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BMW boosts range spec and reveals 3-Series equipment list

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BMW has today announced the addition of extra standard equipment for many of the models in its range and confirmed the specifications for the new-look 3 Series models, effective from today.

All 3 Series Saloon and Touring models get a new look for the 2002 model year, two new engines and extra equipment is added across the range. A more responsive steering system has been fitted to all models while the Saloon and Coupé models all get uprated suspension and an entry-level 318Ci Convertible joins the range.

The visual changes to the Saloon and Touring include new headlights, indicators, kidney grille, front and rear valances, rear lights and a new swage line behind the front wheel arch. Both models also feature the two new engines.

Power and torque for the new Valvetronic, four-cylinder, two litre, British-built petrol engine fitted to the 318i models increase by 25bhp and 20 Nm (15lb-ft) respectively to 143bhp and 200 Nm (148lb-ft), compared to the previous models. At the same time fuel consumption and CO2 emissions decrease by 16%. Combined consumption for the Saloon is now 39.2 mpg.

For even greater economy and greater power, BMW's two litre diesel engine has been upgraded and now features common rail technology. Power increases from 136 to 150bhp and torque rises even more dramatically, from 280 Nm (207lb-ft) to 330 Nm (243lb-ft). Fuel consumption is once again improved to 51.4 mpg on the combined cycle (from 49.6 mpg).

Handling has been improved across the range too with a faster, more responsive steering rack fitted to all models and firmer suspension for the Saloon and Coupé models. Other standard equipment enhancements include manual air conditioning for all 4 cylinder non-SE 3 Series models (apart from Compact), Dynamic Stability Control (DSCIII) for all six cylinder cars (previously only on 330i models) and new alloy wheels.

The average price increase across the range for all these enhancements is just 1.5%. Prices for the recently launched Compact are unchanged and the new 318Ci Convertible costs just £24,945.

From September, all 5 Series models will feature DSCIII (previously only fitted to 530i models and above) and ISOFIX child seat mounting points. New standard alloy wheels have also been added for the 5 Series model range. Prices increase by an average of just 0.5 per cent.

DSCIII also becomes standard on the Z3 2.2 and the Z3 3.0 model gets M Sport suspension. Prices rise by £180 and £100 respectively. The X5 models now have new panoramic door mirrors and prices have increased for the three litre models by just £140 (V8 prices are unchanged).

Trafficmaster is now available as an option on all 3 Series Saloon, Touring and Coupé models (including Compact) fitted with the new widescreen monitor. The cost of this option is £1,300.

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