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    BMW Reveals More Information On ActiveHybrid 3, 3-Series Wagon



    William Maley

    Staff Writer - CheersandGears.com

    July 9, 2012

    BMW has revealed some new information on the ActiveHybrid 3 and 3-Series Sports Wagon over the past couple of days.

    Lets start with the ActiveHybrid3. The hybrid version of the new 3-Series will pack the 3.0L turbocharged inline-six from the 335i and a electric motor with a lithium-ion battery pack to produce 340 HP and 332 lb-ft of torque. Going to the rear wheels via an eight-speed automatic, the ActiveHybrid3 can reach 60 MPH in 5.3 seconds, 0.2 quicker than the 335i.

    BMW says the ActiveHybrid 3 can travel up to 2.5 miles or up to 46 MPH on electric power alone.

    Fuel economy and pricing hasn't been revealed at this time.

    The ActiveHybrid 3 arrives at your local BMW dealer this fall.

    Next: And for the Sports Wagon..


    In May, BMW announced the 3-Series Sports Wagon and said it was coming to the U.S. next spring. What they didn't tell us what was models we were getting. Now, BMW has let out some more information on the U.S. version.

    The U.S.-spec 3-Series Sport Wagon will come only in the 328i guise. That means a 2.0L turbocharged-four producing 240 HP and 255 lb-ft of torque. An eight-speed automatic transmission will be the sole choice.

    The 3-Series Sport Wagon will be available in the Luxury, Modern, Sport, and M-Sport lines. Sport and M-Sport get the option a eight-speed automatic with steering-wheel-mounted paddle shifters. Also coming is the option of the rear tailgate opening with the wave of your foot underneath the vehicle.

    As for the possibility of a 335i Sports Wagon, BMW isn't saying anything.

    William Maley is a staff writer for Cheers & Gears. He can be reached at william.maley@cheersandgears.com or you can follow him on twitter at @realmudmonster.

    Press Releases are on Pages 3 & 4


    The quintessential sport sedan combines with cutting-edge hybrid technology for a new dimension to The Ultimate Driving Machine

    Woodcliff Lake, NJ – July 6, 2012…. The all-new BMW ActiveHybrid 3 brings cutting-edge hybrid technology to the quintessential sport sedan for a new take on The Ultimate Driving Machine TM. The ActiveHybrid 3 blends BMW’s TwinPower Turbo 3.0-liter inline 6-cylinder and 8-speed Steptronic automatic transmission with an electric motor powered by a high-voltage battery. Together the inline 6 and electric motor combine for 335 horsepower and 332 lb-ft of torque, an increase of 13 percent and 11 percent respectively. In addition to the boost available for the internal combustion engine, the electric motor is capable of powering the ActiveHybrid 3 emissions free for speeds up to 45 mph (70 km/h) for distances up to 2.5 miles (four kilometers). The 2013 BMW ActiveHybrid 3 will arrive in US showrooms this fall at an MSRP of $50,195 including destination and handling.

    Electric motor and eight-speed automatic transmission share the same housing.

    BMW expanding the availability of its intelligent hybrid drive technology with its next ActiveHybrid production model. Again, a gasoline engine is combined with an electric motor to enhance both efficiency and the brand’s hallmark driving pleasure.

    In the BMW ActiveHybrid 3, BMW’s 3.0-liter TwinPower Turbo in-line six engine is coupled with an electric motor and an eight-speed Steptronic automatic transmission which sends combined power of 335 hp to the rear wheels. The BMW ActiveHybrid 3’s synchronous electric motor is powered by a lithium-ion high-voltage battery housed under the luggage compartment between the wheel arches. The latest-generation BMW ActiveHybrid technology also adds precisely controlled – and extremely efficient – energy management to the mix.

    The result is an extremely well-integrated overall system which convincingly showcases the benefits of BMW ActiveHybrid technology out on the road.

    Powerful and efficient: the award-winning BMW TwinPower Turbo inline 6-cylinder in the BMW ActiveHybrid 3.

    The BMW ActiveHybrid 3 is the second hybrid model from BMW – after the BMW ActiveHybrid 5 – to use an in-line 6-cylinder engine in its powertrain. Also featured in the BMW 335i, this engine develops maximum output of 300 hp at 5,800 rpm and maximum torque of 300 lb-ft between 1,200 and 5,000 rpm. It has gained wide recognition as offering outstanding driving enjoyment and efficiency.

