. On-the-road performance is stunning: 0-60 mph in just 5.4 sec. with manual transmission, 5.6 with automatic; and that broad, generous torque band produces abundant acceleration even at lower speeds in the upper gears. EPA mileage ratings are equally impressive: 17/26 mpg with either transmission for the 335i, slightly less for the xDrive version.
Source: BMW press