At a glance – 2007 BMW 3 Series Coupe
At a glance – 2007 BMW 3 Series Coupe
  • Type: Two-door, four-passenger, performance coupe
  • Notable: Sizzling performance, sultry looks, exclusivity
  • Available: September 2006
  • Pricing: Starting in the mid-to-high $40,000, to low $50,000 range, depending on model

The only real negative was the navigation system, whose avatar seemed to go mental in our car, barking out contradictory instructions one after the other, in rapid-fire sequence. It was a bizarre experience solved by switching her off (and recalling jokes about HAL in the movie "2001: A Space Odyssey"), using a paper map, asking directions and following signs. This still works quite well. Designed for the enthusiast, the 2007 BMW 335i Coupe is a driver's car that seats four adults comfortably, offers outstanding performance and features a large 440-litre trunk for luggage on a long trip. It's packed with safety features, occupant conveniences (a motorized arm proffers your shoulder belt), and performance technologies. It must be considered the benchmark for all vehicles in this class. The 2007 BMW 335i Coupe debuts in Canada in September 2006, along with a 328i version. These will be followed in October by a 328xi, and BMW Canada is hopeful about subsequently bringing a 335xi. Expect a cabriolet in 2007. Pricing for the 335i will begin in the low $50,000 range, with the lesser-powered models correspondingly lower. Quiet as it is, you can still enjoy the stirring sound of the engine as you take it up and down through the gears. Its behavior is likened by the BMW executives to a V8, but because of the turbo and direct injection, it can be packaged with two cylinders less. The 0-100 km/h time is 5.6 seconds.Chassis and suspension

Traditional rear-wheel drive and a near 50:50 front-to-rear weight distribution give the new BMW 3 Series Coupe ideal qualities for optimum driving dynamics. This, in combination with the high-tech suspension, enables the driver to convert the power and performance of the engine into an exhilarating driving experience. Boasting a double-pivot front suspension with spring struts made almost entirely of aluminum in combination with a five-link suspension at the rear, the new BMW 3 Series Coupe has the most advanced and sophisticated suspension in its class.

Reinforcement and support elements on the under floor of the car serve to optimize the stiffness of the chassis which enables the suspension to work with the highest possible degree of precision. Interacting with the low centre of gravity and the specific set-up of the shock absorbers, the chassis and suspension work in perfect balance.

BMW's rack-and-pinion steering has been widely praised for its precision and feedback and the steering in the new 3 Series Coupe is no exception. For the ultimate balance between agility at lower speeds and stability at higher speeds, BMW's innovative Active Steering will be available. By adjusting the steering ratio, steering angle and power assistance to the speed of the car, Active Steering enables the driver to maneuver the 3 Series Coupe with minimum effort when parking and keep the car precisely on track at higher speeds.

The high-performance brake system requires 17-inch wheels to match the larger diameter of the brake discs which ensure outstanding stopping power and deceleration. Brake performance is further enhanced by BMW's latest Dynamic Stability Control. Introduced on the 3 Series Sedan, BMW's latest DSC incorporates several new functions. For example, DSC works to counteract the slightest brake fading effect even at extremely high brake temperatures by increasing brake pressure accordingly. This ensures maximum brake power even under the toughest conditions, without requiring the driver to exert any higher pressure.

Brake Standby positions the brakes closer to the discs after sudden lift off of the accelerator pedal to further reduce stopping distances in an emergency. Dry Braking, in turn, optimizes brake performance in the wet by using the brake pads to periodically dry the brake discs. Dynamic Brake Control automatically maximizes brake pressure whenever required in an emergency stop. Start-Off Assistant briefly holds the car when setting off on an uphill grade.

In a 3 Series Coupe equipped with Active Steering, DSC helps keep the car stable and under control when applying the brakes on surfaces varying in their frictional coefficient. DSC corrects the steering quickly and precisely for optimum control.

Dynamic Traction Control is another feature of DSC. Activation of DTC raises the threshold for intervention by the brakes, enabling the driver of a BMW 3 Series Coupe to set off smoothly on low friction surfaces such as snow. A benefit of DTC for the enthusiast is that it allows slight, easily controllable slip on the drive wheels even on a dry surface.

Of course, as in all BMWs, the driver also has the option to completely deactivate DSC in the new 3 Series Coupe.

BMW's intelligent xDrive all-wheel-drive system will be available as an alternative to rear-wheel drive for those who need an extra measure of traction with BMW responsiveness. Acknowledged as the most sophisticated and responsive of all-wheel drive systems, BMW xDrive allows the new 3 Series Coupe driver to enjoy the ultimate driving experience in all types of weather and driving. xDrive not only distributes power to each of the four wheels as road conditions require, it partners with DSC to play an active role in helping to stabilize the vehicle at the onset of oversteer or understeer. It will be available this fall in the 328xi Coupe.

The new BMW 3 Series Coupe comes standard with runflat tires for both models. Featuring the most advanced failsafe running qualities, these tires allow the driver to continue for up to 150 miles even under complete loss of pressure. The standard Tire Pressure Monitor gives plenty of warning and alerts the driver when the pressure of any tire falls 30 percent below the ideal level.Ultra-modern body structure

The new BMW 3 Series Coupe is light, strong and stable at once. Its structure is tailored to improve agility, safety and comfort while also contributing to overall vehicle efficiency.

Low vehicle weight and a high standard of tensional body stiffness is also crucial to the car's agility. In the event of a collision, the use of high-strength steel in critical areas, together with the exactly defined deformation zones, ensures effective absorption and, respectively, transfer of forces acting on the body of the car.

Reinforced B-pillars are a particularly impressive example of the high standard of development and excellence in design that the new BMW 3 Series Coupe has achieved, with a tubular structure throughout the B-pillars featured for the first time for added strength. This tubular reinforcement is made of ultra-strong steel in a warm-molding process and is heat-treated for top quality while still in the mold. The reinforcement tube is variably contoured in its cross-section, exactly matching the space available. Together with the crash box tailored to the loads, which act on the body, this ensures maximum safety.

The choice of materials and the arrangement of components at other points on the body also serve to optimize crash safety. The various properties of different types of steel and other materials are used to best effect. The space available for deformation on the new BMW 3 Series Coupe is used to minimize even the slightest impairment of the passenger cell. In a head-on collision, for example, dynamic deformation areas at the front keep impact energy away from the bulkhead and, accordingly, from the car's footwalls. In the event of a side-impact collision, the specially designed floor assembly ensures controlled transfer of forces acting on the car to the opposite side of the body.

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