    It has already won the international “Engine of the Year” award two years in a row. The six-cylinder powerplant’s BMW TwinPower Turbo technology comprises a twin-scroll turbocharger, High Precision Direct Injection and VALVETRONIC fully variable valve timing. This technology package improves throttle response and revving ability as well as refinement and efficiency, while an aluminum crankcase also optimizes weight.

    Electric motor: eager power delivery, compact design.

    The BMW ActiveHybrid 3’s synchronous electric motor develops a maximum output of 55 hp. As well as supporting all-electric operation around town, it can also provide a performance-boosting function for more powerful acceleration. In either case, the drive power is supplied instantly and without lag. Like all electric motors, this one develops its full torque – of 155 lb-ft – from a standing start.

    The electric motor is compactly integrated within the housing of the eight-speed automatic transmission, and is connected to the transmission by a clutch. Its operating temperature is controlled by the cooling system of the internal combustion engine. Thanks among other things to its high internal efficiency and low weight, the eight-speed automatic transmission contributes to the efficiency of the powertrain as a whole.

    With its eight speeds, it combines a wide gear range with close ratio spacing. It also allows more use to be made of top gear, for a fuel-efficient, low-rpm driving style. The direct downshift capability and exceptionally short shift times can support very sporty driving, too. Throughout, the high-performance transmission controller ensures that gear changes are always closely matched to the driver’s demands and the driving situation.

    Optionally, the BMW ActiveHybrid 3 can be supplied with a quick-shifting sports automatic transmission, whose dynamic characteristics are emphasized by a customized selector lever and steering wheel-mounted paddle shifts.

    Lithium-ion high-voltage battery housed underneath the boot.

    The electric motor is powered by a lithium-ion high-voltage battery, which was developed specifically for the BMW ActiveHybrid 3. The battery is encased in a special high-strength housing and positioned between the wheel arches in the trunk. This provides optimal protection for the battery and helps to ensure a well-balanced weight distribution. The battery cooling system is integrated into the air conditioning cooling circuit. The battery comprises 96 cells and has an effective energy capacity of 675 Wh.

    In addition to its conventional 14V electrical system, the BMW ActiveHybrid 3 is also equipped with a high-voltage electrical system with 317 volts. Linked by a voltage transformer, these two systems provide maximum electrical power throughout the operating range, for improved performance and comfort. Both the electric motor and the air conditioning compressor are powered exclusively by the lithium-ion high-voltage battery, via the high-voltage electrical system. This allows the desired interior climate to be maintained even when the internal combustion engine is not running – i.e. when the car is at a standstill, operating purely on electric power or in coasting mode.

    Full-hybrid capabilities for zero tailpipe emissions, boost function for extra-dynamic performance.

    Up to a speed of 45 mph (75 km/h), the BMW ActiveHybrid 3 can operate in all-electric mode for zero emissions when coasting and in city traffic. Fully charged, the lithium-ion high-voltage battery provides an all-electric driving range of up to 2.5 miles (four kilometer) at an average speed of about 20 mph (35 km/h).

    The internal combustion engine is only started when the driver requires more power; it is then engaged automatically. Its performance can be boosted by the electric motor to provide extra power when accelerating. Maximum combined power is 335 hp, with maximum torque of 330 lb-ft). Under combined ICE/electric power, the BMW ActiveHybrid 3 delivers a 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) acceleration time of 5.3 seconds. The Sedan’s governed top speed is 155 mph (250 km/h) when equipped with performance tires.

    Hybrid-specific auto start-stop function and coasting mode.

    The specially designed hybrid auto start-stop function ensures that comfort is not affected even when the vehicle is stopped in traffic for longer periods – because the automatic climate control and the on-board electrical system are powered by the lithium-ion high-voltage battery. On moving off again, when the driver releases the brake, the vehicle will restart on either the electric motor alone or the electric motor and the engine, depending on the high-voltage battery’s current charge level and on how much power the driver wants or needs.

    ECO PRO mode, which can be activated via the Driving Experience Control switch, supports a particularly fuel-efficient driving style in the BMW ActiveHybrid 3 and makes more frequent use of all-electric mode. ECO PRO mode modifies the characteristics of the powertrain, including the transmission, while the electrically powered convenience functions are programmed for optimal energy efficiency.

