Tuesday, May 8, 2007

BMW 3 Series

The BMW 3 Series is an entry-level luxury car / compact executive car manufactured by the German automaker BMW since May 1975. It was the successor to the 2002 coupe, retaining much of that car's styling while adding a more powerful 2.0 L 110 hp (82 kW) engine and other performance enhancements. The 3 Series was for some time the smallest car line manufactured by BMW (exempting the BMW-owned MINI), although that place was in 2004 taken by the BMW 1 Series. The 3 Series is BMW's best selling automobile, accounting for nearly 40% of all automobiles sold by the company in 2005. The 3 Series is the best selling luxury sedan in the United States— selling 98,000 units in 2005.

Social and marketing significance

From its sporting origins, the 3 Series became a formal range that was sometimes synonymous with the "yuppie" generation in 1975. Being an accessible prestige-badge car, the 3 Series' reputation grew. By the early 21st century, the E46 3 Series, designed by American Chris Bangle, was the best-selling car of its size in the world, as commonplace in Asia and America as in Europe, while maintaining its prestigious image.


Like most of BMW's contemporary models, the 3 Series name has been applied to many different vehicles. The 1998 3 Series is marketed similarly to the 1999 3 Series, but the two share few mechanical components and are styled quite differently.

3 Series vehicles can be largely differentiated by the underlying platform:
  • BMW E21 - (1975–1983) 3 Series
  • BMW E30 - (1984–1994) 3 Series
  • BMW E36 - (1992–1998) 3 Series
  • BMW E46 - (1999–2005) 3 Series
  • BMW E90 - (2006–) 3 Series Sedan
  • BMW E91 - (2006-) 3 Series Wagon
  • BMW E92 - (2007-) 3 Series CoupĂ©
  • BMW E93 - (2008-) 3 Series Convertible

No comments: