(from BMW Press Release) The
all-new BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon will make its public debut at the
Frankfurt Motor Show in September 2005. With an exceptional harmony of
elegance and athleticism, the Sports Wagon offers flexibility and
practicality as well. Available in the US beginning in October 2005, the
newest BMW Sports Wagon will continue the highly successful tradition of
combining more versatile cargo space with the performance and handling
of a sports sedan.
This latest generation sports wagon will initially be available in the
U.S. as a 325xi model. Its xDrive all-wheel drive system endows it with
remarkable traction and agility. The all-new 3 Series Sports Wagon
family will expand in 2006 with the introduction of a rear wheel drive
Efficient and sporting
Like the all-new 325i Sedan, the Sports
Wagon will be powered by BMW's new, advanced N52 3.0 liter 6-cylinder
engine. This dynamic powerplant retains the unique smoothness and sound
character of BMW's inline 6-cylinder format while offering more power,
greater torque, even more refined delivery of power, and new technology.
This includes magnesium/aluminum composite engine construction, and
BMW's patented Valvetronic variable valve lift system, which replaces
the conventional throttle for more efficient engine breathing and
improved responsiveness. The 325i Sports Wagon is equipped with a new,
standard six-speed manual gearbox ; an optional six-speed STEPTRONIC
automatic transmission is available.
For the first time, the BMW 3 Series
Sports Wagon has been developed as an entirely different and unique car
compared to the Sedan. The new Sports Wagon is largely identical to the
Sedan from the front all the way to the A-pillar; the rear seat area and
luggage compartment blend harmoniously with the overall style of the
car's sporting, almost coupe-like silhouette. One distinctive design
element is the side window area. The roofline tapers down softly and
smoothly to the inclined tailgate, while the shoulder line moves up
slightly, the window areas appear small and compact, as in a coupe.
More room than its
While the new 325xi Sports Wagon
maintains the BMW heritage in both styling and performance - powerful,
sporting, compact - it is equally impressive in its space and roominess.
Length (+1.65"), width (+3.07"), height (+0.35"), and wheelbase (+1.38")
are all increased compared to the previous generation Sports Wagon,
providing front and rear occupants with additional space and comfort on
the road. The split-folding rear seats and large cargo area offer a high
degree of flexibility and utility.
for even greater practical value
The 325xi Sports Wagon is provided with a
number of innovative features that not only enhance everyday driving
qualities, but the practical benefits of this unique model as well. For
example, the luggage compartment cover ensures privacy and automatically
rises together with the separately opening rear window in order to
facilitate loading. Like the all-new 3 Series Sedans, the Sports Wagon
comes with run-flat tires and a Flat Tire Monitor. The lack of a spare
tire not only reduces the weight of the car but increases effective
cargo capacity, with an additional storage box beneath the floor of the
The luggage compartment floor section is available with two reversing
surfaces, with tie-down points on one side to securely fasten heavy
objects, and a plastic cover on the other side to be placed on the
interior panels and surfaces in the luggage compartment to ensure
efficient protection from dirt and scratches. A water-tight folding box
beneath the floor of the luggage compartment enables the storing of
items such as wet boots or other gear.
BMW's traditional attention to detail is evident with available
sunshades on the rear side windows which are unusal in this vehicle
category, as are the separate rear seat air vents.
Safety engineering and
features: improving on a star performer
New Head Protection System (HPS).
The first front-to-rear Head Protection System to be offered in the 3
Series employs a curtain-type system, which takes up less space in the
headliner and can remain inflated for several seconds after deployment,
especially important in case of rollover.
New seat-mounted front side-impact airbags. The 3 Series is BMW's
first to employ seat-mounted side-impact airbags, as opposed to the
door-mounted type of the predecessor and other current Series. In their
function of protecting occupants' pelvis and thorax regions in side
impacts, the seat-mounted airbags are equal to the door-mounted type,
but offer greater freedom for the interior designers to achieve their
functional and esthetic goals.
Automatic safety-belt tensioners and force limiters front and rear.
Long standard on BMW front safety belts, these features now enhance the
outboard rear belts' effectiveness as well.
New occupant-detection sensor. BMW has long employed a
sophisticated electronic control strategy for managing the deployment of
airbags and safety-belt tensioners. This approach to optimal
effectiveness of safety systems now becomes even more precise, thanks to
a new sensing mat in the front passenger seat. Called OC3, the mat is
more highly sophisticated than its predecessor; it measures the weight
and analyzes the pressure distribution of the occupant in order to
distinguish between an adult and an infant in a child safety seat. The
front passenger's airbags will be deactivated, should the driver install
a forward-facing infant safety seat.
