BMW Adds PHEV to Popular 3 Series Tourer

BMW has announced a PHEV version of its popular 3 Series estate will join the line-up by summer 2020.

The BMW 330e Touring hopes to build on the 3 Series legacy which has seen 1.7M sales since the model’s launch in 1987. Its powertrain comprises a four-cylinder 2.0-liter gasoline engine and an electric drive system integrated into the eight-speed paddleshift automatic transmission. It claims to generate a combined output of up to 290bhp when the XtraBoost mode is engaged.

This mode allows the two power sources’ combined output of 250bhp to be increased for up to 10 seconds by an additional 40bhp. This enables the car to reach 62mph from rest in a claimed 6.1 seconds while delivering a claimed combined fuel consumption of up to 156mpg (130mpg US) with CO2 emissions of 52g/km. The high-voltage lithium-ion battery is house under the rear seats and the fuel tank above the rear axle resulting in a “slight reduction in boot space” says the automaker.

However, at launch the model offers a range of gasoline and diesel engines with either four or six cylinders and BMW TwinPower Turbo in the petrol versions. Topping the gasoline power stakes is the BMW M340i xDrive Touring is powered by a new 3.0-liter six-cylinder in-line engine with eight-speed Steptronic Sport transmission, intelligent all-wheel drive and a M Sport differential. It claims to deliver peak torque of 368ft-lbs a power output of 372bhp, enough to provide a 0-62mph sprint time of 4.5 seconds. Claimed combined fuel consumption is 33mpg (27mpg US) and CO2 emissions of about 170g/km.

Upgrades have also been made to the BMW TwinPower Turbo system for the 2.0-liter, four-cylinder diesel engines in the BMW 320d Touring, BMW 320d xDrive Touring and BMW 318d Touring models. With maximum output of 188bhp and a peak torque of 295ft-lbs, the new diesel unit in the BMW 320d Touring claims a 0-62mph sprint time of from zero to 62mph in 7.5 seconds in manual transmission with average fuel consumption of 52mpg (43mpg US) and CO2 emissions of about 121g/km.

It also boasts connectivity for its automatic transmissions employing data from the navigation system and the car’s adaptive cruise control system’s radar sensor. This claims to avoid unnecessary gear changes when approaching a series of fast corners and when approaching a vehicle ahead, for example, to shift down early in order to use the engine braking to scrub off speed.

The automatic start/stop function and the coasting function also use data supplied by the navigation system, sensors and the front camera to increase efficiency. This helps limit inefficient engine shutdown, for example when stopping briefly at junctions or roundabouts.

— Paul Myles is a seasoned automotive journalist based in London. Follow him on Twitter @Paulmyles_

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