The introduction of the new ’55’-registration plate on 1 September heralds the arrival of new model derivatives in the 1, 3, 5, 6, 7 Series and X3 ranges.

The new BMW 318d, 318i and 330d Saloons join the benchmark compact executive 320i, 325i, 330i and 320d models in the 3 Series range. The 330d also joins the BMW 3 Touring line-up. Meanwhile, the V8-powered BMW 540i and 550i are both introduced at the same time as a 367hp 5.0-litre V8 engine also debuts in the 650i Coupé and Convertible. Sport variants of the 6 Series also appear for the first time to sit between Standard and the high performance M6 in the range. A new long-wheelbase diesel-powered 7 Series and new 2.0-litre petrol and 3.0-litre diesel-powered X3 models complete the wave of new product launched by BMW.

In addition to the numerous new models, most ranges in the current line-up receive increases in specification levels while distinct M Sport variants are also launched on five of the models in the BMW range.

M Sport introduced to BMW range
September sees the introduction of M Sport models to the majority of the BMW range. Previously Sport models stood as the pinnacle of each model range, excluding the high performance M3 and M5 variants, offering a bespoke sporting suspension package with individual interior attributes. Now, while the Sport variant is still sold on some models, M Sport enters the fray offering numerous sporting features created by BMW M GmbH in Garching, Germany. All M Sport variants in the BMW range come as standard with M Aerodynamic body styling, M Sports suspension, high-gloss shadow line, M Sports steering wheel, Sports seats, M gear knob, M Sports door sill kick plates, M interior trim and anthracite headlining.

Three new engines for 3
One petrol and two diesel engines join the existing line-up of powerplants on offer in the new 3 Series Saloon range from September. Two new four-cylinder units, the 318i and 318d, feature 1,995cc capacity engines and represent the entry-level point of 3 Series petrol and diesel ownership.

The 318i is powered by the same 129hp / 180Nm engine as the 118i. The 318i posts a zero to 62mph time of 10.0 seconds and a top speed of 130mph via its standard six-speed manual gearbox. Combined fuel consumption is 38.7mpg, while the CO2 emission figure for the car is 175g/km. The on-the-road cost of the BMW 318i is £19,900.

The 318d uses the same engine as the 118d. It produces 122hp and 280Nm of torque. Again via a six-speed manual gearbox, the 318d posts a zero to 62mph time of 10.6 seconds, while top speed is 129mph and fuel consumption on the combined cycle is a frugal 50.4mpg. The CO2 emission figure for the car is 150g/km, the lowest in the entire BMW range and one that ensures the 318d will be at the top of every fleet manager’s list. Prices for the BMW 318d start at £22,115.

The final engine to be offered on the 3 Series is the eagerly anticipated 3.0-litre six-cylinder diesel recently unveiled on the revised 7 Series. The 2,993cc turbo-charged unit represents the pinnacle of diesel car ownership in the 3 Series range as its 231hp, 500Nm engine will testify. The new 330d records a zero to 62mph time of 6.7 seconds and a limited top speed of 155mph. However, high levels of performance do not compromise economy with the new 330d posting a combined fuel consumption figure of 43.5mpg and CO2 emissions figure of 174g/km.

The 330d comes with a six-speed manual gearbox as standard and is priced from £29,390, with a six-speed automatic gearbox available at extra cost. All new BMW models meet the stringent EU4 emission regulations.

News of the latest engines for the 3 Series Saloon comes as the existing 3 Series Coupé and Convertible (E46 model) ranges have been enhanced. The new 320Cd ES Coupé is offered with Sports Suspension, 16-inch alloy wheels, Storage Compartment Package*, M leather steering wheel and anthracite headlining. The 320Cd ES Coupé costs £22,995.

Buyers of a 3 Series Coupé SE can now also upgrade to Sport or the Hi-Line Package for just £500.

