PressClub Global · Article.
BMW 3 Series - Milestones (2): Driving pleasure through the course of time - from the first McPherson front suspension to Active Steering and DSC: milestones in BMW 3 Series chassis development.
16.06.2008 Press Release
With the most modern suspension in its segment, the fifth model generation of the BMW 3 Series also sets standards in driving pleasure and agile handling. The unique combination of a double-joint tension-rod suspension at the front and a five-link rear axle, a consistent lightweight construction incorporating numerous aluminium components, highly efficient and likewise weight-optimised brakes as well as an energy-saving electro-mechanical steering system are all proof of the BMW 3 Series' technological lead.
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Munich. With the most modern suspension in its segment, the fifth model
generation of the BMW 3 Series also sets standards in driving pleasure and
agile handling. The unique combination of a double-joint tension-rod suspension
at the front and a five-link rear axle, a consistent lightweight construction
incorporating numerous aluminium components, highly efficient and likewise
weight-optimised brakes as well as an energy-saving electro-mechanical steering
system are all proof of the BMW 3 Series' technological lead.
Together with power transmission to the rear wheels and even axle load
distribution, the advanced suspension technology forms the basis for the BMW 3
Series' fascinating handling characteristics. This concept has a long
tradition. As early as 1975, the first BMW 3 Series impressed with sporty road
performance that enabled the driver to maintain complete control of the saloon
even when driving it to its physical limits. The claim of that time to more
driving fun in the medium class segment and to combine it with exemplary
quality and a high degree of safety still characterises a BMW 3 Series to this
Driving fun in the medium class segment: the BMW 3 Series remains the benchmark
In this way, a new vehicle category was created 33 years ago. In the meantime,
invoking sporting characteristics seems to be the order of the day amongst
almost all rivals within the BMW 3 Series' highly competitive segment. The
continuing success of the BMW 3 Series provides the incentive to do so -
nevertheless, the original remains unrivalled. Only the BMW 3 Series combines
all prerequisites for maximum driving pleasure - from the standard drivetrain,
an even weight balance between front and rear axle to a consistently superior
In addition to the unique conceptual harmony, the innovative power of BMW
engineers has contributed towards maintaining and further extending the
technological lead. With each generation of the BMW 3 Series, further
innovations in wheel suspension, spring technology, damping, steering and
braking systems were introduced. The BMW 3 Series regularly profited from
innovations originally developed for vehicles positioned in higher segments.
Consequently, it also became a forerunner of advancement in the field of
suspension technology. In the course of its history, the BMW 3 Series has
consistently and most convincingly reinterpreted the principle of driving
pleasure, that was already applicable 33 years ago, right up to the latest
generation which is more than just the result of outstanding engineering
skills. Consistent lightweight construction enhances agility through a
reduction of unsprung masses, unmatched precision steering and the versatile,
perfectly balanced stability control systems convey a maximum degree of
superiority even in particularly demanding driving situations. In the exclusive
circle of premium vehicles within its class, the BMW 3 Series satisfies more
than ever before the expectations of drivers for whom the active driving
experience is the crucial factor when making a purchase decision.
Milestones in BMW 3 Series chassis development:
1975: World premiere of the BMW 3 Series with independent wheel suspension,
McPherson front axle and elastically mounted rack-and pinion-steering.
1977: Six-cylinder versions with disc brakes all round, optional hydraulically
assisted power steering.
1982: Presentation of the second BMW 3 Series generation featuring a
semi-trailing arm rear suspension and individual dampers and springs.
Introduction of floating calliper disc brakes, optional ABS.
1985: Launching of six-cylinder model BMW 325i and the all-wheel drive version
BMW 325iX, both with ABS as standard.
1987: First BMW M3 to feature electronically adjustable dampers.
1990: Premiere of the third BMW 3 Series generation: Single-joint spring strut
suspension with transverse stabilisers at the front, central spring strut rear
suspension, power assisted steering standard on the BMW 318i and higher models.
1992: ABS now standard on all BMW 3 Series models, Automatic Stability Control
(ASC) available as an option, second generation of BMW M3 with compound braking
1998: Launch of the fourth BMW 3 Series generation, featuring a lightweight
suspension, disc brakes all round, Cornering Brake Control (CBC) as standard,
Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) as an option for the BMW 328i.
2000: New all-wheel drive technology with DSC for Saloon and Touring models,
BMW M3 of the third generation with variable M differential lock.
2001: DSC standard on all BMW 3 Series vehicles.
2005: Presentation of the fifth BMW 3 Series generation with aluminium
lightweight suspension, double-joint tension-rod front suspension, five-link
rear axle, DSC including Dynamic Traction Control (DTC), additional fading
compensation on six-cylinder variants, dry braking, hill-start assistant, first
vehicle in its segment with optional Active Steering, runflat tyres and tyre
defect indicator as standard.
2007: Introduction of electro-mechanical steering EPS (Electric Power Steering)
including Servotronic as an integral part of the BMW EfficientDynamics