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BMW extends wagon trail

Fast cargo: BMW 335i Touring packs 335i sedan and coupe's twin-turbo six.

BMW tackles the wagon market from both directions, via the 320i and 335i Touring

6 Sep 2007

BMW has expanded its 3 Series wagon range with two new models at opposite ends of the price spectrum – including a range-topper powered by the company’s superb 3.0-litre twin-turbo engine.

Meanwhile, the new 320i Touring, considerably reduces the entry level for a 3 Series wagon from $68,900 for the existing 323i Touring to just $54,200.

Like its sedan sibling, the 320i Touring is powered by a 2.0-litre four cylinder engine developing 115kW of power at 6400rpm and 200Nm of torque at 3600rpm, with a six-speed manual or optional ($2600) six-speed automatic transmission driving through the rear wheels, and accelerates from 0-100km/h in 9.3 seconds.

However, it is the 225kW/400Nm twin-turbo 335i Touring that will really excite BMW enthusiasts encumbered by families or the need to carry heaps of gear.

Using the same 3.0-litre all-aluminium direct petrol injection straight-six engine as the 335i sedan, coupe and convertible models, with a standard six-speed auto, the new flagship 3 Series wagon accelerates to 100km/h in just 5.9 seconds and is capable of a top speed of 250km/h.

This engine has been widely acclaimed around the world – highlighted by winning this year’s “International Engine of the Year Award” – and provides genuine BMW performance levels for wagon buyers of the company’s volume model.

BMW dealers are now taking orders for both new models for October production, so the first examples will begin arriving in Australia in January.

The 320i Touring comes with split-fold rear seats, multi-function leather steering wheel, 16-inch wheels, roof rails, first-aid kit, anti-dazzle mirror, BMW’s ‘comfort access system’, rear parking sensors, automatic wipers, headlights and climate control, cruise control, Bluetooth preparation, front side airbags and front and rear head airbags, electronic stability control and a separately opening tailgate window.

An Executive package (adding $4900) adds leather upholstery, fog lights, partial electric seat adjustment, wood or aluminium trim and 16-inch double-spoke alloy wheels.

Standard equipment for the new 335i Touring (over the 323i Touring) includes the six-speed auto with gear shift paddles, front parking sensors, 17-inch alloys, adaptive Bi-Xenon headlights with washers, high beam assist, large SatNav monitor with TV tuner and voice control, 10-speaker sound system and extra electric seat controls, including lumbar support.

An M Sport Package is offered on all Touring models, adding a bodykit, 17-inch light-alloy wheels, sports seats, sport suspension, sport steering wheel, anthracite headlining, M-badged door sills and brushed aluminium trim.

Since being launched in June last year, the E91 3 Series Touring has been a sales success, lifting sales from 92 units in 2005 to 152 for the calendar year, an increase of 65 per cent.

Sales have increased a further 63 per cent this year (111 units to the end of July) and BMW Australia expects the new models will add about 100 units a year – split evenly between the 320i and 335i.

Read more:

First drive: Twin turbos for small wagon

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