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Story by BMW: 17th February 2000


The BMW Group will debut four entirely new models at the Geneva Salon on the press day (29 February) and will also show a new four-wheel drive system for the 3 Series. Prior to the issue of full information please find below a brief outline of each one.

New: The BMW M3
A wide stance, power domes on the bonnet and large air ducts in the front spoiler are the distinctive attributes of the new M3. The engine is a newly developed in-line six-cylinder unit delivering 252 kW/343 bhp, which is transmitted to the road via a six-speed manual gearbox and an innovative variable M differential lock.

New: Freelander V6
Europe’s best-selling 4x4 will have a new top model in the range: the Freelander V6. A powerful, high-quality extension of the existing Freelander model line, the Freelander V6 is powered by the same 2.5 litre light-alloy engine that has already proven its value in the Rover 75, with a power output of 130 kW/177 bhp. The Freelander V6 is the only all-wheel drive car in its segment to be equipped with a five-speed automatic gearbox which features a manual steptronic mode.

There are two body variants - a three-door soft back/hard back and a five-door estate version.

New: The BMW 3 Series Convertible
In time for spring, BMW is launching the third generation of the most popular soft-top in the UK - the 3 Series Convertible. In May 2000 it will make its debut as the 323Ci Convertible, powered by BMW’s proven 2.5 litre in-line six-cylinder unit. It delivers 125 kW/170 bhp. For the first time in this class, the front seats feature an integrated belt system ensuring optimum belt tension at all times. Also standard are automatically extending roll-over bars with the rear headrest.

New: The BMW X5 3.0i
Another European debut from BMW will be the X5 3.0i with a new six-cylinder unit, scheduled to come to market in the US in March and in Europe (except the UK) in June. Under its bonnet, the X5 3.0i is powered by the newest and most advanced in-line six-cylinder engine from BMW, delivering 170 kW/231 bhp (European version) and torque of 300 Nm (220 lb.ft). This powerpack meets and exceeds both the European EU 3 exhaust emission values and the US limit values for ultra-low-emission vehicles.

New: The BMW four-wheel system for BMW’s Series 3 models
As from June 2000 BMW is offering a new four-wheel drive system for the 3 Series Saloon and Touring. The BMW four-wheel drive system employs a modified DSC system to ensure the best possible traction at all times, on slippery surfaces. This model will not be available in the UK.

New: Active Cruise Control (ACC)
With active cruise control (ACC), BMW is introducing a personal travel assistance system that will ease driver stress particularly on motorways. As an extension of cruise control, the system controls not only the vehicle’s speed but also its distance from the car in front.

Finale: Special editions marking the phase-out of the Mini Classic
The Mini Classic will go out of production in September 2000. In order to pay tribute to this legendary automobile, four special models will be launched as ‘final editions’: Seven, Knightsbridge, Cooper and Cooper S. The two Cooper models have a particularly sporting flair, while the Seven model recalls the original Mini of 1959.

The Knightsbridge is offered as a de-luxe model with an interior which uses particularly high-quality materials.

Spring 2000 model upgrades in the BMW Programme:

In spring 2000 BMW will introduce a variety of innovations in its model and equipment programme:

  • The 320d is now available with automatic transmission.
  • The 330d Touring with BMW’s highly-praised three litre diesel engine rounds off the range of Touring models.
  • The 5 Series range will be supplemented by the two new diesel models - 520d and 525d (not available in the UK).
  • The 7 Series range is being enhanced with the addition of a 730d version and Active Cruise Control.
  • EU-3 exhaust emission class now applies to all BMW DI-diesel engines including 740d.