The second model variant of the new BMW 3 Series range – the Touring – will go on sale in the UK on 17 September, 2005.
The new 3 Series Touring offers greater practicality, improved performance, superb handling and a poised ride. It is also more comfortable, roomier and is even more parsimonious at the pumps than the outgoing model.
Internally and externally the new 3 Series Touring is larger than its predecessor. Measuring 4,520mm in length (+42mm), 1,817mm in width (+78mm), 1,418mm in height (+9mm) and with an extended wheelbase of 2,760mm (+35mm), both front and rear occupants enjoy increased space and comfort. The practicality of the Touring model is also improved with the new model offering 460 litres with the rear seats in place and 1385 litres with the 60:40 split seats folded. This represents a 25 and 40-litre increase over its predecessor respectively.
Numerous practical features in the boot ensure that any load can be transported with ease and in total safety. Like its predecessor, the new Touring features a split opening tailgate so that small items can be loaded easily through the window. When either the rear window or the complete tailgate are opened, the luggage compartment cover automatically moves upwards to offer easy access to the contents, while a useful under-floor storage box ensures that items can be transported safely and securely. In addition, a watertight folding box beneath the boot floor provides storage for dirty items, such as muddy boots, without damaging other contents or the carpeting.
Two engine variants will be available at launch, the two-litre diesel 320d Touring and the new magnesium-alloy engined six-cylinder 325i Touring, with 320i, 330i and 330d engine variants becoming available later in autumn 2005.
The new BMW 325i and 330i Touring models benefit from the new magnesium-alloy engine first introduced on the 630i Coupe and Convertible and recently seen in the 330i Saloon variant. Using lightweight materials in the construction of the crankcase, crankshaft bearings and cylinder head cover makes it the lightest volume production six-cylinder engine in the world. All engine variants are mated to a six-speed manual gearbox as standard or a six-speed automatic as an option.
All six-cylinder Touring models also feature BMW’s DSC+ traction control system as standard. Differentiated from the usual DSC system (standard on four-cylinder cars), DSC+ offers additional features to ensure the brakes are primed for faster emergency stops, they are ‘wiped’ dry in wet conditions and are programmed to stop a manual car rolling backwards during a hill-start.
The new 3 Series Touring also benefits from the same chassis and suspension components as the Saloon variant. The double-joint aluminium front axle offers a fine balance between driving dynamics and occupant comfort while the five-link rear axle ensures precise wheel guidance and ride comfort in all circumstances. Like its Saloon counterpart, the new Touring model benefits from near perfect 50:50 weight distribution, rear-wheel drive and a long wheelbase with short overhangs in order to offer the highest levels of agility and safety in its class.
Although the new Touring model was developed completely separately from its Saloon counterpart, it is identical from the nose to the A-pillar. From here, the roofline tapers gently to the boot lid lip spoiler without having any detrimental effect on rear seat headroom. In turn, the distinctive shoulder line moves upwards slightly to the rear, reducing the size of the glasshouse and benefiting aerodynamic efficiency.
The additional space in the Touring provides an ideal solution for families, with the car offering two ISOFIX child seat fixings in the rear and, as an option, one set on the front passenger seat. Rear seat passengers can also benefit from separate rear seat air conditioning. All occupants can appreciate a feeling of increased spaciousness offered by the optional Panorama sunroof. The Panorama sunroof measures 800mm by 745mm to give all passengers up to 60 per cent more light than a conventional sunroof.