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BMW takes the wraps off the new 3 Series plug-in hybrid

A new BMW 3 Series plug-in hybrid prototype is making way for a production model that will launch in 2016. BMW gives us an early preview.

BMW is bringing out a new BMW 3 series sedan soon that will have plug-in hybrid drive technology. The prototype gives a first glimpse of what we can expect from BMW in the near future. BMW will begin production on the new hybrid in early 2016.

The new 3 Series plug-in hybrid prototype is powered by BMW’s TwinPower Turbo four-cylinder gas engine that has been voted “International Engine of the Year.” The gas engine will be mated to an electric motor and power electronics which are directly based on the BMW eDrive technology of the BMW i3 and BMW i8 models. The plug-in hybrid drive system has a combined output of 245 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque. So the new 3 Series plug-in hybrid should be plenty peppy.

Fuel economy is impressive

And the fuel economy is impressive as BMW says the average fuel consumption 2 liters/100 km (140 mpg imperial gallons). In all-electric mode, the prototype is capable of a top speed of 120 km/h (74 mph), and has a driving range of approximately 35 kilometers (22 miles).

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The hybrid system on the 3 Series plug-in hybrid prototype is mated to an 8-speed Steptronic transmission which transfers power to conventionally powered BMW models. It contributes to the efficiency of the overall drive system.

A different hybrid operating strategy

Three different modes are available on the 8-speed gearbox, Comfort, Sport and Eco Pro. Each features different suspension settings, different shift characteristics for the efficient Steptronic transmission, and a different hybrid operating strategy.

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The 3 Series hybrid’s motor is powered by a lithium-ion battery, which combines a battery management system and high-efficiency direct cooling system. It uses the same technology that’s based on the BMW eDrive technology of the BMW i3 and BMW i8 models. The battery can be recharged at any household power outlet and is mounted underneath the load compartment in a crash-safe location.

BMW Group is developing the BMW driving experience they are known for to include this new eDrive technology in the 3 Series sedan. This prototype delivers zero-local-emission city driving, long-distance economy and sporty, dynamic driving that buyers are looking for.