    Coasting mode, a new development for the BMW ActiveHybrid models, boosts efficiency by shutting the internal combustion engine down not only when the vehicle is stationary, or when driving in town.

    Coasting mode switches off the petrol engine and disconnects it from the driveshaft. From this point on, the BMW ActiveHybrid 3 coasts soundlessly, with zero emissions and with no engine braking effect. The efficiency improvements are further enhanced by reduced rolling resistance tires.

    In ECO PRO mode, the coasting function is available at any speed up to 100 mph (160 km/h), while in Comfort mode it operates between 37 and 50 mph (60 and 80 km/h) when the brakes are applied lightly. In Sport and Sport+ mode the coasting function is not available.

    Even in coasting mode, all safety and comfort functions remain fully operational. When the combustion engine is shut down at a standstill, as well as during all-electric operation and in coasting mode, the electrically powered stationary climate control continues to maintain a pleasant interior climate. The stationary climate control can also be used to cool the interior before getting into the vehicle.

    Intelligent energy management with proactive analysis of the driving situation.

    In the BMW ActiveHybrid 3, the advanced-design power electronics have been developed a stage further. In addition to coordinating the operation of the internal combustion engine and electric motor based on the current driving situation, they also support proactive, forward-thinking analysis of the driving situation for even more efficient energy management. To achieve this, the power electronics can be linked up to the optional navigation system. When a destination has been input and route guidance is active, the electronics can then access and analyze data that can take advantage of an upcoming change in external conditions or driver requirements. Based on this analysis, and subject to the quality of the navigation data, the vehicle can be prepared in advance for imminent requirements so that all powertrain systems and the onboard electronics can be managed appropriately and in such a way as to make the most efficient possible use of the available energy.

    Factors that may cause a change in powertrain operating strategy include the topography of the route and speed limits. For example, if the system knows that a downhill stretch is coming up soon, the BMW ActiveHybrid 3 can wait to recharge its battery and invest all the high-voltage battery’s electrical energy in providing supplementary driving power, since the battery will be recharged during the forthcoming descent at no cost in terms of fuel consumption.

    On longer downhill sections the electric motor’s generator function, too, can be enlisted to recharge the high-voltage battery with no loss of speed. The operating strategy can also be managed so as to achieve, as far as possible, optimal charging of the high-voltage battery when nearing the end of the journey, thereby increasing the electric driving range on the “last lap”.

    The operating status of the powertrain components is shown in intuitive, model-specific displays in the instrument cluster and in the Control Display of the BMW ActiveHybrid 3. As well as the energy flow and energy recuperation display, these include a further gauge next to the rev counter which shows the boost effect being provided by the electric motor during acceleration.

    A model-specific menu in the iDrive operating system provides a variety of information – for example on the lithium-ion high-voltage battery’s charge level and the power sharing between the internal combustion engine and the electric motor in the course of a journey. A fuel consumption history can also be displayed, which not only shows fuel consumption history for the previous 15 minutes and the extent to which the electric motor of the BMW ActiveHybrid 3 has been used.

    Typical BMW 3 Series: highest standards of driving dynamics and comfort.

    The chassis specifications of the BMW ActiveHybrid 3 include a double-pivot strut-type front suspension and five-arm rear suspension, as well as the Electric Power Steering with Servotronic.

    Adaptive M Suspension is available, while the Dynamic Stability Control system, which stabilizes the vehicle by applying braking pressure and reducing engine power, also incorporates functions such as Dynamic Traction Control, the Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Cornering Brake Control, Dynamic Brake Control, Brake Assist, Fading Compensation, a Brake Drying function and Start-Off Assistant.

    In addition to ECO PRO mode, the standard Driving Experience Control switch also offers SPORT+, SPORT and COMFORT set-ups.

    These different modes allow the driver to alter the accelerator response characteristics, engine response, power steering characteristics, DSC settings, shift characteristics of the automatic transmission and, if the vehicle is equipped with Adaptive M Suspension, the damping characteristics as well.

    Model lettering on the C-pillars and on the rear.

    Viewed from the side, the hint of a wedge shape underlines the sporty, forward-surging character of a typical 3 Series Sedan. Its silhouette radiates a fine sense of balance, reflecting the even distribution of weight between the front and rear wheels.

