PressClub Canada · Article.
New BMW Highlights in the year 2001
Fri Jun 30 12:00:00 CEST 2000 Press Release
Three new six-cylinders, 5 Series facelift, optional all-wheel drive also on the 325i. Munich. In autumn 2000 BMW will be introducing the latest generation of its straight-six petrol engines now displacing 2.2, 2.5, and 3.0 litres and making their debut simultaneously in three model series.
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Three new six-cylinders, 5 Series facelift, optional all-wheel drive also on
Munich. In autumn 2000 BMW will be introducing the latest generation of its
straight-six petrol engines now displacing 2.2, 2.5, and 3.0 litres and making
their debut simultaneously in three model series: New models in the 5, 3 and Z3
Series entering the market with the larger and even more powerful new engine
set a new standard in terms of performance, fuel economy, and drive comfort.
The 5 Series is characterised additionally by a discreet facelift, rear Head
Protection System for the rear-seat passengers and PDC Park Distance Control
now also at the front. Optional all-wheel drive is also available on the 325i,
DSC Dynamic Stability Control on the 3 Series and Z3 is being enhanced by DBC
(Dynamic Brake Control) and the ADB (Automatic Differential Brake). The Z3 is
now available with five-speed Steptronic transmission as an option, replacing
the former four-speed automatic transmission.
The new six-cylinder petrol engines are based on or, respectively, related to
the 3.0-litre power unit introduced just a few weeks ago in the 330 Ci and Z3.
The three engines come with the following specifications:
- 2.2 litres: 168 bhp/125 kW 210 Nm (155 lb-ft) at 3,500 rpm
- 2.5 litres: 184 bhp/141 kW 237 Nm (175 lb-ft) at 3,500 rpm
- 3.0 litres: 225 bhp/170 kW 290 Nm (214 lb-ft) at 3,500 rpm
and feature in the following models:
- 525i and 530i (sedan)
- 320i, 325i and 330i (sedan, coupé and cabriolet)
- Z3 3.0i roadster
The significant increase in output and torque of 19 bhp on the 2.5-litre, and
32 bhp and, respectively, 20 Nm on the 3.0 litre results primarily from further
streamlining of the intake and exhaust systems and, on the 530i, from the
increase in engine capacity by 200 cc. The torque curve is much "beefier" on
all models, with at least 85 per cent of maximum torque consistently available
between 1,500 and 6,000 rpm. Engine flexibility has been improved considerably
on all variants also from low engine speeds, performance and free-revving
response at high speeds benefitting from the increase in maximum engine speed
by 200 rpm (2.2-litre) and, respectively, 500 rpm (2.5-litre) or 600 rpm
(3.0-litre). Thanks to optimisation of the drivetrain, this increase in
performance versus the former models does not mean an increase in fuel
consumption - on the automatic transmission models it even means a reduction in
fuel consumption by up to 0.5 ltr/100 km (European testing). Engine response,
finally, has been improved yet
again through the introduction of an electronic gas pedal (drive-by-wire) as
well as optimised adaptive transmission management, ensuring even greater
spontaneity and motoring comfort.
Over and above these improvements, BMW's engineers have focused in particular
on the sound of the engine geared in all cases to the character of the
Greater presence: striking details on the 5 Series
The most striking visual features of the new 5 Series are the new headlights
and lamps as well as the modified kidney grille. Each of the headlights in
brilliant look is surrounded by a light conductor ring serving to provide the
parking light function and accentuating the characteristic look of BMW's dual
headlights. Round direction indicators behind the cover glass stand out
directly next to the headlights. The foglamps are also round and come in a
clear-glass look,replacing the former rectangular foglamps. All new 5 Series
vehicles come with these standard foglights.
Greater clarity: brilliant look, light-emitting diodes, and light conductors
The rear lights also in brilliant look come with newly developed light
conductor technology on the tail light units. Four red light-emitting diodes on
each side feed their illuminating effect to four horizontally arranged light
rods, ensuring a consistent spread of light throughout the entire tail light
area and at the same time reducing the dazzle effect. A significant safety
advantage is the much longer service life of these light-emitting diodes
compared with conventional bulbs as well as the redundancy ensured should one
of the light diodes fail to operate.
