Six cylinders for the 3-series
14 August 2006

335i, 335d, 325d: some new number and letter combinations will be appearing on BMW’s high-selling 3-series range from September.

They refer to three new turbocharged six-cylinder engines: one petrol, two diesel.

The flagship unit is the 302bhp twin-turbo 3.0-litre petrol, as seen in the 335i coupé. Until the M3 arrives next year, this is the most potent 3: witness BMW’s 0-62mph figure of just 5.6sec.

Praised by us for its lack of lag in the coupé (read our first drive here), it will be fitted into the 3-series saloon and estate, as will two other engines not previously seen in any 3-series. Lack of lag is also the aim with these: the twin-turbo diesel unit, a version of that fitted to the storming 535d, delivers 282bhp and a mountain of torque: 427lb ft of it. That means a claimed 0-62mph time of 6.2sec for the 335d saloon. The 325d’s single turbo unit is new to the UK. BMW expects it to be the biggest selling of these three and its 194bhp and 296lb ft outputs are allied to a more sensible combined mpg figure of 44.1 (335d: 37mpg; 335i: 29mpg). Losing a turbo means the 325d saloon needs 7.5sec to reach 62mph, though the CO2 emissions of 171 g/km are rather more tax-friendly than the 335d’s 200 g/km and the 335i’s 231. Prices – for SE saloons – are set at £27,310 for the 325d, £30,940 for the 335i and £32,995 for the 335d.

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