|To be introduced at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September 2005, the all-new BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon will be available in the US beginning in October 2005. The BMW Sports Wagon will continue the highly successful tradition of combining more versatile cargo space with the performance and handling of a sports sedan.
The Sports Wagon will be powered by BMW's new, advanced N52 3.0 liter 6-cylinder engine. 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 and a six-speed STEPTRONIC automatic transmission is optional.
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.
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 circumstances.
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 component, this innovative suspension design offers superior tracking stability and low unsprung weight. The five-link rear axle in lightweight steel, ensures precise wheel guidance as well as excellent roll comfort, ensures class-leading agility and dynamic handling.
Safety features include 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. 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. It has 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 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. 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
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About the author:
Jenny McLane is a 36 year old native of Iowa and has a knack for research on cars and anything and everything about it. She works full time as a Market Analyst for one of the leading car parts suppliers in the country today.
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