Mike Stevens | Aug 6, 2010 | 6 Comments

Coming in for what will likely be its last update before the launch late next year of the 2012 model, BMW Australia has today announced release of the updated-for-2011 BMW 3 Series Coupe and Convertible.

Visuals are not the only thing to be updated: a myriad of under-the-skin changes have been applied to the 3 Series Coupe and Convertible's mechanicals to improve not only power output, but fuel efficiency and driveability.

Styling

The most obvious changes are external. BMW's signature kidney grille has been widened and now sits between subtly-reshaped headlamps. These feature new jewellery and LED-illuminated daytime running lights.

The rear lamps have the same outline as the current two-door 3 Series variants, but with a new design that deletes the white lenses of the reversing lights.

The front and rear bumpers have been redesigned, and the side skirts are recontoured. The bonnet has been altered to accommodate the new headlights and grille design but all other sheetmetal is unchanged. The wing mirrors however feature new casings.

Three new hues - one each of blue, red and white - will be added to the 3 Series palette when the facelifted models arrive later this year.

Interior

The interior of the 3 Series Coupe and Convertible is virtually identical in layout to the current models, however there are some modest differences.

Steering wheel shapes have been tweaked for the 2011 car, and models fitted with steering wheel-mounted paddles now feature a more logical left/upshift, right/downshift layout.

The shifter for automatic transmission-equipped models has also been swapped for BMW's new electronic shifter design.

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Leather upholstery is standard with Dark Burl Walnut veneer as the default trim for North-American market vehicles.

Bamboo Anthracite, Light Burl Walnut and aluminium trim can be optioned. The leather upholstery can be had in six colours if the box for upmarket Dakota Leather is ticked.

For the convertible, the leather upholstery also features a special light-reflecting coating which reduces the amount of heat absorbed by the seats when exposed to sunlight.

By cutting the heat absorption characteristics of the upholstery, cabin temperatures can be kept cooler and passenger comfort increased.

BMW's special treatment also achieves this without affecting the appearance of the leather.

Equipment

Standard features for the 320d include cruise control, climate control, power windows and heated exterior mirrors, partial electric seat-adjustment for driver and front passenger (Coupé) and fully electric seat-adjustment with memory function (Convertible).

To keep things hopping, a BMW Professional Radio system with MP3 compatible single slot CD player and USB audio interface is also features. Completing the package are Bi-Xenon headlights, front and rear fog-lights, automatic windscreen wipers, 17-inch light alloy wheels and, for the convertible, an electrically-operated three-part steel roof.

Safety equipment sees all models across the range featuring dual front, front side and full length side curtain airbags, Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), Antilock Braking System (ABS) with brake assist and Cornering Brake Control (CBC), active front head restraints, Rain Sensor and rear Park Distance Control (PDC).

The 325i and 330d gain full electric sports front seats with lumbar support (330d only) and memory, Comfort Access System, Business Navigation System, cruise control with brake function and DSC with extended functions, with the 330d also featuring front Park Distance Control and the HiFi Loudspeaker system as standard.

Mechanical

(Note: figures in parentheses are for automatic-equipped models)

At the bottom-end of both bodyshapes is the 320d, powered by BMW's 2.0 litre, four-cylinder in-line turbodiesel engine. Producing 135kW and 380Nm of torque, the 320d sprints to 100km/h in 7.5 (7.6) seconds in Coupe form, and 8.3 (8.4) seconds for the Convertible.

Fuel consumption for the 320d Coupe is listed at 4.7 l/100km (5.3), while the Convertible uses slightly more fuel at 5.1 l/100km (5.6).

Both the new BMW 320d Coupé and Convertible are now available with manual transmission and Automatic Start/Stop function giving a reduction in average fuel consumption by 0.8l/100km (0.7l/100km for the convertible).

The 325i Coupe and Convertible are both driven by the 2.5 litre, six-cylinder in-line petrol engine, producing 160kW and 250Nm of torque. The 0-100km/h run is covered in 6.7 (7.1) seconds for the Coupe, and 7.8 (8.4) seconds for the Convertible.

Fuel consumption for the 325i Coupe is listed at 8.7 l/100km (9.1), and the Convertible lists fuel use of 9.2 l/100km (9.5).

The range-toppers in the diesel line-up, the 330d Coupe and Convertible, are both powered by BMW's six-cylinder in-line turbodiesel engine, producing 180kW and 520Nm of torque - bettering the BMW M3 by a good margin. The 0-100km/h sprint is covered in 6.1 seconds for the Coupe and 6.5 seconds in Convertible form.

Fuel consumption for the 330d Coupe is listed at 6.2 l/100km, and the Convertible lists fuel use of 6.4 l/100km.

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The topshelf 335i M Sport Coupe and Convertible are both powered by BMW's new N55 3.0 litre six, which shares much of its bottom end componentry with the outgoing twin-turbo engine, but features a new head design and just one turbo.

The new turbocharged six develops 225kW thanks to the use of BMW's throttle-less Valvetronic valve actuation system, direct injection and its single twin-scroll turbocharger. Torque peaks at 407Nm - 7Nm more than its predecessor.

The 0-100km/h sprint is covered in 5.5 (5.4) seconds for the Coupe variant, and 5.8 (5.7) seconds for the Convertible, proving the capabilities of BMW's seven-speed Sports Automatic Double-Clutch Transmission.

Fuel consumption for the Coupe is listed at 8.4 l/100km (8.4) and 8.8 l/100km/h (8.8), the usual fuel-efficiency divide between manual and automatic transmissions totally absent.

Pricing

320d

  • Coupé - $65,600*
  • Convertible - $78,500*

325i

  • Coupé - $84,900*
  • Convertible - $98,700*

330d

  • Coupé - $94,700*
  • Convertible - $107,700*

335i Sport

  • Coupé - $116,700*
  • Convertible - $129,900*
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