BMW 3-Series Long Wheelbase

At the international automobile trade fair Auto China 2012 in Beijing, the German premium automobile manufacturer BMW will not only be presenting its new edition of the BMW 3 Series sedan, but also unveiling a model variant tailored specifically to the requirements of Chinese customers. The new BMW 3 Series sedan with the long wheelbase is a fascinating marriage of elegant and commanding design and a luxurious interior ambience. Its independent character is also underscored in the rear by the most generous and comfortable space in the competitive field. Besides the long wheelbase BMW 5 Series sedan, it is now the second model of the brand to be offered exclusively on the Chinese automobile market and produced in Shenyang.

At the same time, the new, globally available BMW 3 Series sedan with the normal wheelbase enjoys its highest ever status as the sportiest model on the segment. BMW is therefore honing its alignment to the expectations of the various target groups on the Chinese automobile market and promising the driving pleasure so characteristic of this brand in either an emphatically exclusive or consistently dynamic design.

Both variants of the new BMW 3 Series sedan were developed together in Germany and exhibit the typical basic properties of the premium automobiles from this brand: aesthetic design, ultra modern engines with BMW TwinPower Turbo Technology, and progressive equipment like the BMW Head-Up Display, which is unique in this class. Auto China 2012 will also be presenting the BMW ActiveHybrid 3. This full hybrid model of the new BMW 3 Series will likewise be available on the Chinese automobile market before the year is out.

The new, long wheelbase BMW 3 Series sedan is available in three engine versions delivering 135 kW / 184 bhp in the BMW 320Li, 180 kW / 245 bhp in the BMW 328Li, or 225 kW / 306 bhp in the BMW 335Li. Both the two four-cylinder variants and the top model with six cylinder engine are fitted as standard with an eight speed automatic transmission.

Besides the unusually high efficiency of the engines and gears, the extensive BMW EfficientDynamics technology also contributes to an excellent relationship between driving performance and fuel consumption in these models developed exclusively for the Chinese automobile market.

The standard equipment includes e.g. brake energy regeneration, the automatic engine start-stop function, and the ECO PRO mode which can be activated at the driving experience switch.

The new, long wheelbase BMW 3 Series sedan will be produced by the new Tiexi plant at the Shenyang site. Production proceeds according to the strict quality standards applied to the whole global production network of the BMW Group and in close collaboration with local production partners and parts suppliers. In Shenyang, the BMW Group has been producing automobiles since 2003 with its joint venture partner Brilliance. In order to increase the production capacity, both partners recently passed a motion to invest about a billion euros in both the present and the additional plant at the Shenyang site. This will allow the company to meet the constantly growing demand for premium automobiles in China. In 2011, China was the world’s third largest sales market for the BMW Group.

The BMW 3 Series is the most sold premium automobile in the world. Based on the sixth generation BMW 3 Series sedan, a new model with a longer wheelbase will now be unveiled that has been developed exclusively for the Chinese automobile market. Its body incorporates the design language of the new BMW 3 Series sedan as an independent interpretation lending intensity to its elegance and luxury. The proportions characteristic of the brand are shaped by the short overhangs, the long engine compartment, the backset passenger compartment, and the long wheelbase. Compared with the new BMW 3 Series sedan, both the length of the vehicle (4734 mm) and its wheelbase (2920 mm) were each extended by 110 mm, with the width (1811 mm) and height (1455 mm) following suit.

Balled propulsive power and presence find expression in the design of the vehicle’s front section. The contours of the engine compartment lid run in a V shape towards the BMW kidney grille placed right at the front. The contours of the headlamps reach towards the kidney grille, and together with this form a horizontal graphical unit that emphasises the width of the vehicle. A hallmark of the brand, the twin circular headlamps present across their tops a partially occluding trim panel, giving rise to the characteristic look of concentration. Depending on the model, chrome elements under the headlamp units and at the transition to the BMW kidney grille underscore the high quality claims of the front view.

All lines and surfaces have been tuned precisely to the specific dimensions of the new BMW 3 Series sedan with the long wheelbase. The harmony of proportions characteristic of the BMW 3 Series is therefore maintained.

