2012 BMW 3-Series: Bigger, Bolder And More Fuel Efficient Page 2

Follow Viknesh

ActiveHybrid 3 coming next fall

Also coming next year in the fall will be a brand new ActiveHybrid 3 model. Like its ActiveHybrid 5 and ActiveHybrid 7 big brothers, the new ActiveHybrid 3 features a gasoline-electric hybrid drivetrain that remains sporty yet frugal.

In this case, BMW has combined its N55 straight-six engine with a hybrid-specific eight-speed automatic transmission with integrated electric motor, which for limited periods can increase power by up to 55 horsepower.

Maximum combined output is 335 horsepower, with a maximum combined torque of 330 pound-feet. BMW says performance is similar to its 335i model but with gas mileage of around 36.7 mpg for the European combined cycle.

For BMW’s setup, the electric motor supplies the engine with supplementary driving power and can provide a boost function when more power is required, such as overtaking or accelerating up a hill. It also has an electric only mode that can carry it for 2.5 miles and at speeds of up to 37 mph without any emissions.

Note, during overrun and braking, the electric motor acts as a generator, converting kinetic energy into electrical energy, which is used to charge the lithium-ion battery stored in the trunk.

Aerodynamics also plays an important part in the 2012 BMW 3-Series’ overall efficiency. On the far left and right of the main ducts situated in the front bumper are small vertical intakes which help create an “Air Curtain”. This new technology improves air flow around the front wheels, enhancing aerodynamic efficiency and reducing fuel consumption at higher speeds.

The end result is a very low drag coefficient of just 0.26 cd.

Follow Us

Comments (5)
  1. It's not bad.. but I can't say it looks good either. And seriously, I think this car could have been better with a 1.6 turbo and 2.0 turbo alone.

    I don't see why you need two models that can do 0-60 in around 5.5 seconds. Leave those speeds for the M3.

    Does power and acceleration still sell? I wonder..

  2. It is a beautiful car, it maintains an individual look whilst darwing on other cars in the BMW lineup such as the 5-series and the Z4. BMW still cares about dynamics and driver enjoyment whilst catering to the environment. Performance sounds as great as it has always been, all in all a seemingly great car to take BMW into the future.

  3. I think BMW is making a mistake and taking Audi's lead in making model lines look almost identical except for size. Don't get me wrong, it looks good, but there is more to a 3 than size. With this car, it loses it's unique identity.

  4. Totally agree here. And it doesn't help that the interiors are so similar as well. This 3 really seems just like a downsized 5. And the 7-Series is no longer the elegant luxury barge I always hoped it would be, just more of the same. At least Mercedes differentiates its cars, inside and out.

    It's sad when I think that the most exciting BMW right now, at least for me, is the 1-Series M Coupe. Hopefully the 3-Series Coupe and eventual M3 will address this.

  5. it's so cool, i like it.

Commenting is closed for old articles.

Take Us With You!


Get FREE Dealer Quotes

From dealers near you

Research New Cars


Related Used Listings

Browse used listings in your area.

© 2015 MotorAuthority. All Rights Reserved. MotorAuthority is published by High Gear Media. Stock photography by izmo, Inc. Send us feedback.