It's nice to have a powerful car, but that usually comes at the price of fuel economy. It's also nice to have a fuel efficient car, but it won't exactly have performance in mind. And then, potent turbodiesels came into the picture about a decade ago. These days however, automakers seems to be turning to hybrid power to balance power and economy.
One of them is BMW, and they have just released a 3 Series that not only comes with over 250 PS, but can also deliver up to 59 km/l. It's called the 330e, and it's one of the latest plug-in hybrids to come out of Bavaria.
Let's start with technical specs. The 330e uses a turbocharged 2.0-liter mill, just like the regular 330i. It is then assisted by a powerful battery which can momentarily give the a boost of up to 41 PS. The result is a 0 to 100 km/h time of 6.0 seconds. Not only that, it has full EV capabilities to go along with it, allowing users to drive it without assistance from the engine for up to 60 kilometers, further extending fuel range. With an estimated consumption figure of 59 kilometers per liter, it has a projected range of over 2,000 kilometers on a single filling.
As for its looks, it's almost indistinguishable from a standard 3 Series. The only notable differences are the 330e badge on the trunk (which can be deleted), and a port on the fender to recharge the batteries. BMW adds that the 330e can be optioned in various appearance packages, which includes Sport, Luxury, and M Sport.
Aside from the new plug-in hybrid model, BMW has also released a new entry-level engine for the 3 Series. Dubbed with the familiar 320i name, it is essentially a detuned version of the same engine found in the 330i. That means it uses a 2.0-liter turbo engine, much like most of BMW's four-cylinder range. It makes 184 PS and 300 Nm of torque, giving it a respectable 0 to 100 km/h time of 7.1 seconds.
Given BMW Philippines' mostly diesel range in the country, what we are likely to get is the 320d. That one makes 190 PS and 400 Nm of torque. At the moment, it is yet to be determined when the all-new 3 Series will land in the Philippines.