The elegant, sporty and high-technology 3 Series Coupe will arrive in dealerships around Australia in October in both 325i and 335i six-cylinder guise.
The 335i now leads the 3 Series family thanks to its innovative 3.0-litre Twin Turbo petrol engine that delivers a smooth 225 kW of power at 5,800 rpm and a massive 400 Nm of torque between 1,300 rpm and 5,000 rpm.
Acceleration from 0-100 km/h is a rapid fire 5.5 seconds, almost as fast as the E46 generation M3 Coupe.
Using high-precision direct petrol injection, an all aluminium engine and a pair of turbo-chargers, each assigned to force-feed three cylinders, the new Twin Turbo engine sets new standards for driving performance and pleasure.
The low inertia turbos spool up much faster than conventional units, eliminating turbo-lag completely.
A stringent BMW weight-reduction programme coupled with efficient engine management also ensures low fuel consumption. The Twin Turbo engine is 70 kg lighter than a comparably powerful 4.0-litre eight-cylinder engine.
The lightweight engine ensures the BMW 3 Series Coupe will retain BMW’s famed 50/50 weight distribution for perfectly balanced and entertaining handling.
From October, the alluring BMW 3 Series Coupe line-up starts with the 325i priced at $81,500 for the six-speed manual.
Standard equipment for the 325i Coupe includes Bi-Xenon headlamps, LED tail lights, 17-inch light alloy wheels, premium Dakota leather upholstery, BMW Business navigation system with colour monitor, six-stacker CD player, rear Park Distance Control, sport seats with electric adjustment and two memory settings for the driver, automatic climate control, and extended lights package for interior illumination, cruise control with brake function and Bluetooth mobile phone preparation.
From a safety perspective the 325i Coupe covers all the bases with DTC Dynamic Traction Control, DSC+ Dynamic Stability Control, CBC Cornering Brake Control, DBC Dynamic Brake Control and dual front airbags, dual side airbags and head airbags front and rear.
The 2.5-litre magnesium aluminium straight-six engine produces 160 kW of power at 6,500 rpm and 250 Nm of torque between 2,750 rpm and 4,000 rpm. The 325i Coupe accelerates to 100 km/h in just 6.9 seconds.
The 325i Coupe, optionally equipped with a six-speed Steptronic Automatic transmission, specially adapted for the Coupe models and upgraded to deliver shift times around 40 percent faster than before, is priced at $84,100.
Further 325i Coupe options include Active Steering, Sport Suspension, 18 or 19-inch light alloy wheels, Comfort Access, Adaptive Headlights, Active Cruise Control, High Beam Assist and LOGIC7 sound system.
The 335i Coupe will be available in both six-speed manual and six-speed automatic transmission guise. The most powerful regular production 3 Series ever (not including the specialist M3 models) will be priced from $108,500 as a manual and $111,100 as an automatic.
The 335i out-points its closest rival by having notably more power and torque, far faster acceleration, lower fuel consumption and a lighter kerb weight.
Uniquely available to automatic transmission models of the BMW 335i Coupe is the option for steering wheel mounted shift paddles. These alloy-finished shifters are priced at $200.
The 335i Coupe standard specification adds the following features over those of the 325i Coupe: larger front and rear brakes, Sport Suspension, 18-inch light alloy wheels, Park Distance Control PDC front and rear, front seat lumbar adjustment, BMW Professional Navigation with 8.8-inch colour monitor and TV and Voice Recognition functions, HiFi loudspeaker system, High Beam Assist and Adaptive Headlights.
Very late in 2006, a further version of the 3 Series Coupe range will become available in Australia. The 323i will be priced from $69,900 in manual and $72,500 in automatic transmission guise.
It will be equipped with the same free-revving magnesium aluminium 2.5-litre engine as fitted to the 323i Sedan and Touring models launched in Australia in June, albeit in a slightly sportier state of tune.
Compared with its closest rival, the 323i Coupe offers a manual option, more power for faster acceleration, lower fuel consumption and significantly less weight which enhances the driving experience considerably.
The new BMW 3 Series Coupe shares no exterior body panels with the very successful BMW 3 Series Sedan, voted World Car of the Year 2006.
This year BMW has sold more than 250,000 3 Series Sedans underlining its success as the world’s best compact sports luxury sedan.
BMW expects the new 3 Series Coupe will follow in the wheel tracks of its exceptionally successful E46 model, which sold more than 460,000 examples over its seven-year model life.
“The BMW 3 Series Coupe is one of the most sought-after cars in the luxury market and the new model is already creating a torrent of inquiry,” says Tom Noble, General Manager, Marketing at BMW Group Australia.
“Its combination of smooth and powerful BMW six-cylinder engines, a sleek, elegant body and a host of advanced technologies, perfectly meets the needs of our Coupe customers.
The 3 Series Coupe is one of those stand-out cars the market understands as the ultimate expression of sporting style.
The BMW Coupe is the ultimate expression of pure design, pure performance, pure driving, and pure heritage.
The BMW Coupe, especially in Twin Turbo 335i guise, will rewrite the rules for compact, athletic sporting cars,” Tom says.
2006 BMW 3 Series Coupe
Expect to see the various versions and transmissions in the showrooms during the following months.
323i M $69,900 December
323i A $72,500 December
325i M $81,500 October
325i A $84,100 October
335i M $108,500 October
335i A $111,100 October