New features for protecting the driver's feet and knees. Two measures
have been taken to reduce the likelihood of injuries to the driver's
feet and legs:
- The footrest is designed to crush
under the force of the driver's left foot in certain frontal
impacts, so that the full impact force is not transmitted to his or
her foot and leg.
- The Mastervac (brake master
cylinder) is mounted so that as the front end deforms, it rotates,
and with it the brake and clutch pedals. The pedals move forward,
canceling much of the force transfer to the driver's feet and legs
if they are on the pedals.
And for the first time, the 3 Series
Sports Wagon offers LATCH attachments on the front passenger's seat as
well as the two outboard rear seats for optimum safety with up to three
children in the car.
Complete with Panorama
Roof for a unique open-air experience
A wide range of creature comforts
enhances the versatility of the 3 Series Sports Wagon: the panorama
roof, for example, virtually changes this practical touring car into a
convertible. Almost two feet longer than a conventional sliding roof,
the panorama roof lets in up to 60 per cent more fresh air.
Handling and agility -
raising the standard again
The BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon is first
and foremost a BMW 3 Series, combining a comfortable ride with sports
car handling. It is a very dynamic car on the road, with that
recognizable "BMW feel". Near 50-50 weight distribution, all-wheel
drive, a long wheelbase, and short body overhangs front and rear are
simply ideal for outstanding agility and driving safety under any
The double-pivot front suspension, newly developed for the 3 Series
Sedan, offers an optimum balance of driving dynamics and ride comfort in
the Sports Wagon as well. Utilizing extensive aluminum componentry, this
innovative suspension design offers superior tracking stability and low
unsprung weight. Class-leading agility and dynamic handling, in turn,
are ensured by the five-link rear axle in lightweight steel, ensuring
precise wheel guidance as well as excellent roll comfort.
Active Steering: Unique
in this Class
The optional Active Steering system, a
BMW first, offers two significant benefits:
- Widely variable steering ratio; steering-wheel movements for parking
maneuvers, U-turns and sharp corners are greatly reduced for amazing
agility. With increasing vehicle speed, the steering becomes "slower,"
favoring stability over agility.
- Vehicle stabilization; in critical situations, Active Steering can
intervene to preserve stability. For example, if the driver applies the
brakes while driving on a surface with uneven traction (one side of the
road slick, the other grippy), Active Steering can recognize the effects
of varying traction and steer to compensate.
BMW's Dynamic Stability Control (DSC),
featured here in its latest generation, helps ensure extraordinary
safety on the road. New for 2006 is a wide array of important functions
that make driving even safer and more pleasant. They are:
- Brake Fade Compensation. Brake
fade occurs as the brakes heat up under hard use; a given degree of
deceleration requires more pressure on the brake pedal. As brake
temperature rises, Brake Fade Compensation automatically compensates
by increasing the hydraulic pressure relative to pedal force.
- Brake Stand-by. When the driver
lifts off the accelerator pedal abruptly, DSC recognizes that sharp
braking may be about to occur and applies just enough pressure in
the brake system to snug up the pads against the rotors. Thus, the
short lag time which normally results from bringing the pad to the
rotor is dramatically decreased. The reduced stopping or
deceleration distance could reduce the likelihood of an accident.
- Brake Drying. Acting on input from
the rain sensor (an element of the standard rain-sensing windshield
wipers), the pads are periodically brought up to the rotors - just
enough to eliminate any film of water between pads and rotors, but
not enough to cause a brake application.
- Comfort Stop. Especially with an
automatic transmission, unless the driver consciously eases off on
the brake pedal, a jerk can occur as the vehicle comes to a stop.
Comfort Stop automatically eases off, making for smoother stops.
- Start-off Assistant. Keeps the
vehicle from rolling backward when stopped facing uphill. The driver
can then start up without doing a ballet with the clutch, brake and
accelerator (manual transmission) or doesn't have to hold the
accelerator or brakes while stopped on a hill (automatic
With all these features, the MSRP of the
325xi Sports Wagon is $34,695. A typically equipped Sports Wagon
includes the Premium Package, an automatic transmission, leather
upholstery and metallic paint. At $39,345, a typically equipped 2006
325xi Sports Wagon is only $200 more than its 2005 counterpart and has
substantially more equipment.