At the same time, the elongated appearance of the side view communicates an elegance known from higher vehicle segments. A new interpretation takes the form of the BMW hallmark Hofmeister kink at the rear end of the side window surrounds. For the first time, the chrome frame proceeds in a straight line from the counterthrust at the base of the C column towards the rear, thereby extending the horizontal run of the window cavity covers.

The rear view of the new, long wheelbase BMW 3 Series sedan is dominated by the horizontal lines and the beefy wheel arches. Also the L shaped rear lights on the outer sides merge harmoniously into the overall look, emphasising the wide track and therefore the stable roadholding of the vehicle. On the six cylinder BMW 335Li, this impression is boosted further by the double flow exhaust system’s tailpipes placed at the outer edge. One specific attribute of the new, long wheelbase BMW 3 Series sedan is the chrome trim arranged above the number plate surround on the luggage compartment lid and serving as a link between the rear light units. This is supplemented with additional chrome trim at the bottom of the rear apron.

The luxurious ambience is borne by high quality materials, precision workmanship, and the interior surfaces matched perfectly to the choice of design and colours. In particular the rear presents a travel comfort that is yet to meet its match on the vehicle segment. Designed for enhanced comfort, the rear presents a row of single seats that are setting a new standard for available space. The new BMW 3 Series sedan with the long wheelbase offers particularly convenient access and generous leg space for rear passengers. The knee space is 90 mm longer than in the new BMW 3 Series sedan with the normal wheelbase and is therefore the best in the competitive field.

The large number of equipment features in the new, long wheelbase BMW 3 Series sedan underscores its orientation to comfort. The rear presents a centre armrest with integrated compartment and two cup holders, two illuminated vanity mirrors folding out of the roof liner, and BMW Individual reading lights. Also fitted in the rear are ashtrays integrated in the door trim panels and a switch unit that can adjust the front passenger seat. Moreover, the sedan is fitted with a lighting package, including ambient light, and roller sun blinds that are opened and closed electrically on the rear window and mechanically on the side windows.

The unique status that premium automobiles from the BMW brand enjoy all over the world is linked closely to the brand’s characteristic driving pleasure. In the new BMW 3 Series sedan with the long wheelbase, this is the result of the outstanding competence the company has brought to bear in the field of drive development. The engines fitted in the models BMW 335Li, BMW 328Li, and BMW 320Li are designed for an impressive delivery of sporty and supreme power. And their pioneering efficiency is equally convincing. Both the inline six cylinder engine in the BMW 335Li and the four cylinder drives in the two other models feature the latest development of BMW TwinPower Turbo Technology. This includes a twin scroll turbocharger, direct high precision petrol injection, the variable valve control system VALVETRONIC, and the variable camshaft control system double VANOS.

The BMW 335Li is fitted with a 3.0 litre six cylinder engine featuring this technology package. Its supercharging system directs the pulsing gas flow through three separate cylinders arranged in a spiral around the turbine. Arranged directly next to the spark plug, the injectors direct the air-fuel mixture precisely dosed into the combustion chambers. Power delivery and efficiency also benefit greatly from the VALVETRONIC integrated completely in the cylinder head and the camshaft adjustment for the intake and discharge side (double VANOS). In this manner, the multiple award winning six cylinder petrol engine can deliver a max power output of 225 kW / 306 bhp at a speed of 5800–6000 rpm and a max torque of 400 Nm between 1200 and 5000 rpm. The BMW 335Li accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in 5.7 seconds. Its average fuel consumption as determined in the EU test cycle is 8.3 litres per 100 kilometres, and its CO2 emissions are 192 grams per kilometre.

BMW TwinPower Turbo Technology also helps the four cylinder engine in the BMW 328Li to achieve an extraordinary relationship between performance and fuel consumption. With a capacity of 2.0 litres, the new engine delivers a max power output of 180 kW / 245 bhp between 5000 and 6500 rpm. The max torque of 350 Nm is reached at speeds between 1250 and 4800 rpm. The BMW 328Li sprints from zero to 100 km/h in 6.3 seconds. Its average fuel consumption as determined in the EU test cycle is max 7.2 litres per 100 kilometres, and its CO2 emissions are 167 grams per kilometre.

Source: BMW press

Gallery: BMW 3-Series Long Wheelbase