    Extra flaring around the rear wheel arches emphasizes the presence of rear wheel drive. High-quality details, such as the particularly tight line of the Hofmeister kink at the base of the C-pillar and the door openers recessed into the side swage lines, reinforce the Sedan’s premium character. The modern look of the ActiveHybrid 3 is underlined by standard satin-finish window surrounds and BMW Individual High-gloss Shadow features in the side graphic. The hybrid variant can also be identified by the “ActiveHybrid 3” lettering on its C-pillars.

    The powerfully formed rear end, with its dominant horizontal lines, likewise accentuates the sporting credentials of the Sedan, while the L-shaped LED rear lights ensure the car is instantly recognizable at night. Identifying features of the hybrid model include additional “ActiveHybrid 3” lettering on the trunk lid and matt chrome exhaust tailpipes integrated into the far left and right of the rear apron. In addition, 18-inch Streamline light-alloy wheels with optimized aerodynamic properties are available exclusively for this model.

    The BMW ActiveHybrid 3 can also be ordered with the Sport, Modern or Luxury lines as well as the M Sport line.

    Subtle design cues in the interior.

    In common with its BMW 3 Series siblings, the interior of the BMW ActiveHybrid 3 is characterized by its driver-focused cockpit design and impressive spaciousness. However, the hybrid model also contains a selection of bespoke touches, including “ActiveHybrid 3” lettering on the front door sills and on the gear lever knob in the center console.

    The BMW 3 Series hybrid model also stands apart from all the other variants of the Sedan with its specific engine cover.

    The rev counter area includes graphics detailing the electric motor’s boost function as well as the energy flow and recuperation display, which is why the instrument cluster of the BMW ActiveHybrid 3 also comes as standard with a 6.5-inch screen for extended display capability.

    In addition to the optionally available navigation system, numerous other vehicle, entertainment and communications functions can be operated via the iDrive system, whose Control Display is integrated harmoniously into the instrument panel.

    Comprehensive safety specification.

    The body structure of the BMW ActiveHybrid 3 meets highest standards of strength and intelligent lightweight design. Like all BMW’s it has an extremely stiff passenger cell. Intelligent use of higher-strength multi-phase steels and hot-stamped ultra-high-tensile steel helps give the safety passenger cell maximum rigidity, combined with relatively low weight. The new 3 Series was recently designated a “Best Pick” by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety for its outstanding passenger protection.

    In a collision, high-strength load-bearing structures and large deformation zones help to keep impact forces away from the passenger cell and also from the hybrid drive components. Standard safety features on the BMW ActiveHybrid 3 also include front and side airbags, side curtain head airbags for both rows of seats, three-point inertia-reel belts on all seats, front seat belt force limiters, belt latch tensioners and active head restraints, as well as ISOFIX child seat attachments in the rear.

    The hybrid components are likewise protected by a comprehensive safety package. All elements of the high-voltage electrical system are protected by extensive insulation and specially designed connectors. The hybrid-related safety features protecting the lithium-ion high-voltage battery and the power electronics are integrated into the top-class comprehensive active and passive safety system featured on all BMW 3 Series models.

    Functionality remains virtually uncompromised.

    Since the lithium-ion high-performance battery is packaged under the trunk, the load capacity of the BMW ActiveHybrid 3 is reduced only marginally compared with other BMW 3 Series Sedan models. The battery is encased in a special housing and is fitted in a protected position between the wheel arches, which also offers optimal security in a crash.

    This space-saving integration under the boot allows for a completely level load floor and means the rear seat backrests with optional 40:20:40 split-folding remain fully functional. The positioning of the high-voltage battery near to the rear axle also contributes to the balanced weight distribution of the BMW ActiveHybrid 3.

    Climate control with individual controls and stationary function as standard.

    The dual-zone automatic climate control fitted as standard in the BMW ActiveHybrid 3 allows the ventilation and temperature to be controlled individually both for the driver and front passenger and in the rear. This system comprises, among other features, comfort air vents, additional outlets in the B-pillars and a separate control unit on the rear face of the center console.

    The BMW ActiveHybrid 3 sources the energy for its electric air conditioning compressor from the lithium-ion high-voltage battery. The standard stationary climate control function allows the on-board temperature to be controlled even when the combustion engine is switched off. In order to cool the interior in advance, the system can also be activated from outside the car several minutes before the start of a journey by using the car key.

    The optionally available navigation system includes hard disk storage for maps and music collections. It is operated using the iDrive operating system which, in addition to the Controller with direct menu control buttons on the center console, also comes with an 8.8-inch monitor integrated into the instrument panel. The iDrive system is also used to operate a host of vehicle, communications and entertainment functions.

