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More power for 3 Series

Powerhouse: BMW's imminent 330i sedan promises sprightly performance from its 170kW, 3.0-litre engine.

BMW's 3 Series range will feature a new 3.0-litre flagship from September

23 May 2000

BMW has announced its new 3.0-litre, six-cylinder engine will be offered in the 3 Series range from September.

The new powerplant - designated M54 - will replace the 2.8-litre unit used in the 328 models.

Pricing will start at $89,500 for the 330i sedan, available only with the Steptronic five-speed automatic transmission.

The 330Ci coupe will cost $92,500 in manual form and $95,100 with the Steptronic auto.

The new 330Ci convertible is also due to make its debut in September, priced at $103,500.

In addition to the 330 models, the new powerplant will also be used in the Z3 roadster 3.0i, priced at $87,490 in manual form and $90,090 as an automatic.

The 3.0-litre unit uses the latest version of BMW's double VANOS variable valve timing system to endow it with good low-speed driveability as well as impressive top-end performance.

It generates a strong 170kW and 300Nm of torque at 3500rpm, which compares favourably with the outgoing 2.8-litre unit's outputs of 142kW and 280Nm.

Apart from gaining the new engine, the 330 models will be better equipped than their outgoing 328 counterparts.

The 330i sedan will come equipped with 17-inch alloy wheels, Park Distance Control, Xenon headlights, rain-sensing windscreen wipers and an on-board monitor with capability for TV reception and ready for installation of BMW navigation.

The 330Ci coupe's already generous standard equipment list will be supplemented by Xenon headlights and rain-sensing wipers.

Meanwhile, the Z3 3.0i automatic will get a five-speed Steptronic in lieu of the four-speed unit offered in the outgoing 2.8-litre model.

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