BMW 540i launched
Following the recent announcement of the entry-level BMW 520d for September (BMW press release 21/7/05), the award-winning BMW 5 Series range gains another new powerplant, also in September, with the launch of the V8-engined 540i. The BMW 540i uses the same 4,000cc engine already seen in the new 7 Series and is capable of propelling the 5 Series from zero to 62mph in a time of 6.2 seconds and on to a limited top speed of 155mph. The 540i’s engine delivers 306hp and 390Nm of torque, while combined fuel consumption is 25.7mpg with CO2 emissions of 264g/km.

The 540i is offered in Saloon guise only and is priced at £36,985 for the SE and £39,610 for the M Sport.

BMW 550i launched
Demand for the BMW M5 has been so strong, with the waiting list extending to two years, that many buyers seeking a high performance 5 Series could well be tempted behind the wheel of the BMW 550i, the fastest non-Motorsport 5 Series model ever.

Offered in both Saloon and Touring variants, the 4,799cc 367hp car sprints from zero to 62mph in 5.5 seconds and has an electronically limited top speed of 155mph. Maximum torque is 490Nm while combined fuel consumption is 25.4mpg and CO2 emissions 267g/km. The 550i Saloon is priced from £43,550 while the 550i Touring starts at £45,575. Both the 540i and the 550i surpass the stringent EU4 emission regulations and replace the 535i and 545i respectively.

The introduction of the two new V8 petrol engines in the 5 Series comes as the class-leading 530d also receives an upgrade to its performance, thereby increasing its performance advantages over the competition. Using the same technical update as the recently introduced 730d, including the use of an all aluminium cylinder block, the 3.0-litre engine now has an output of 231hp, 13hp higher than the previous car. Torque remains at 500Nm but this peak figure is now available from just 1,750rpm, not 2,000rpm as on the previous engine, for greater in-gear overtaking performance. The sprint from zero to 62mph is dispatched in 6.8 seconds, a further improvement on the outgoing 530d’s 7.1 seconds. The increases in engine performance have not, however, been to the detriment of fuel consumption with actual improvements on the combined cycle from 40.9mpg to 42.2mpg.

The revised 530d’s performance increase has partly been brought about by the use of a new injection unit using piezo crystals for the ultimate in diesel engine induction. The use of piezo crystals debuted on BMW 7 Series earlier this year. The crystals offer a greater degree of control over the induction process in a common-rail diesel engine than the electromagnets previously used to operate the valves. This results in greater power from less fuel and cleaner exhaust emissions. It also leads to a reduction in engine noise and motoring refinement.

Another jewel in the 5 Series’ crown is that, now, all diesel models in the range come with a Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) as standard for cleaner engine running. A DPF enables diesel-powered BMW cars to surpass the ever-tightening strict pollution-control regulations by limiting the emissions of nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulates.

Additionally from September, all 5 Series models come as standard with a revised iDrive controller, Start/Stop button and a luggage release button. Optional equipment new to the 5 Series range includes High Beam Assist, the headlight function that always maintains the optimum depth of headlight illumination depending on oncoming traffic, Comfort Access, front airbag deactivation and front ISOFIX child seat attachment, and a new style of 18-inch alloy wheel. Three new colours, Monaco Blue, Barbera Red and Deep Green, along with a new design of cloth upholstery also debut on the options list.

BMW 650i Coupé and Convertible debut
Preceding the arrival of the awesome 10-cylinder M6, a revised V8 version
of the 6 Series enters the fray in September. The BMW 650i is powered by the same 4,799cc engine as that in the BMW 550i. However, as a result of advanced lightweight technology in the 6 Series there are improvements in performance between the two models. The BMW 650i posts a zero to 62mph time of 5.4 seconds (5.7 seconds for the Convertible), maximum speed is still limited to 155mph while fuel consumption is 23.7mpg (21.9mpg) on the combined cycle.

