The new 2012 BMW 3 Series sedan has been fully redesigned. BMW 3 Series is the original in the compact sports sedan segment and over the years has come to symbolise the aesthetic appeal, dynamics and sporting capability of BMW.
2012 BMW 3 Series Interior. The interior of the new BMW 3-Series Sedan is straight out of the BMW design handbook. The driver-focused cockpit wraps around the driver and puts all the important controls within easy reach. The cockpit is angled towards the driver by seven degrees. The surfaces and lines flow over the instrument panel towards the front passenger side of the cabin, where they form a smooth, protective border. In the driver’s area all the lines converge on a single point behind the steering wheel and guide the eye towards the road.
The cockpit’s four circular dials (fuel gauge, speedometer, rev counter and oil temperature gauge) come with a black panel display. Positioned on the horizontally-structured instrument panel, the freestanding standard-fitted iDrive monitor with high-resolution display recalls the latest flatscreen televisions normally found in living rooms rather than cars. The monitor has no folding mechanism or binnacle, allowing the entire dashboard to retain its flat, smooth lines and giving the interior a lighter, more dynamic feel.
On the driver’s side of the deliberately asymmetric centre tunnel, a different trim surface and graining mark out the active driving elements of the interior, while the trim surface on the front passenger side exudes a pleasingly elegant air. Positioned centrally on the centre console within easy reach of both the driver and the front passenger is the standard iDrive Controller. Underneath the armrest – with optional fore/aft adjustment – between the front seats, meanwhile, is a compartment for mobile devices (e.g. mobile phones, MP3 players and smartphones), which also contains a USB/AUX-IN socket.
The standard sports seats can be specified in a choice of three upholstery variants and four colours. The ignition key for Sport Line versions of the new BMW 3-Series Sedan is identified by its black finish and red detailing.
2012 BMW 3 Series Exterior. With eye-catching exterior features in high-gloss black, this new line accentuates the dynamic appearance of the BMW 3-Series Sedan. Eight heavily contoured black kidney grille slats in a chrome-coloured surround give the front end of the car a particularly sporty and alert look. The black inserts in the front apron make the air intakes appear larger and lend extra emphasis to the muscular wheel arches. 17 or 18-inch light-alloy wheels – depending on the engine variant – in double-spoke design (18-inch items are bi-colour) provide the athletic looks to match. Meanwhile, optional high-gloss black painted exterior mirrors and the standard high-gloss black B-pillar and window guide add an extra sporting flavour to the flanks. A black trim strip on the lower crease underlines the width-enhancing effect of the rear styling, while the tailpipe embellisher is likewise black and rounds off the exterior’s sporty appearance. The sporty and exclusive ambience of the interior is expressed by contrasting black and red accents. Red trim rings, red scales in the circular dials, red stitching on the sports steering wheel and a base trim strip in high-gloss black with coral red accent strips all underline the sporting ambience of the cockpit.
The discreet high-gloss chrome elements of this line lend the exterior of the BMW 3-Series Sedan a particularly elegant and exclusive appeal. The BMW kidney grille with 11 fine chrome slats, two slightly offset chrome trim strips in the front apron air intakes, and a high-gloss chrome trim strip running horizontally above the air scoop give the front end a striking appearance. As with the Sport Line, the B-pillar and window guide come in high-gloss black, and the window frame and weather strip are in chrome. Special 17 or 18-inch light-alloy wheels in multi-spoke design accentuate the stylishness of the new BMW 3-Series Sedan when viewed side-on. From the rear, the new Luxury Line is easily identified by its exquisite, high-gloss chrome trim strip – which extends across the full width of the rear apron – and its chrome tailpipe embellisher. Chrome elements also catch the eye inside the Luxury Line variant. This is the only line which gives the radio and air conditioning units a chrome surround. High-gloss wood strips (with stylish inlays as an option) and seats with distinctive stitching and a choice of two upholstery materials in four classically elegant colours highlight an inviting, exclusive ambience. The ignition key (ID confirmation) for Luxury Line versions of the new BMW 3-Series Sedan can be identified by its black finish and chrome detailing.
2012 BMW 3 Series Engines and Transmissions. With the launch of the new sports sedan, a brand-new four-cylinder engine will make its debut in the BMW 3-Series. In keeping with the dynamic overall theme of the new BMW sports sedan, this new-generation turbocharged engine offers plenty of power and performance, responsive acceleration, powerful torque, a high rpm ceiling and low weight. For this best-selling BMW model series, the new-generation 2.0-litre petrol engine will be available in two output ratings. The new four-cylinder units, which provide noticeably livelier power for maximum driving enjoyment, also come with lower fuel consumption and emissions than their predecessors.
Advanced suspension technology, featuring a large number of light-alloy components and new tuning, along with electromechanical steering which operates without torque steer, low vehicle weight and a balanced axle load ratio top off a dynamic package, making the new BMW 3-Series Sedan an exemplar of sporty handling combined with increased comfort.
The new BMW TwinPower Turbo four-cylinder petrol engine’s displacement of 1,997 cc delivers maximum power of 180 kW/245 hp at 5,000 rpm while, thanks to twin-scroll turbocharging, the maximum torque of 350 Nm is developed at just 1,250 rpm and remains constant up to 4,800 rpm. These statistics translate to sheer dynamic performance: the new BMW 328i accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 5.9 seconds, on its way to an electronically governed top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph). The engine responds instantly when the driver demands more throttle, and the vigorous and almost linear power delivery from only slightly above idle, which continues all the way into the higher rpm range, is duly impressive.
The average fuel consumption of the BMW 328i in the EU test cycle is just 6.4 litres per 100 km (44.1 mpg imp), an 11 per cent (!) improvement on its 160 kW/218 hp predecessor. There is a similar improvement in CO2 emissions, which now stand at 149 grams per kilometre. The improvement is even more pronounced if the vehicle is equipped with the new eight-speed automatic, in which case fuel consumption is rated at just 6.3 litres per 100 km (44.8 mpg imp), with CO2 emissions at 147 grams per kilometre (-15%).