BMW South Africa has introduced a number of new specifications to its 3-Series range, including safety systems, alloys, colours, six-speed gearboxes and optional F1-style SMG transmissions.BMW South Africa has introduced a number of new specifications to its 3-Series range, including safety systems, alloys, colours, six-speed gearboxes and optional F1-style SMG transmissions.
The Rosslyn-based manufacturer last week announced that its 3-Series model line-up would remain in 318i, 320i, 320d, 325i and 330i variants, but that the DSC III (dynamic stability control) with CBC (cornering brake control) would be standard on all models, including the Touring. Two new colours, Mystic Blue (a dark shade of blue), and Silver Grey (a silver-coloured grey metallic), have also been added to range.
A front-loading CD player will be standard throughout the range, although a six-CD shuttle may still be ordered in addition to the front-loading unit. Should a customer require a tape deck, the front-loading CD could be deleted at no cost, BMW said.
The 320d, 330d and 330i models have been fitted with six-speed manual transmission. The sixth gear essentially serves as overdrive, reducing engine speed at high road speeds. The advantage of the new ‘box, BMW claims, is that there is less engine noise when the car is cruising and that under everyday driving conditions, the use of a six-gear will result in four per cent better fuel consumption.
The six-speed offers short shift travel and comes with lifetime oil filling, power being transmitted via a maintenance-free self-adjusting clutch (SAC).
Furthermore, the 318i, 320d and 325i models offer new standard alloy wheel designs. With the Sports Pack option, star-spoke 17-inch alloys are as before.
As an option, the BMW 325i and 330i are available with an F1-style sequential manual gearbox (SMG). Serving as a shift-by-wire system not requiring any kind of mechanical connection between the gearshift lever and the gearbox itself, SMG allows the driver to shift gears on the gearshift lever in the middle or via two paddles on the steering wheel.
According to BMW SA, SMG takes 150 milliseconds to execute a gear shift. While the driver keeps his or her foot on the throttle, the electronic engine control interrupts the flow of engine power momentarily and shifts gears electro-hydraulically.
SMG also allows the driver to skip gears, moving directly from a higher to a lower gear or vice versa while leaving out a specific ratio in between. The transmission has basic and dynamic shift programme (sport) programmes.
With the sport programme activated and DSC stability control deactivated, the driver has the option to switch on the acceleration assist facility. With the accelerator pedal pressed down, the system will rev the engine to 4 000 r/min before engaging the clutch. This allows maximum acceleration and the first and second gears are shifted automatically.