Greater style: extended range of chrome and paintwork
Like on the M5, the BMW kidney grilles now come with even wider chrome
surrounds, plus additional chrome-plating of the vertical slats in the kidney
grille on the 8-cylinder models. The front air dam has also been redesigned
with its round foglamps. All rubbing strips around the car are now finished in
body colour, with discreet chrome trim on the 8-cylinder models. The 540i comes
with additional high-gloss satin chrome paintwork on the mirror triangles,
B-pillars, and window guide rails. On the touring, the loading sill cover above
the rear bumper is now also in body colour. New aluminium wheels fitted as
standard on all models round off this picture of superb refinement.
Greater safety: C-pillar airbag
Starting in September, purchasers ordering a 5 Series sedan - and,
incidentally, an X5 - will receive their car also with C-pillar airbags
whenever they order side bags at the rear. This means that the total number of
airbag systems now available in the 5 Series is 10. Introducing the Head
Protection System (HPS) as standard for the driver and front passenger - in
addition to the frontal and side airbags - the BMW 5 Series already set a new
standard of passive safety in the past. Now this exemplary level of passive
safety is further enhanced by the two airbags efficiently protecting the
rear-seat passengers from head injury also in a collision from the side.
Reflecting the increase in performance, finally, the 530i now features 16-inch
brakes on all four wheels.
Greater comfort: equipment and trim enhanced to perfection
PDC ultrasound parking assistance now offered on the 5 Series with distance
sensors not only in the rear, but also in the front bumper, ensures extra
comfort and excludes virtually any damage when parking. The active seat
featuring a seat squab moving hydraulically in periodical intervals to prevent
back pain and tension, is now also available for the driver and front passenger
with electrical seat adjustment and, for the driver, even with manual seat
adjustment, without requiring the purchaser to order comfort seats in the
process. On the 5 Series touring the luggage compartment partition net is a
standard feature, and the new solar sensor for automatic air conditioning
controlling both the interior temperature and air throughput as a function of
sunshine and thermal radiation allows the driver and his passengers to choose
an even more comfortable climate tailored to their particular preferences.
The new 6.5-inch screen for the navigation system and on-board computer now
comes in an even clearer 16:9 aspect ratio, as on the 7 Series. New screen
technology, in turn, helps to keep contrasts on the screen at a desirable high
level even under direct light from outside, enabling the driver and his
passengers to read information quickly and safely under all conditions.
New: BMW all-wheel drive on the 325i and 330i
'The introduction of the new six-cylinder engines is being accompanied by the
introduction of optional all-wheel drive system on four models in the 3 Series,
the model designations 325xi and 330xi standing out clearly on the rear lids.
This all-wheel drive system on the BMW 3 Series comes with the technology
already used successfully on the BMW X5: Under normal driving conditions, this
permanent all-wheel drive conveys 62 per cent of the engine power to the rear
and 38 per cent to the front wheels, thus minimising drive effects on the
steering and retaining the neutral driving behaviour so typical of BMW. From
the transmission engine power goes through the power divider with its
integrated central differential and from there through the usual drive shaft to
the rear wheels. The flow of power to the front wheels is provided by a
propeller shaft running parallel to the engine from the power divider to the
front, as well as a front axle differential and the wheel drive shafts. The
body of these all-wheel-drive
models is 17 millimetres higher than on the "standard" models in the interest
of greater ground clearance on rough tracks through forests and fields without
damaging the underfloor.
ADB-X replacing all limited-slip differentials on the BMW all-wheel-drive system
Contrary to conventional systems in the market, BMW all-wheel-drive does not
incorporate any mechanical locks but rather uses DSC Dynamic Stability Control
featured as standard and supplemented in this case by yet another function: the
ADB-X automatic differential lock. As soon as ADB-X recognises that a wheel is
about to spin, it applies the brakes to slow down the wheel, the power and
torque of the engine thus being re-directed to the wheels which still have
traction. Clearly, this allows the wheel spinning in such a situation to regain
its grip on the road. ADB-X thus has the effect of a conventional differential
lock, without the usual disadvantages such as friction losses, extra weight and
extra space. A further point is that ADB-X remains functional even when the
driver switches off DSC.
