If you have had the pleasure (or misfortune) of driving around London in the past few days, you have probably noticed the influx of BMW series 3 passing you smoothly in the designated Olympic lanes. This is because currently, 4,000 of the new BMW F30 models are ferrying the athletes, officials and VIP’s, all connected with the London 2012 Olympic Games. There are 200 flagship BMW electric cars on the road but the main fleet are the BMW series 3 saloons. The Olympic passengers will have the luxury of riding in the latest BMW diesel model – the 320d, which was named the Best Car in the Real world by Autocar Magazine in March 2012.
It is also a favourite of the famous Top Gear UK presenter Richard Hammond, who recently stated that the all-new BMW 320d, codenamed the F30, is the best car ever made. During a recent interview with Yahoo Finance, Richard Hammond said that he loved driving the BMW 320d F30 because it was fun, the infotainment system was easy to use, it had “brilliant handling” and just about everything fitted onto it. And he should know, he’s driven a few cars in his time on Top Gear. The BMW 320d has BMW’s 2.0 liter four-cylinder diesel engine, which is developing a total output of 135 kW and it has a peak torque of 380 Nm. According to the company, the 2012 BMW 320d can burn an average of 4.5 liters of fuel every 100 km and the model is emitting just 116g/km of CO2. The all-new BMW 320d can accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in 7.5 seconds before reaching a top speed of 146 km/h. The new BMW 320d has a starting price of £24k or €35,350.
BMW have a reputation for being solid, reliable and dependable cars and this will be sorely tested as the Olympic fleet cars will be in service for upto 18 hours a day. There was some concern about the hefty amount of emissions but BMW have kept these down to an impressive 116g/km, this is mainly thanks to the smaller diesel engines. As Hammond says, “BMW cars are not about cutting edge, brand new technology, breaking new ground, pushing things further,” he explains, “Their cars are about doing what’s already known…and doing it extremely well.” And Hammond actually berates himself for not being able to find fault with the BMW car, called the new 3-Series “three-mendous.”
It appears that consumers are in agreement as the new BMW 3-Series, which is marking it’s 6th generation or platform update for a model that’s nearly 40 years old, is experiencing the best first quarter of sales posted ever. It has a total of 425,000 more cars going to China than the U.S.