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Car reviews - BMW - 3 Series - Coupe range

Overview

BMW's tauter, lighter, sexier 3 Series Coupe has landed, led by the twin-turbo 335i

BMW logo22 Sep 2006

By LUC BRITTEN

BMW’S 3 Series Coupe has always offered a harder edge and more performance for less money than its most direct rivals in the Mercedes-Benz CLK coupe range. Based on the latest E90 sedan, the new E92 version is considerably stiffer but virtually the same weight, and steers and handles even more sharply than before. But it’s the introduction of BMW’s brand-new twin-turbo six that’s the headline act in the new 335i flagship, at least until the next-generation M3 arrives with a V8 for the first time. The 335’s cracking new 3.0-litre twin-turbo six leapfrogs the heavier, auto-only CLK350’s 3.5-litre V6 for both power and torque by a significant margin, although a near-$15,000 price hike over the 330Ci it replaces positions the new 3 Series Coupe flagship within $10,000 of the quickest non-V8 CLK. Thankfully for the CLK, ride quality and the Mercedes-Benz badge still rate highly in the priorities for many premium coupe buyers.
Model release date: 1 October 2006 to 1 August 2010

Previous model

E46 3 Series Coupe

Released: June 1999
Ended: September 2006
Family Tree: 3 Series

BMW’s previous-generation E46 3 Series coupe was launched in Australia in June 1999, when the 125kW/245Nm 323Ci coupe effectively replaced the E36 318is and 328i coupe. Discontinued in June 2000, the E36 M3 was replaced in May 2001 by the E46 M3, which continues on sale until the E92 M3 arrives. The 125kW/210Nm 2.2-litre six-cylinder 320Ci and 320Ci Sport coupe joined the 323Ci on sale in October 2000 – the same time as the 141kW/245Nm 2.5-litre 325Ci, and SMG version of which was added to the five-speed manual and auto variants from February 2004. Similarly, the 170kW/300Nm 3.0-litre 330Ci launched in September 2000 was joined by SMG and Sport versions in February 2004 and June 2004 respectively.

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