New in the 3 Series and the Z3: DSC with ADB and DBC
All BMW 3 Series and Z3 models featuring DSC Dynamic Stability Control will
also come with an integrated DBC and ADB function as of September 2000. In its
operation and effects, the automatic differential lock acting on the rear
wheels offers basically the same features as ADB-X on the all-wheel-drive
models. But since in certain situations such as driving in deep snow or on
loose ground, or when "rocking" the car out of deep soil or sand, intervention
of the engine preventing the wheels from spinning may weaken the drive forces
required, the driver is able in this case to deactivate the stabilising DSC
function by briefly pressing the DSC button, switching over entirely to the ADB
traction function. With road speed increasing, anti-spin control through engine
management then helps to keep the car stable and under control. The driver is
informed of this driving condition by the DSC telltale, and also has the
option, as in the past, to deactive the systems entirely by pressing the DSC
button for a longer perio
d. He is then informed that the systems are not working by the DSC and DBC
telltales coming on at the same time.
DBC Dynamic Brake Control accelerates and reinforces the build-up of brake
pressure when applying the brakes all-out, thus keeping stopping distances to a
minimum even if the driver fails to press down the brake pedal with all his
strength. Unlike other systems in the market, DBC uses a hydraulic brake
pressure servo instead of a vacuum system. The big advantage of this hydraulic
unit, which is part of the DSC system, is that full application of the brakes
is much faster and better to control.
Further refinement: aluminium wheels on the 3 Series, five-speed Steptronic on
Effective immeidately, the 320i sedan comes standard with 15-inch wheels, and
the 325i sedan comes standard with 16-inch aluminium wheels - both with an
ellipsoid design. Starting in autumn, the 325i coupé and cabriolet will feature
16-inch aluminium wheels in V-spoke design, thus standing out clearly from the
respective 320i models.
The Z3 3.0i now comes for the first time with five-speed automatic transmission
(5HP19) featuring Steptronic for supreme performance, comfort, and driving
More power, same fuel economy: the new six-cylinders
The new six-cylinders (M54) are a consistent improvement of the outstanding M52
base engine featuring the same crankcase as before. With engine bore remaining
unchanged, stroke has been increased on the 2.2 and 3.0-litre versions. Here
are the most important facts and figures:
Stroke x bore
72,0 x 80,0
75,0 x 84,0
89,6 x 84,0
Double-VANOS with infinitely variable control, four-valve technology, adaptive
knock control, and individual coils are the high-tech heritage carried over
from the existing six-cylinder engines. The new features, in turn, are as
VANOS camshaft with longer opening times
The camshafts on the 2.2- and 2.5-litre engines are the same as before. The
opening angle on the intake camshaft of the 3.0-litre engine has been extended
from 228° to 240°, valve lift is up by 0.9 mm to provide an even better
cylinder charge at high speeds. The injection valves with their double-cone jet
angled from the valve axis have been adjusted to the extra fuel required under
New intake system minimises flow losses
The intake and exhaust system as well as all other air-flow components on the
3.0-litre power unit have been totally redesigned in the interest of minimum
flow losses and a maximum cylinder charge provided by the best possible
resonance effect. While this may not sound very spectacular, these improvements
account for no less than 57 per cent (equal to 16 kW or 22 bhp) of the extra
power. With the resonance pipes remaining unchanged on all engines, detailed
improvements have been introduced on the pipe inlets and the collector
reservoirs in order to minimise flow losses. Special turbulence ducts on each
cylinder refine the resonance intake system to an even higher standard by
increasing the fuel/air mixture flow speed at low engine speeds and loads. This
provides an even better fuel/air mixture, making it possible to retard the
ignition angle and reduce both emissions and fuel consumption once again.
Combined with the potentials of infinitely variable double-VANOS, the entire
system therefore offers far more o
ptions in optimising the fuel/air supply process than with a conventional unit.
ULEV homologation thanks to the reduction in emissions and a new catalytic
With the stroke: bore ratio being changed on the new engine the surface: volume
ratio is smaller than before, making the combustion chambers more compact. A
further modification is the lower topland, again helping to reduce HC emissions
and optimise the combustion process.
The exhaust gas catalysts close to the engine are basically the same as before,
cell density on the metal substrates being increased for full compliance with
the ULEV emission standards, together with a reduction in wall thickness. This
modification of the substrates provides a larger geometric surface and limits
the thermal capacity, providing an even better response and conversion rate.
