BMW: BMW 3 Series Touring 2006
All BMW 3 Series offer a unique balance of elegance, dynamics, and compact dimensions. Now the new BMW 3 Series Touring adds to these features, offering maximum flexibility and versatility in every respect - the new 3 Series Touring is sporting, highly variable, and meets virtually every transport requirement in everyday use. So it is fair to say that this is the most versatile 3 Series there has ever been.
The new 3 Series Touring marking the fourth generation in its class offers innovations which place it right at the top of its segment - more powerful engines, a 'faster' suspension, even more detailed solutions for the car's occupants and luggage, as well as extra comfort ensure an even higher standard of product substance than before.
The Touring meets virtually all transportation requirements and at the same time offers driving pleasure of the highest calibre. All this is borne out by the car's lap times on the Northern Circuit of Nürburgring: Lapping the Circuit in 8:49 minutes, the new 3 Series Touring is just as fast as the 3 Series Sports Saloon.
Features even more conspicuous in everyday motoring are the many details and improvements making the Touring such a practical and beneficial car for the customer. One example is the storage compartment beneath the luggage compartment floor, which may be turned around and used on both sides, the rear side coming in a washable, hard-wearing surface film covering the bottom of the luggage compartment and extending out when required over the rear bumper. And whenever the driver opens the rear window alone, the luggage compartment cover will slide up into a convenient loading position. A watertight folding box, nets, an umbrella holder, bag holders and a 12-volt power socket significantly enhance the car's practical value.
Entering the market with five new engines
The new Touring is entering the market with three petrol engines in the guise of the 320i, 325i, and 330i, as well as two diesels, the 320d and 330d. All of these engines offer a significant improvement in performance, motoring culture, and economy. And they will be joined later by the four-cylinder 318i and 318d power units, with the 323i being reserved for markets outside of Europe. The six-cylinder 325i, 330i, and 330d models will also be available with four-wheel drive.
Six-cylinder featuring an extra-light magnesium crankcase
Developing maximum output of 190 kW/258 bhp, the straight-six power unit in the top-of-the-range BMW 330i Touring outperforms its predecessor by 20 kW/27 bhp. Maximum torque, in turn, is 300 Nm/221 lb-ft maintained consistently between 2,500 and 4,000 rpm. In its segment, the three-litre is the most powerful and lightest engine in the world.
This is the first large-scale production engine to feature magnesium on the crankcase, crankshaft mounts and cylinder head cover, thus boasting a material 30 per cent lighter than aluminium.
Another first-time achievement we see in this three-litre six-cylinder is BMW VALVETRONIC controlling the opening period and lift of the intake valves infinitely as a function of the gas pedal. This means even greater fuel efficiency and even more spontaneous engine response. These benefits are further enhanced by variable double-VANOS camshaft management on the intake and outlet valves.
The BMW 330i Touring accelerates from 0-100 km/h in 6.4 seconds and completes the sprint from 80-120 km/h (50?75 mph) in 4th gear in 6.9 seconds (both figures still provisional). Top speed is limited electronically to 250 km/h or 155 mph, while fuel consumption is a modest 8.9 litres/100 km or 31.7 mpg Imp in the composite EU cycle.
A newcomer to the range is the straight-six in the BMW 325i Touring offering even more power than before: Maximum output is now 160 kW/218 bhp at 6,500 rpm (an increase by 19 kW/26 bhp), maximum torque is 250 Nm or 184 lb-ft between 2,750 and 4,250 rpm (+ 5 Nm/3.7lb-ft).
This kind of power clearly gives the BMW 325i Touring pole position over its competitors, with top speed of 243 km/h or 151 mph, acceleration to 100 km/h in 7.2 seconds, and the ability to sprint from 80?120 km/h, again in 4th gear, in 7.9 seconds.
BMW 320i with high-performance four-cylinder:
The 320i Touring is based on the straight-four two-litre power unit so far bearing the 318i model designation. Featuring VALVETRONIC and double-VANOS, the engine develops maximum output of 110 kW/150 bhp at 6,200 rpm, with maximum torque of 200 Nm/147 lb-ft at 3,600 rpm. Acceleration from 0-100 km/h comes in 9.4 seconds, top speed is 218 km/h or 135 mph, and fuel consumption in the composite EU cycle is 7.6 litres/100 km or 37.1 mpg Imp.
A Sports Diesel also in the Touring:
The diesel variants likewise offer sporting and dynamic power. Featuring the latest common rail technology and a turbocharger with variable turbine geometry, the diesels are even more dynamic than their already most impressive predecessors.
The top-of-the-range 330d Touring develops an enormous 170 kW/231 bhp from six cylinders, plus perhaps an even more staggering 500 Nm/369 lb-ft maximum torque all the way from 1,750-3,000 rpm, once again giving the car best-in-segment driving comfort and dynamics.
On the road this naturally means supreme performance, with acceleration from 0-100 km/h in 6.8 seconds and a top speed of 248 km/h or 154 mph. Fuel consumption is 6.7 litres/100 km or 42.2 mpg Imp in the composite EU cycle, and it almost goes without saying that the BMW 330d Touring complies with the European EU4 emission standard.
Dynamic and efficient all in one: the BMW 320d Touring:
Irresistible power and performance is also the attribute of the most powerful four-cylinder in the 320d Touring, maximum output of 120 kW/163 bhp and peak torque of 340 Nm/251 lb-ft from 2,000 rpm-2,750 rpm setting the benchmark in this class, with acceleration to 100 km/h in 8.6 seconds and top speed of 223 km/h or 138 mph. Fuel consumption is 5.9 litres/100 km or 47.9 mpg Imp, and again it goes without saying that the 320d complies in full with the EU4 standard. Both diesel models come as standard with a diesel particle filter.
Six-speed gearbox in all models:
All models come with a six-speed manual gearbox in their 'basic' trim. The additional gear, closer increments between gears, as well as the wider overall range between the lowest and highest gear ensure a perfect surge of power throughout the entire acceleration process, with each gear merging smoothly into the other. Conceived for even higher tractive power, the first gear offers advantages particularly when setting off.
In all, the Touring is even more dynamic, accelerates faster, and offers an even higher top speed than before. And all this comes with an even higher standard of fuel economy. Six-speed automatic transmission is naturally available as an option.
Photos: BMW AG