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BMW unleashes flood of updates

2012-05-17 08:07

COMING SOON TO SA: The yummy 235kW M135i goes on sale in South Africa in September, 2012.

BMW has announced a raft of model updates that includes more engine choices with a focus on further fuel consumption reductions along with new equipment. The changes will be in effect from July, 2012, and should filter down to South Africa in coming months.

Image gallery showing some of the updates

Here's what's happening...

1 Series

A BMW 114i model is being introduced as an entry model. The turbocharged four-cylinder engine develops 75kW/180Nm and is mated to a six-speed manual transmission. This model will, however, not be available in South Africa.

One addition especially worth a look is the M135i with 235kW/450Nm on tap from its turbocharged straight six. A six-speed manual transmission is standard.

The BMW M 135i will go on sale in South Africa in September 2012.

3 Series

The recently launched all-new 3 Series sedan line-up will be expanded with straight-six diesel power in the form of the 330d although the range will be further bolstered at the end of 2012 with a new entry-level BMW 316i powered by a 100kW inline four mated to either a six-speed manual or eight-speed auto transmission.

Additionally, for 3 Series, the M Sport Package with the M Aerodynamics Package and a number of BMW Individual options will be offered.

Special M touches include special door sills and cabin footrests, glossy chromed exhaust tail pipes, a special instrument cluster, an M Sports braking system and a choice of 18 or 19” alloy rims.

5 Series

The bulk of the changes and upgrades have, it seems, been reserved for prospective drivers of the 5 Series luxury sedan and its 5 Series Gran Turismo off-shoot.

For the GT range, there’s a new model (530d) and a revised engine for the 550 whose power/torque have been boosted by 30kW to 330kW and 50Nm to 650Nm, while the 5 Series gets a new multifunction instrument display that is freely programmable by the driver.

A Bang & Olufsen High End Surround-Sound System will be available for all 5 Series models, including those offered in South Africa. The 16-speaker, 1200W system has settings such as “Studio” and “Extended” creating unique "surround sound" effects.

Perhaps more useful for those accustomed to battling to juggle a number items will be relieved to know BMW will soon be incorporating a hands-free boot lid operation in its 5 Series. The system, which merely requires a swipe of a foot below the rear bumper, will be standard on all Fives.

Additionally, to further assist in the reduction of fuel consumption, the Gran Turismo will be fitted with the standard auto start/stop system and an electronic power steering system.

The GT will also be equipped with the Driving Experience Control with Eco Pro mode that allows the driver to adjust the vehicle’s characteristics to suit the driving conditions or the driver’s preference. 

A parking assistant that helps the driver locate a parking space, and then park in it, is optional on the 5 Series GT, too.

The 5 Series GT now also comes with an Active Protection safety package that prepares the cabin when an imminent collision is detected, automatically slows the vehicle and holds the brakes for an additional 1.5 seconds after the crash.

6 Series

The 6 Series range will be fitted with a number of assistance systems including a “no overtaking” information display and auto stop start for certain models.


The coupe-slash-roadster’s retractable hard top gets the BMW Individual treatment. A selection of contrasting colours, such as a matte black or silver metallic, will be available.  

Inside Wheels24

Take a virtual tour of the McLaren 570S in SA

Want to experience what it's like to be behind the wheel of a 419kW sports car? Take a virtual tour of the McLaren 570S in our interactive Snapchat video filmed in SA.

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