BMW’s 3 Series coupe/convertible renewed

BMW has just announced updates to the 3 Series Coupe and Convertible for the 2011 model year and apart from the visual enhancements typical of this kind of exercise, there’s also an exciting new powerplant on offer…

Up front, the facelift incorporates a wider version of the famed “kidney grille”, restyled bumper and redesigned headlamps with Xenon Adapative Lights and LED-powered corona rings that serve as daytime running lights. Three design lines feature prominently on the 3 Series’ profile – that being on the shoulder line, a character line and on the side sills, while the exterior mirrors also boast a new design.

The facelift also includes new taillights that are unique to the 3 Series Coupe and Convertible, with two piece L-shapes and a new horizontal LED tubes for a unique look at night. A horizontal contour line has also been added to the rear “to further accentuate the width of the Coupe and Convertible.”

In typical BMW fashion, the interior is focused on the driver, with almost all the operational elements locate close to the multifunction steering wheel. Secondary functions like that of audio and climate control are within reach of the front passenger. At the rear, occupants are treated to their very own centre console in between the individual rear seats, which houses storage boxes, additional air outlet vents and footwell lights.

Standard on the 3 Series Coupe and Convertible is the “Dark Burl Walnut” wood trim, with “Bamboo Anthracite”, “Light Burl Walnut” and “aluminium” trim as options, which appear on the facia, front and rear consoles, doors and rear side panels.

The 3 Series Convertible uses sun-reflective technology on the leather seating, armrest and gearshifter, which employs modified colour pigments imbedded in the leather to reduce surface temperatures on dark interior colours by up to 20 degrees Celsius and 15 degrees Celsius on light-coloured interiors.

The big news of the 3 Series Coupe and Convertible is that they now feature the same turbocharged 3,0-litre straight six “N55″engine that debuted in the 5 Series Gran Turismo. This unit develops the same power outputs as the twin-turbocharged powerplant employed in the 335i (225 kW and 400 N.m of torque) but with one less turbo thanks to the employment of BMW’s Valvetronic variable valve lift technology – which means the new engine is more fuel efficient and develops maximum torque from as low as 1 200 r/min all the way through to 5 000 r/min.

The new 3 Series Coupe and Convertible will go on sale in markets abroad in the second half of 2010, and we’ll see them very soon thereafter.

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CAR magazine