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BMW 330e hybrid

BMW has revealed details of the latest version of its new 3 Series in the shape of a plug-in hybrid that goes further and faster than the outgoing model.

On sale from next summer at a yet undisclosed price, the latest 330e plug-in hybrid saloon is 30 per cent faster than its predecessor, while delivering a 50 per cent increase in electric-only range to go with a reduction in CO2 emissions of more than 10 per cent.

An addition to the new 330e is the standard-fit XtraBoost - an on-demand performance system that increases power output of the plug-in hybrid drive from 252hp by 41hp at the touch of a button.

As well as the extra power, the updated plug-in hybrid can cover up to 37 miles using electric power alone while average combined fuel consumption is now 138mpg and CO2 emissions are 39g/km.

The plug-in hybrid drivetrain comprises a 184hp 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo Technology aligned to an electric motor that generates a continuous output of 68hp and a peak output of 113hp.

Together, the two drive units develop a total output of 252hp, but extra power can be sourced when selecting SPORT driving mode. This activates the XtraBoost system that draws on power stored in the high voltage battery.

It means the new BMW 330e Saloon can accelerate from zero to 62mph in 6.0 seconds and can go on to a top speed of 143mph. It can travel up to 68mph when running on electric power alone - 18mph faster than the predecessor model.

The announcement of the plug-in hybrid for the new 3 Series range comes onl days after BMW announced a newly developed six-cylinder engine with 369bhp for the most sporty version of the new line up with a 0 to 62mph time of just 4.4 seconds.

The M340i xDrive also has what BMW calls a "dramatic acoustic accompaniment from the M Sport exhaust system", while large cooling intakes at the front, a mesh design BMW kidney grille and body coloured rear spoiler give the game away visually.

The newcomer is making its public debut at the Los Angeles Motor Show, where visitors can also spot the car's lowered ride height (by 10mm) thanks to M Sport suspension.

Standard specification for the BMW M340i xDrive features an M Sport differential with electronically controlled locking function for the rear differential and M Sport brakes.

The BMW M340i xDrive saloon comes as standard with the eight-speed Steptronic sports transmission of the latest generation of 3 Series, and short ratios for the lower gears improve acceleration and the launch control function can be used for accelerating with maximum dynamics from a standstill.


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