2019 BMW 3-Series Preview @Nurburgring

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The next generation of the BMW 3 Series Limousine is just completing the crucial stages on the way to serial production maturity. There was only one possible setting when it came to driving dynamics testing and set-up runs: the legendary Nordschleife at Nürburgring. Test runs at the “Green Hell” traditionally serve as an endurance test for the drive and suspension technology of newly developed BMW models. A particularly extensive testing programme was developed for the camouflaged prototypes of the new BMW 3 Sedan. After all, the comprehensive renewal of the wheel suspension, steering, damping/suspension and brakes provided the developers with a broad range of opportunities to optimise ride comfort and dynamic performance, enabling the ultimate sports sedan for the mid-range premium segment to mature lap by lap.

The underlying concept of the four-door model shows just how much the development process for the new BMW 3 Series Sedan is geared towards enhanced sporty flair. The centre of gravity is some 10 millimetres lower than in the predecessor model, axle load distribution is balanced at a harmonious 50 : 50 and the total weight adjusted for fittings is as much as 55 kilograms less. Meanwhile the rigidity levels of the body structure and suspension attachment – so crucial to the steering set-up and ride acoustics – have been significantly enhanced. The car’s agility and steering precision benefit from much expanded track widths, while increased wheel camber levels offer additional potential for maximum transverse dynamics.

In terms of the engine portfolio, one particularly striking feature is a thoroughly revised 4-cylinder petrol engine. It is the most powerful 4-cylinder engine ever to be fitted in a BMW series production model. Yet its fuel consumption figures are still some 5 per cent below those of the predecessor engine: one contributing factor here is the further developed 8-speed Steptronic transmission. What is more, a particulate filter optimises the emissions response of the new engine, enabling it to meet the Euro 6d-TEMP exhaust standard.

Not only is the body lighter and more rigid in design than that of the predecessor model, the same is also true of the front and rear axle in the new BMW 3 Series Sedan. The result is a specific orientation of the axle kinematics and elastokinematics towards supreme yet sporty drive properties. The key feature in terms of suspension development in the new BMW 3 Series Sedan is its innovative damping system. The first ever lift-related dampers ever to be fitted in a BMW model function continuously and progressively in relation to the respective spring travel. As such, the vibrations that occur when compensating for bumps on the road and during dynamic cornering can be neutralised especially gently and precisely – the perfect basis for striking a unique balance between sporty flair and ride comfort, which is very much a defining characteristic of the new BMW 3 Series Sedan.

Long known for its diversity, the track layout of the Nürburgring Nordschleife quickly transpired as the perfect setting for selective refinement of the interaction between the new damping technology and the other suspension components. “We’re using the lift-related dampers as an active set-up element so as to create supreme driving properties in all conditions,” explains Peter Langen, Head of Driving Dynamics. “With short spring travel, a sensitive damping response ensures comfortable vibration compensation. When the car passes over large bumps, the body movements are controlled by increased damping forces.”

#3series #bmw #nurburgring #greenhell


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