All-New 2006 BMW 3 Series and Enhanced 2006 7 Series Make North American Debut at The New York International Auto Show

Prices Announced for 2006 3 Series, 7 Series as well as 5 Series

NEW YORK, March 23 /PRNewswire/ -- The all-new 2006 3 Series and the enhanced 2006 7 Series make their North American debut at the New York International Auto Show. Prices were announced for the 2006 3 Series and 7 Series as well as the 2006 5 Series, including all-wheel drive models. Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Prices for the 325i and 330i sedans are $30,995 and $36,995 respectively. Prices for the 750i with its new 360 hp V8 begin at $71,195. Prices for the 2006 5 Series, which feature all-new inline six cylinder engines and available all-wheel drive start from $42,495 for the 525i. The 530xi Sports Wagon has an MSRP of $51,795. All prices include destination and handling. All of these early 2006 models will be available beginning this May.

The all-new BMW 3 Series:
The quintessential sport sedan blends cutting edge technology with remarkable value
The fifth generation BMW 3 Series will yet again improve and refine a concept BMW pioneered more than forty years ago -- the sport sedan. The new 3 Series continues to offer style and quality combined with a unique combination of performance, practicality and European luxury in a compact package.

Above all, the 3 Series is renowned for how it drives. Since the beginning, the 3 Series has always been remarkably agile and pleasurable to drive, without compromising comfort and everyday usability. Though many have tried and are still trying, no one else quite knows how to match this constellation of attributes.

The new 2006 3 Series will arrive this May with two models available, the 325i and 330i. Two inline six-cylinder engines continue a 3 Series tradition. The all-new 3.0-liter unit in the 330i offers a significant increase in performance. It is rated at 255-horsepower at 6600 rpm, a 30-horsepower increase over its predecessor and has 220 lb-ft of torque at 2750 rpm. The 325i will now also feature a new 3.0-liter engine. This engine is rated at 215-horsepower at 6250 rpm and 185 lb-ft of torque at 2750 rpm.

In BMW's ongoing pursuit of weight reduction, this engine is the first in large-scale series production to use magnesium which, compared to aluminum, is 30 percent lighter. This engine is also the first six-cylinder to use BMW VALVETRONIC. With infinitely variable valve lift in place of the traditional throttle butterfly, this system improves both throttle response and fuel efficiency. Like previous BMW engines which have incorporated VALVETRONIC, the gains are impressive. In the case of the 330i, horsepower increases by 13%, while fuel consumption decreases by as much as 9%, depending on model.

This unique technology works in tandem with BMW's double-VANOS variable valve timing for both intake and exhaust camshafts. The new 330i with manual transmission will accelerate from 0 - 60 mph in 6.1 seconds. Both models will be offered with a choice of a standard six-speed manual transmission or optional six-speed STEPTRONIC automatic transmission.

The 3 Series will be available with all-wheel drive, features BMW's xDrive, beginning this October.

The front suspension is enhanced to include BMW's double-pivot strut design while the rear suspension features a new five-link design. BMW has been able to further capitalize on its Dynamic Stability Control with a number of new features.

When brakes risk fading due to heat build up caused by hard use, Brake Fade Compensation automatically reacts by increasing the hydraulic pressure relative to pedal force. When the driver lifts off the accelerator pedal abruptly, Brake Stand-by enables DSC to recognize that sharp braking may be about to occur and applies just enough pressure in the brake system to snug up the pads against the rotors. With Brake Drying, acting on input from the rain sensor the pads are periodically brought up to the rotors - just enough to eliminate any film of water between pads and rotors, but not enough to cause a brake application. Comfort Stop ensures smooth stops by modulating the brakes as the car comes to rest. Start-Off Assistant holds the car on a hill enabling a smooth start-off from rest.

With all this technology, the MSRPs of the 325i and 330i are $30,995 and $36,995 respectively. A typically equipped 325i includes the Premium Package, an automatic transmission, leather upholstery and metallic paint. At $35,645, a typically equipped 2006 325i is only $150 more than its 2005 counterpart and has substantially more equipment. When you factor in the Xenon Adaptive Headlights which are standard on the 2006 330i, that model with Premium Package, automatic transmission and metallic paint is actually $100 less than a similarly equipped 2005 model, again with substantially more equipment.

2006 7 Series:
Design enhancements inside and out are complemented by more power for V8 models
Since its introduction in 2002, the fourth generation 7 Series has proven to be the most successful 7 Series ever. The 2006 7 Series exterior receives subtle but significant refinements. Forward of the windshield, new elements include a larger rendition of BMW's traditional "kidney" grilles; a new bumper/spoiler ensemble; new headlights and foglights; and a re-contoured hood. The rear bumper's wraparound tucks in more noticeably at the wheelwell and thus visually emphasizes a 14-mm/0.6-in. wider rear track. Both 750 models have a new standard wheel design, with seven relatively wide spokes reaching right out to the rim. The trunklid is newly shaped while retaining the original's advantages in terms of aerodynamics and cargo space; the taillights now wrap into the lid, and are accented by a slender bright strip.

