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Sublime BMW Six-Cylinder Power Tempts Luxury Buyers - (Australia)

September 8th, 2009
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BMW is set to shake up the luxury car market, today announcing it will bring its celebrated in-line six-cylinder engine to the hotly contested sub-$60,000 sedan segment.

Renowned for its smoothness, refinement and efficiency, the straight-six BMW 323i sedan will tempt luxury buyers with a starting price of $58,300. Previously, the iconic BMW was priced from $63,200.

The 323i Sedan offers luxury buyers more power (140 kW) than similarly priced four-cylinder rivals such as the Audi A4 2.0 TFSI (132 kW) and Mercedes-Benz C200 KOMPRESSOR (135 kW).

Equipped with the 6-speed manual transmission (no cost option), the BMW 323i Sedan is also the quickest to 100km/h among its key price competitors, completing the dash in 7.8 seconds.

Highlighting the efficiency of its six-cylinder engine, the manual 323i Sedan uses 10 per cent less fuel than the manual V6-powered Lexus IS250 (8.7 litres versus 9.8 litres).

The automatic 323i Sedan sips just 9.1 litres per 100 kilometres according to the latest, and stricter, Euro 5 emissions standard.

BMW’s key rival in this segment, the Mercedes-Benz C-Class, offers a petrol six-cylinder version from $89,500. Audi’s six-cylinder petrol A4 starts from $90,900.

BMW expects the move will appeal to buyers wishing to get behind the wheel of a six-cylinder 3 Series.

Managing director of BMW Group Australia, Stavros Yallouridis, believes the 323i sedan’s alluring appeal will grow thanks to its new market position.

“Australians love the refinement and linear performance of BMW’s in-line six-cylinder engine.

“Now, more customers than ever can treat themselves to the unique driving pleasure of an in-line six-cylinder BMW 3 Series.

“Our customer feedback indicates that introducing a BMW straight-six engine, into what is mainly a four-cylinder market segment, will be very well received,” he said.

Featuring a creamy smooth 140 kW in-line six-cylinder engine, mated to a 6-speed automatic transmission, the BMW 323i Sedan delivers a powerful and responsive driving experience.

Like all BMW six-cylinder power plants, the 323i Sedan engine makes extensive use of weight saving materials such as aluminium and magnesium-alloy for the block, while its smooth, responsive character has been lauded internationally. The engine also includes VALVETRONIC valve control system with double-VANOS variable valve timing.

The BMW 323i accelerates to 100 km /h in 8.7 seconds, when equipped with the standard 6-speed automatic transmission. This figure drops to 7.8 seconds with the optional (no-cost) six-speed manual.

In the current E90 generation BMW 3 Series Sedan, approximately 30 per cent of customers choose a six-cylinder engine, the remainder split between diesel and petrol four-cylinder engines.

The new 323i Sedan is certified to the strict Euro 5 emissions standard, which is yet to come into force in Australia.

The BMW 323i Sedan comes highly equipped with features including new, more sportier looking V-spoke 16-inch allow wheels, leather upholstery, active front headrests, cruise control with brake function, rain sensor, automatic headlight control, CD player, USB interface, Bluetooth and, multi-function sport steering wheel.

Standard equipment also includes through load system with ski bag, partial electric front seats, automatic climate control, front fog lights, rear Park Distance Control, Dynamic Stability Control (DSC), six airbags, central locking with remote control, anti-dazzle interior mirror, paddle illumination in the door handles, exit lighting, foot well lights in the rear, ambient interior lighting and chrome line exterior.

In line with the change to the 3 Series Sedan, the 323i Touring will now be priced from $62,500. Previously it was offered from $67,400.

Authorised BMW dealers are now taking orders for the new models.

BMW 323i Sedan - $58,300 (was $63,200)
BMW 323i Touring - $62,500 (was $67,400)

* Manufacturer List Price is shown and excludes dealer charges, stamp duty, statutory charges and on-road charges which are additional and vary between dealers and States/Territories. Customers are advised to contact their nearest BMW dealer for all pricing inquiries.

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