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Three BMW world debuts at Geneva motor show

BMW

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BMW will be debuting the 3 Series Compact, with the new British-built Valvetronic engine, the X5 3.0d and the M3 with Sequential M gearbox at the Geneva motor show.

Making their European debuts will be the X5 4.6is, the M3 Convertible and the revised M Coupe and M Roadster, powered by the new M3 engine.

The second generation BMW 3 Series Compact (pictured) goes on sale in the UK in August 2001. It has the same wheelbase as the 3 Series Saloon, but the body is 21cm shorter. Two models will be available at launch, the 316ti, featuring the Valvetronic four cylinder engine, built at Hams Hall, and the 325ti, powered by BMW's recently updated 192bhp straight six.

Following in the footsteps of the X5 4.4i and the X5 3.0i (now on sale in the UK), the new 3.0d is the third X5 model to be introduced. Powered by BMW's direct injection, common rail, straight six turbo-diesel, the 3.0d develops 184bhp and 302lb-ft of torque. It shares this engine with the widely acclaimed 330d and 530d.

Acceleration from 0-62mph is 10.5 seconds, top speed 125mph and combined cycle fuel consumption 29.1 mpg. The X5 3.0d is available with a five-speed Steptronic automatic gearbox, with the manual transmission in mid 2002.

The new M3 has gearbox technology borrowed from Formula 1. Now in its second incarnation, the Sequential M gearbox will be available on the M3 in the UK from the middle of this year.

There is no clutch and fears are selected using paddles on the steering wheel or by using the shift lever in the central console. It can also be driven in self selecting mode.

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