    Exclusive options for tailor-made comfort, extensive range of BMW ConnectedDrive features.

    The selection of BMW ConnectedDrive systems available as an option for the BMW ActiveHybrid 3 includes Park Distance Control, rear-view camera, Top and Side View, Active Blind Spot Detection all as part of the Driver Assistance Package. Driver Assistance Plus adds Lane Departure Warning with Forward Collision Warning and Speed Limit Info. Adaptive Headlights and High Beam Assistant.

    The available Technology Package includes Navigation, Head-up Display, Online Information Systems, Smartphone Integration, BMW Assist with enhanced Bluetooth and USB port, BMW Apps and Real Time Traffic Info.

    Innovative technologies allow both the integration of an Apple iPhone (or other smartphones) and music players and apps. Among other features, the BMW Apps option enables Apple iPhone owners to receive web radio stations and view Facebook and Twitter posts on the on-board monitor while stationary. It also facilitates easy access and control of streaming services like Pandora and MOG and, soon, Stitcher as well.

    The 2013 BMW ActiveHybrid 3 will be available in US BMW Centers this fall.


    All-New BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon

    More details revealed for the much anticipated wagon of enthusiasts

    Woodcliff Lake, NJ – July 5, 2012 6:00pm EDT… The favorite wagon of enthusiasts, the all-new 3 Series Sports Wagon will again offer the flexibility and utility one would expect from a premium wagon combined with the driving dynamics of the quintessential sport sedan, the BMW 3 Series. The new BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon will launch in Europe later this year and is set to arrive in US showrooms in the Spring of 2013 with the award winning N20 4-cylinder TwinTurbo engine, 8-speed automatic transmission and the equipment Lines shared with its recently introduced 328i sedan sibling.

    The new 3 Series Sports Wagon is slightly larger than its predecessor, most notably its wider track (front + 37 mm/1.46 in., rear + 48 mm/1.85 in.). The car’s length (+ 97 mm/3.66 in.) and wheelbase (+ 50 mm/1.96 in.) also accentuate its sporting character. Inside, the new BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon, rear passengers will appreciate the noticeable increase in space made possible by the larger dimensions. These larger dimensions also pay dividends in utility with nearly ten percent more cargo volume both with the rear seats up and when folded.

    The new 3 Series Sports Wagon will be the next model to offer BMW Lines as a way to tailor the car to individual tastes, just as with the Sedan, by choosing from a quartet of trim and equipment variants – the Sport Line, Luxury Line, Modern Line and M Sport Line Each presents its own individual take on the character of the Sports wagon, with exclusive, high-quality trim and material combinations. For the enthusiast who wants to go beyond even the Sport Line, the M Sport Line will also be offered from launch because it is, after all, a BMW 3 Series at its heart.

    BMW 328i Sports Wagon: new 4-cylinder gasoline engine with TwinPower Turbo technology sets a new benchmark for driving dynamics and efficiency. With the launch of the new sports wagon, an ultra-modern 4-cylinder engine makes its debut in a BMW sports wagon. In keeping with the dynamic overall theme of the new BMW sports sedan, this new-generation of turbocharged engines offers plenty of power and performance, responsive acceleration, powerful torque, a high rpm ceiling and low weight. The new 4-cylinder engine, provides noticeably livelier power for maximum driving enjoyment, also comes with lower fuel consumption than its predecessor.

    The state-of-the-art, lively 2.0-litre engine marks a return to the popular sports wagon’s roots – it was with lightweight, high-performance 4-cylinder engines in a similar vein that the BMW 3 Series made its debut back in 1975, with the first 6-cylinder engines for this series making their appearance at the 1977 Frankfurt Motor Show.

    The significant upgrade in power and efficiency is chiefly down to the use of BMW TwinPower Turbo technology, which combines High Precision Direct Petrol Injection, Double-Vanos variable camshaft timing and VALVETRONIC variable valve timing along with twin-scroll turbocharging. On the new-generation 4-cylinder engine, this world-exclusive technology package from BMW again provides a very efficient way to extract more power from the engine, rather than taking the route of a much larger displacement and, in the process, adding to the weight and therefore to fuel consumption. This explains why the more dynamic performance and driving enjoyment does not come at the expense of higher fuel consumption and emissions.

