BMW 3 Series

BMW 3 Series

  The BMW 3-Series began production back in 1975 and is one of the German automaker's luxury sedans. The 2012 model year will mark the 3-Series' sixth generation since its birth and will incorporate all of the current versions for the luxury car: 2-door coupe and convertible, 4-door saloon, 5-door touring, and 5 door liftback. The new 3-series is expected to be powered with new aluminum four-cylinder gasoline engines ranging from 135 to 220 horsepower. The current model is powered by a choice of four different engine. The 3.0L I-6 produces 230hp and 200 lb-ft of torque, while the 3.0L twin turbo diesel gets 265hp and 425lb-ft of torque. Another option is the 3.0L twin turbo I-6 getting 300hp and 300 lb-ft of torque, and the final engine option is a 4.0L V8 producing 414hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. Engines can be mated to a six-speed manual transmission or a six- or seven-speed automatic.

The BMW 3-Series may be the German automaker’s resident mid-sized vehicle, but don’t tell that to the Chinese market.

In what can be attributed to the Chinese’s penchant for limousines, BMW has acquiesced that demand by unveiling the new 3-Series LWB that will be exclusively sold to the Chinese market.

The vehicle, which will make it’s debut at the 2012 Beijing Auto Show, features a longer wheelbase than the standard 3-Series. The extra 4.3" in length should bode well for all those high-rolling Chinese that prefer to ride in style with a chauffeur in tow.

On top of that, the 3-Series LWB comes in a number of trim models, including the 320Li, the 328Li, and the top-of-the-line 335Li. Powertrain options for the respective models include a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine for 320Li that produces 181 horsepower and 199 lb/ft of torque. Meanwhile, the 328Li gets a 2.0-liter TwinPower Turbo four-cylinder with 241 horsepower and 258 lb/ft of torque, while the top-end 335Li gets a 3.0-liter twin-turbo inline-six that develops 302 horsepower.

More details are expected to be revealed regarding the 3-Series LWB when the 2012 Beijing Auto Show arrives. For now, digest these photos and wonder how you can get this ride into your garage.

At the end of the 2011, Alpina unveiled a very cool package for the 2012 BMW 3-Series , dubbed the "B3 GT3 ." And now, Sport Auto’s test drive editor Christian Gebhardt got behind the wheel of the B3 GT3 and had his way with it. He took the car up to an impressive top speed of 190 mph, just 2 mph under the top speed announced by Alpina.

As a reminder, the BMW B3 GT3 by Alpina is powered by a twin-turbo 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine that delivers a total of 402 HP and a peak torque of 398 lb-ft. This engine sprints the car from 0 to 60 mph in just 4.6 seconds. The only downside to the 2012 B3 GT3 program is that Alpina will only build 99 units of it, but there may be some left to snatch up. The cost for one has been pegged at €90,000, which is around $121,300 based on current exchange rates.

German tuner Vorsteiner and their proverbial partners-in-crime, Wheels Boutique, have come out and released another tuning program that’s sure to warm the hearts of BMW M3 E93 owners everywhere.

The program, which features Vorsteiner parts and built by Wheels Boutique, takes the M3 E93 and effectively converts it into a GTRS3 that’s ripe and fit for some serious action.

Among the carbon fiber GTRS3 aero parts that have been added to the M3 are a new front bumper, front fenders, side skirts, a new rear bumper, rear fenders, a boot lid, a vented hood, and an aero boot lid. All the carbon fiber goodness fitted into the M3 is complemented by a new set of 20" Vorsteiner VS-350 Forged Concave wheels wrapped in Michelin PS2 tires.

We’re not ones to be easily awed by tuning programs, but we have to give some serious props for this one made by Wheels Boutique and Vorsteiner. We know how awesome the M3 is, but for these guys to make it look like a GTRS3 is taking it to a whole new level.

The only thing left is a performance upgrade...right?

At its core, the language of motorsport racing knows no boundaries. Anywhere you go, it’s all predicated on the same premise of being faster than your competition.

But one thing that changes depending on the circumstances are the cars that compete in such races. Over in South Africa, there’s a series called the SA Production Car Championship. One of the teams competing in the series is ADF Motorsport and recently, they, together with partner BMW South Africa, unveiled the prized steed that will be racing under their banner for the 2012 season.

The car, an F30 BMW 335i , is making history of sorts as the very first F30 3-Series racing car in the world, making it noteworthy on a lot of levels.

Developed by ADF Motorsport in collaboration with BMW SA, the F30 335i was given plenty of modifications to adhere to series regulations. In order to keep the car in its intended weight of just over 1,360 kg, ADF opted to replace plenty of the built-in parts on the car with carbon fiber taken from BMW’s new M Performance aftermarket options. Likewise, a new Akrapovic exhaust system was also installed with the car also getting 370mm M Performance front disc brakes, a new set of 18" BBS rims, and an N55 TwinPower turbocharged engine.

As far as the powertrain is concerned, SA Production Car regulations prohibited ADF Motorsport from giving the car any performance enhancements. Nevertheless, the addition of a modified engine management system, a new turbocharger, and the new Akrapovic exhaust system gives the F30 335i enough power - 402 horsepower and 442 lb/ft of torque - to be competitive in the racing series.