Fully electronic throttle butterfly for an even more spontaneous response
To give the driver even more refined control through the gas pedal in
stop-and-go traffic and to ensure an immediate response of the car whenever the
driver requires full power, the throttle butterfly formerly controlled
electromechanically has now been replaced by an all-electronic version. The
control principle as such is already well-known from the BMW 12-cylinder,
dispensing with any mechanical connection between the gas pedal and throttle
The system "sees" which gear is currently in mesh and is therefore able to
activate an individually programmed throttle butterfly control curve with the
benefits just described for each individual gear.
A further advantage of the electronic throttle butterfly is that the
transition, say, from coasting to part load and vice versa is now even smoother
and more harmonious. This enhancement of driving comfort is also noticeable
when switching to cruise control now also integrated in the electronic throttle
butterfly. And a positive side-effect, finally, is the considerable reduction
of forces required to operate the gas pedal thanks to the absence of the usual
power transmission components.
With the range of functions being extended through the addition of further
diagnosis routines, an ambient pressure sensor optimising various engine
functions, and the electronic throttle butterfly, the engine control cycle
frequency had to be increased from 16 to 24 MHz. The number of control maps and
lines within the engine management system, in turn, has increased to no less
Fuel consumption unchanged despite the increase in power and performance
Ongoing refinement of the engine control functions has enabled BMW's engineers
to reach their fuel economy targets: Despite the increase in engine capacity,
power and torque, the engineers have introduced an engine control map keeping
fuel economy at the same low level as before. On the automatic transmission
models engine idling speed has even been reduced, considerably lowering the
pick-up momentum of the torque converter when idling and improving the idle
speed fuel economy of the engine. On the manual gearbox models, in turn, idle
speed remains the same in the interest of vibration control and a good
Further reduction of the cost of maintenance
This process of optimising BMW's six-cylinder power units shows again how much
attention the Company's engineers give to all aspects of economy in the design
and configuration of the engines:
- Like the ancillaries drive system with a ribbed V-belt, the camshaft drive
system incorporating a chain is maintenance-free and designed for the total
running life of the engine.
- Under normal running conditions, the air filter and long-life spark plugs
only have to be changed after about 100,000 kilometres.
- The average oil change interval is approximately 23,000 kilometres, with up
to 30,000 kilometres under favourable driving conditions.
- The engine detects all fuel qualities between 87 and 98 octane and does not
suffer any damage even when running consistently on 87-octane fuel. Like on all
of BMW's petrol engines, anti-knock control automatically adjusts the engine's
running operating parameters to the quality of the fuel used.
Now developed to an even higher standard, the Service Interval Indicator, a BMW
invention in the first place, informs the driver additionally on
- the kilometres remaining until the next oil change
- the month and year of the car's next service
- the ideal time for service and when that point in time has been passed.
No compromises: six cylinders in-line are the best solution
BMW's pledge to the straight-six power unit is no coincidence:
This arrangement of the cylinders in-line offers more advantages than many wish
to acknowledge. And considering all the features particularly important today -
weight, size, fuel economy, emission management - BMW's six-cylinders are
unparalleled. Measuring exactly 715 millimetres or 28.15? in length, finally,
BMW's straight-six power units are among the most compact of their kind.
Added to this there is the basic advantage that six cylinders in-line not only
avoid free mass forces in full, but also the usual mass momenta, two factors
which normally impair the running smoothness of an engine. The result is
turbine-like refinement throughout the entire speed range.
BMW's straight-six power units are also at the cutting edge of technology in
minimising friction losses - particularly in comparison with a V6, where the
advantage of fewer crankshaft bearings is more than set off by the increase in
bearing diameter and the duplication of all control and drive components.
Another comparison again proves the superiority of the straight-six over a
V-engine: This is the simple fact that given the same technology and production
volume, the V6 is between 10 and 20 per cent more elaborate and, accordingly,
more costly - yet another reason why BMW's six-cylinder power units offer a
clear lead in technology.
Last but of course not least, the straight-six power unit is far superior to a
V-engine in developing power and torque, two features obviously very important
to the BMW customer. Particularly the torque curve from low engine speeds
impressively underlines the great potential of the straight-six engine.