The refinements are carried into the interior as well. New climate- control knobs present improved tactile feel to the user, and are trimmed in an elegant new Titanium galvanic material that also appears in other details. The iDrive system's controller has a new, handier shape and a handsome leather insert on top. Functional enhancements include the audio system's new hard controls for AM/FM and entertainment source selection; MP3 capability added to the CD changer (standard 760i/Li, optional 750i/Li); and a Bluetooth cellphone interface. Whereas previously the 7 Series came standard with an installed (but also portable) phone, owners will now select their own phone from a list of BMW-approved handheld phones and can keep up with the latest developments in this fast-moving technology while also enjoying standard hands-free calling, auto-dial functions and Voice Command convenience. Encompassing an extensive array of features and functions within its pioneering color-display- and-controller concept, iDrive has again been refined and made more user- friendly.

The new 750i and 750iL feature a new 4.8-liter VALVETRONIC V8 engine. With 360 horsepower and 360 lb-ft of torque, this represents an increase of 35 horsepower and 30 lb-ft of torque over their predecessors. Although official 0 - 60 mph acceleration times are little changed at 5.8 seconds, the real story here is more urge virtually anytime the driver presses down on the accelerator pedal, especially at midrange speeds. The 6.0-liter V12 in the 760i and 760Li remains unchanged offering 438 horsepower and 444 lb-ft of torque. Both are mated to a 6-speed STEPTRONIC automatic transmission.

The price of the 750i and 750Li are $71,195 and $75,195 respectively. This represents a $600 increase over the previous models. Prices for the 2006 760i and 760Li are $110,695 and $118,095 respectively.

2006 5 Series:
New six-cylinder engines, available all-wheel drive and the return of the Sports Wagon
In only its third model year the latest 5 Series enters the 2006 model year with BMW's newest generation of inline 6-cylinder engines, available all- wheel drive and the return of the 5 Series Sports Wagon. The 5 Series shares its two 3-liter engines with the new 3 Series. The 525i/xi go from 184 to 215 horsepower while the 530i/xi go from 225 to 255 hp. All models are offered with a 6-speed manual transmission with an available 6-speed STEPTRONIC automatic. The 530i is also available with a 6-speed Sequential Manual Gearbox.

The 5 Series are the first passenger cars that use BMW's xDrive all-wheel drive system, which has proven itself in the X3 and X5 Sports Activity Vehicles. xDrive goes beyond the traditional advantages of all-wheel drive to offer the driver an even higher level of stability and traction in all driving situations. While conventional all-wheel drive only responds when the wheels are already spinning, xDrive begins to react even before wheel spin is able to build up. Via an electronically control led multiple-plate clutch, the flow of power is redistributed within milliseconds between the two axles in the interest of enhanced traction, driving stability and agility.

The 5 Series Sports Wagon returns as the 530xi. Offered only as an all- wheel drive model, the 530xi Sports Wagon offers advantages not only over the Sedans, but also over its predecessor, last offered in 2003. The 530xi abounds with rational design and thoughtful details which include a high-lift tailgate -- almost 73 in. head clearance -- with Soft Close feature. The tailgate is electrically released from the exterior or interior switch or the remote. The rear window may be opened separately, for convenient loading without opening the tailgate. A power opening and closing feature is included in the Premium Package. Wider than that in the previous Wagon, and with straight, essentially vertical sides, the cargo area offers 17.6 cu ft. of volume up to the tops of the upright rear seats and a maximum of 58.3 cu ft., rear seats folded, cargo loaded to ceiling. The cargo area includes a lockable storage space under the cargo floor, in a tray with adjustable dividers to help secure smaller objects.

Like the Sedans, the Sports Wagon comes standard with a power moonroof; however, the Wagon's is a dual-panel Panorama Moonroof, a feature also seen in the X3 and X5 Series. With its overall roof opening of 41.9 x 34.8 in., the Panorama concept gives occupants almost the feeling of being in a convertible. The power glass roof consists of two panels, both of which can be tilted up at the rear. The forward, larger panel can also be slid open; together, their glass area is almost 10 square feet. Although the glass is effectively tinted, there is also a power-operated interior shade; a wind deflector rises at the front of the opening to reduce wind buffeting when panels are open. All motions have 1-touch operation, including that of the interior shade.

In addition to other enhancements, Servotronic vehicle-speed sensitive power steering is standard on all models and Adaptive Xenon Headlights are standard on 530i/xi models.

Manufacturer Suggested Retail Prices for the 525i and 530i Sedans are $42,495 and $47,195 respectively. For the all-wheel drive Sedans, the MSRPs are $44,695 for the 525xi and $49,395 for the 530xi. The all-wheel drive 530xi Sports Wagon has an MSRP of $51,795.

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