First Generation E21 Model (1975- 1983)
The E21 model that introduced the BMW 320I went on sale in 1975. Safety features were strengthened compared to the preceding 02 Series model, and in terms of the interior as well, improvements were made, such as on the air condition performance, for an overall enhanced riding comfort. Four round headlamps, like those used for the higher class models, were installed, exuding an air of luxury.
The 1,990cc gasoline engine with 125 horsepower, equipped with the Bosch injection system, was installed. From this power output, and according to its catalogue listing, the engine boasted a maximum speed of 180km.
However, the model imported into and sold in Japan produced a power output of 105 horsepower, due to differences in regulations.
For the tires, to the 5.5J x 13 inch wheel size, 185/70R13 tires were equipped.
Second Generation E30 Model (1982- 1994)
The second generation E30 is the model that achieved a great record hit. In terms of the exterior, the design changed to one that emphasized roundness. For the 320I, only a right-side driver seating layout was employed, and for the 320IA, both right-side and left-side driver seating were made available. The car body measured in length, width, and height at 4,325mm, 1,645mm, and 1,380mm respectively.
The M20 1,999cc inline six-cylinder engine achieved a power output of 129 horsepower.
The transmissions that could be combined with this were the 4-speed automatic and 5-speed manual.
Third Generation E36 Model (1990- 2000)
The third generation E36 model was introduced in July 1991. Compared to the previous generation model, the body length was extended by 110mm, and the wheelbase was enlarged by 130mm. Furthermore, the distinctive headlights and grille were covered and molded into a more slanted shape, with the aim to enhance aerodynamic performance. The doors were also changed from sash doors to press doors. The car body was enlarged, measuring in length, width, and height at 4,435mm, 1,695mm, and 1,395mm respectively. The wheelbase measured at 2,700mm.
The engine installed was a 20 6S 1,990cc six-cylinder with 150 horsepower, and a 5-speed automatic transmission was combined with this. The designated fuel was high octane, and fuel consumption was 9.1km/L.
The suspension system consisted of the strut in the front and central arm in the rear, and 205/60R15 tires were equipped.
Minor changes were made in November 1996. The kidney grille’s design was changed, and a full-colored bumper was installed; additionally, high mount stop lamps were installed on all vehicles as standard equipment. Moreover, in terms of the drive system, the traction control system was installed as standard equipment.
Fourth Generation E46 Model (1998- 2007)
The fourth generation model that was introduced in July 1998 saw greater and continued efforts to apply the flushed surface design, significantly enhancing the quality and texture of the exterior. The car body was enlarged, measuring in length, width, and height at 4,470mm, 1,740mm, and 1,415mm respectively. As for the interior, arm rests were installed on both front and backseats, improving riding comfort while also heightening an air of luxury. Aluminum was used for parts of the body, enhancing lightness. Equipment options were also enhanced, but efforts were made to limit an increase in car variations as well.
In November 1999, improvements were made on the air conditioning system.
In November 2000, the engine installed was changed; the 20 6S inline six-cylinder 1,990cc with 150 horsepower was replaced by the 22 6S 2,171cc with 170 horsepower. The transmission that could be combined with these remained the same- the 5-speed automatic.
Minor changes made in October 2001 led to alterations to the exterior and interior. A distinctive feature was the round headlights that emphasized curved lines.
In April 2003, Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) was installed as standard equipment, further heightening safety features.
Fifth Generation E90 Model (2005- 2012)
In April 2005, another full model change led to the introduction of the fifth generation model. With the involvement of Japanese designers, the exterior was further developed to enhance aerodynamic performance. The car body measured in length, width, and height at 4,525mm, 1,815mm, and 1,425mm respectively; as the width exceeded 1,800mm, the body was greatly enlarged.
The N46B20B inline four-cylinder 1,995cc engine with 150 horsepower was newly installed.
The transmission evolved to a 6-speed automatic.
The tire size was also enlarged to 205/55R16.
In May 2010, improvements were made on the engine; the newly introduced N43B20A boasted a power output of 170 horsepower, but its fuel consumption was enhanced to 15.2km/L, due to the use of a direct injection system and lean burn technology. Furthermore, the model was able to achieve 2010 Fuel Consumption Standards + 15%.
Sixth Generation F30 Model (2012 - )
In January 2012, the sixth generation model went on sale. The delivery for the 320i was late, beginning in late April. A feature of the exterior was a design that made the front grille and horizontally long headlights appear integrated as one; the design was also made sportier. As for the interior, the quality of the equipment, such as the steering wheel switch and the instrument panel, was greatly improved. For the illumination lamp on the meters, the color was made more colorful, changing from the standard orange to an orange-amber. Moreover, electric seats were made standard.
For the tread, the front was enlarged to 1,543mm, 1,583mm, thereby significantly increasing backseat riding comfort. Though car body size was enlarged, the weight was lightened by 45kg.
The N20B20B inline four-cylinder 1,997cc engine with 184 horsepower was newly installed. Despite its being turbocharged, fuel efficiency was enhanced, allowing the model to achieve 2015 Fuel Consumption Standards + 10%. The JC08 mode fuel consumption measured at 16.6km/L, leading to all vehicles being subject to eco-friendly car tax reductions and subsidies.
As for the transmission, the 8-speed automatic was added to the lineup.
In September of the same year, the M Sport model, installed with aero equipment, was added.
In August 2013, features that enhance safety, such as the “Driving Assist” and “Collision Avoidance/Damage Reduction Brakes” were installed as standard equipment. Furthermore, the “iDrive Controller” was improved. Additionally, the “BMW TeleServices” and “BMW SOS Call” were introduced as standard equipment.
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