The BMW 650i replaces the BMW 645Ci in the range with prices for the new car starting from £52,115. The introduction of a 367hp 6 Series occurs at the same time as a Sport model is offered across the Coupé and Convertible ranges. While retaining exactly the same striking lines of the existing 6 Series, Sport versions feature a unique multi-spoke 19-inch alloy wheel, M leather Sports steering wheel, Sports seats, anthracite headlining, high gloss shadow line exterior trim and dark birch wood interior trim. Prices for the 6 Series Sport range starts at £48,485 for the BMW 630i Sport Coupé rising to £59,365 for the BMW 650i Sport Convertible.

Like the 5 Series, all 6 Series models will now come as standard with a revised iDrive controller and Start/Stop button. Optional equipment new to the 6 Series range includes High Beam Assist, the headlight function that always maintains the optimum depth of headlight illumination depending on oncoming traffic and front airbag deactivation. Two new colours are also offered, Monaco Blue and Barbera Red.

Prices announced for BMW 730Ld
When it goes on sale in September, the new 730Ld is set to become the transport of choice for the discerning buyer looking for extended legroom combined with lower running costs. It also heralds the first time BMW has offered a long-wheelbase diesel-powered 7 Series in the UK.

The 231hp 730Ld is offered in Standard and SE variants and costs £50,750 and £52,900 respectively. Performance figures closely mirror those of the standard wheelbase car, accelerating from zero to 62mph in 7.9 seconds while still delivering 34.4mpg on the combined cycle.

New entry-level BMW X3 and range-topping diesel
Two new models will be joining the successful X3 range. A new entry-level petrol-powered X3 2.0i goes on sale in September while the same 3.0-litre diesel engine that has formed the bedrock of the X5’s sales success also comes to the X3.

Priced from £25,010, the X3 2.0i is available in Standard, SE, Sport and M Sport variants, the latter also marking the introduction of a new M aerodynamic styled model for the entire X3 range. The 1,995cc engine is mated to a six-speed manual gearbox as standard with power output rated at 150hp and torque at 200Nm. Zero to 62mph is accomplished in 11.5 seconds, maximum speed is 123mph, while fuel consumption on the combined cycle is 30.4mpg. CO2 emissions are 223g/km.

The X3 range now has a new top-flight model with the arrival of the X3 3.0-litre diesel. Available in SE, Sport and M Sport variants, prices start from £31,910. The new 3.0d model uses a 218hp turbo-diesel engine under the bonnet offering 500Nm of torque from just 1,750rpm. On-road performance is rapid with the zero to 62mph sprint covered in 7.4 seconds and a top speed of 130mph (136mph for Sport and M Sport models). Combined fuel consumption is 35.8mpg and the CO2 emission figure is 210g/km.

All diesel-powered models in the BMW range, unlike any other competitor feature as standard a Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF) for improved engine emission quality and a more aesthetic style courtesy of exhausts that point straight back. On the BMW X3 2.0d and 3.0d variants the DPF is standard.

BMW 1 Series enhanced
Following the announcement of the high performance 265hp 130i to the range (BMW press release 21/7/05), all 1 Series variants now come with automatic drive-away door locking function for increased security and peace of mind. Additionally, technology from larger BMW models has now cascaded to the 1 Series. The second-generation of Active Steering, featuring an enhanced variable steering ratio for greater manoeuvrability at lower speeds while still delivering increased levels of stability at higher speeds, is offered for the first time on 130i models only. Meanwhile, Adaptive Headlights that turn to illuminate the direction the car is steering rather than the direction it is pointing, are also available.

Three new interior upholstery cloths are also now available in combination with new Brushed Aluminium or Light Burr Walnut trims. A new style of multi-spoke 18-inch alloy wheel completes the list of possible enhancements. As with all the new generation of BMWs, the 1 Series is now available with iPod connectivity.

BMW price increase
Prices for all new BMW cars sold from 1 September, 2005, will increase by an average of 1 per cent.