The 2012 racing season has already begun and we’re now seeing participants of the Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters - that’s DTM, in case you didn’t know - show off their vehicles in the past couple of weeks.

BMW Motorsports has been a regular supplier of race cars in DTM for the past couple of years. This season, the German automaker’s racing division is back in DTM with six BMW M3 DTM race cars, including the recently unveiled Castrol EDGE BMW M3 DTM.

The racer will carry the design livery of Castrol EDGE, considered as Castrol’s strongest and most advanced range of engine oil, and Aral Ultimate, Germany’s largest network of gas stations.

As far as powertrain is concerned, the race car will be powered by a V8 engine that was fitted with its own air restrictor to adhere to racing regulations. With the air restrictor in place, the M3 DTM is capable of producing 480 horsepower, while hitting 0-60 mph in just three seconds, and carrying a top speed of 186 mph.

Say you already have a BMW M3 that packed serious tuning enhancements in the form of VF Engineering’s VF620 program ; that doesn’t mean that your car can’t have any else done.

This particular M3, re-dubbed as the "Orange Fever," was initially given the aforementioned VF620 Supercharger System, one that gave it an astounding 620 horsepower. But now that the car has logged over 70,000 miles, it’s only fitting for it to be re-tuned. Thanks to VF Engineering and European Auto Source, the Orange Fever was given an updated ECU unit, an LCI taillight conversion, and Macht Schnell Competition spacers, resulting in an increased output of 643 horsepower.

Additionally, the car was given matte black carbon fiber aerodynamic panels from noted German tuner Vorsteiner that includes a carbon front bumper, trunk diffuser, and exhaust system. Last, the Orange Fever was fitted with a new set of 20" Radenergie R7 wheels.

All told, the project looks spectacular, especially when you can combine the matte black finish on the aero kit with those 20’s and the re-upped engine credentials - even if it’s got some serious mileage under its hood.

One of our favorite parts of any auto show is seeing what the aftermarket industry has done to some of the finest vehicles in the world. At the 2012 Geneva Motor Show , we were completely floored by all the programs being displayed.

Whether it was the Lamborghini Aventador , the McLaren MP4-12C , or even a model like the BMW 3-Series, the tuning world was definitely well-represented in Geneva.

The list below highlights some of the most impressive programs we saw. Some came from some of the best tuners in the world and some came from some surprising tuners. Nevertheless, it all amounted to some pretty impressive sights. You can check out the list of vehicles that were given tuning programs and let us know which of these works you consider your favorites.

Check out the list of tuner cars from the 2012 Geneva Motor Show after the jump.

BMW M3

It’s time to take a short break from all the news surrounding the Geneva Motor Show to talk about a car that won’t be making its debut in Switzerland. This car is the next generation BMW M3 sedan which has been caught testing one more time in Sweden.

When it comes to the engine powering the next M3 , rumors have stated two possibilities. The first is a fresh 3.3-liter six-cylinder engine equipped with three turbos for a total output of 450 HP. This engine will sprint the M3 from 0 to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds, while top speed is still electronically limited to 155 mph. The second possibility is a new 3.0-liter, six-cylinder engine that is currently under development. The future M3 will feature a more aggressive design to help distinguish it from the standard 3-Series sedan.

The new generation BMW M3 will be unveiled in 2013 and will only be offered as a sedan. Coupe and convertible models will go on sale under the 4-Series badge.

AC Schnitzer is one of the first tuners to offer an upgrade package for the new generation BMW 3-Series . Their kit, named ACS3 2.8 Turbo, is set to make its world debut next week at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show, but until then the tuner has decided to offer us a few new details on the model.

Based on the BMW 328i, the new ACS3 2.8 will take the brand-new 2.0 liter four-cylinder engine and tuned it to deliver a total of 295 HP and a peak torque of 302 lb-ft, up from the standard 245 HP and 258 lb-ft of torque. This boost in power is accompanied by a sports rear silencer with two chromed "Racing" tailpipes in a right/left combination.

For the exterior, the tuner has added a front spoiler, chromed front grille, rear roof spoiler, rear spoiler, and rear skirt extension, complemented by designer stripes. The car will be offered with 18-, 19-, and 20-inch wheels combined with a suspension spring kit. For the interior, AC Schnitzer is offering a "Black Line" aluminum cover for the BMW "i-Drive" system controller, a "Black Line" aluminum handbrake handle, an aluminum pedal set, foot rests, and velour floor mats.

Sales for the BMW ACS3 2.8 Turbo by AC Schnitzer will begin in the summer of 2012.

If anyone was given the opportunity to choose between the BMW M3 and the BMW X5M , many would probably choose the M3. That is, of course, unless they had a bunch of kiddos and groceries to haul around. For those that don’t, or have a second car for that, the M3 is enough to thrill with its sportiness and agility, and the fact that it looks great.

With those features going for the M3, the X5M would seem to have very little going for it, but BMW is out to prove that’s not the case. They grabbed up both vehicles and planted them in Laguna Seca for a little one on one action. With its all wheel drive system and 555 HP Twin Turbo V8 engine delivering exceptional performance on the road or the track, the X5M may have a few tricks up its automotive sleeve to outdo the M3.

Take a look at the video to see for yourself. You may change your answer if ever given the choice between the two.


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