    The new BMW TwinPower Turbo 4-cylinder’s displacement of 1,997 cc delivers maximum power of 180 kW/ 240 hp at 5,000 rpm while, thanks to twin-scroll turbocharging, the maximum torque of 255 lb-ft is developed at just 1,250 rpm and remains constant up to 4,800 rpm. These statistics translate to commensurately dynamic performance: the new BMW 328i accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 6.0 seconds, on its way to an electronically governed top speed of 155 mph with Sport Line. The engine responds instantly when the driver demands more throttle, and the vigorous and almost linear power delivery from only slightly above idle, which continues all the way into the higher rpm range, is duly impressive.

    BMW TwinPower Turbo technology in the new 4-cylinder engine.

    This new engine is the most powerful in a new generation of 4-cylinder engines designed in accordance with the BMW EfficientDynamics strategy, which aims to combine increased driving enjoyment with reduced fuel consumption and emissions. In technical terms, this new 4-cylinder engine is modeled on the current multi-award-winning 6-cylinder inline engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology (N55), which is the benchmark in its class for dynamic power delivery and impressive efficiency. This world-exclusive technology combines High Precision Direct Petrol Injection, Double-Vanos variable camshaft timing and VALVETRONIC variable valve timing with twin-scroll turbocharging.

    These features give the new BMW 328i the sort of power which with a naturally aspirated engine would require more cylinders and larger displacement. At the same time, with its all-aluminum crankcase, this engine is lighter and more compact than a 6-cylinder engine of equivalent power. This has obvious benefits for driving dynamics: the reduced load on the front axle gives this BMW sports wagon greater agility and further improved steering and cornering characteristics.

    Twin-scroll turbocharging.

    The new 4-cylinder engines also feature twin-scroll turbocharging. This means that the exhaust stream from cylinders 1 and 4, and the exhaust stream from cylinders 2 and 3, follow separate spiral-shaped paths to the turbine wheel. This reduces exhaust back-pressure at low engine rpm, allowing the energy of the exhaust gas pulses to be utilized as efficiently as possible. The result is instant throttle response and fast-revving performance which BMW drivers can instantly translate into driving pleasure.

    VALVETRONIC, Double-Vanos and High Precision Direct Injection.

    The combination of a high power output and a simultaneous reduction in emissions is achieved by VALVETRONIC variable valve timing and Double-Vanos variable camshaft timing. The latest generation of the VALVETRONIC system features a faster-acting, optimized stepper motor with integrated sensor. Seamlessly variable control of intake valve lift dispenses with the need for a throttle butterfly. Instead, the air mass is controlled inside the engine, resulting in faster response. At the same time, pumping losses have been reduced to a minimum.

    The excellent efficiency is also down to the High Precision Direct Injection system. Centrally positioned between the valves, solenoid injectors precisely control the supply of fuel. The fuel is injected very close to the spark plug, with a maximum injection pressure of 200 bar (2900 psi), resulting in clean and homogeneous combustion. The cooling effect of the directly injected fuel also results in a higher compression ratio than on port injection engines, bringing further efficiency improvements.

    Exceptional performance assisted by innovative design features.

    The exceptional performance of the new engine is also due to various innovative features of the core engine. For example, twin balancer shafts positioned at different heights result in optimized vibration absorption, while a centrifugal pendulum absorber integrated in the dual-mass flywheel brings a noticeable reduction in irregular running at low engine rpm. The driver can therefore make full use of the strong low-end torque without sacrificing smoothness. These factors all help to explain why the new 2.0-litre 4-cylinder engine achieves refinement, noise and vibration of a kind that was previously confined to BMW 6-cylinder engines.

    All this performance comes with exceptional fuel economy figures. In the EU test cycle, the new BMW 328i Touring records average fuel consumption of only 6.8 litres per 100 kilometres (41.5 mpg), allowing it to better the economy of the outgoing 160 kW/218 hp BMW 325i Sport Wagon by a full 10 per cent. Technical progress is equally in evidence with the new eight-speed automatic transmission, which can claim an improvement of up to 11 per cent in fuel economy over its predecessor (6.5 liters / 43.4 mpg imp.

    Sporty 8-speed automatic transmission as standard; state-of-the-art 8-speed sports automatic with steering wheel mounted paddle shift is optionally available. The BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon owes its characteristic driving experience not just to its high-torque, fast-revving engines, but also to its transmissions. For performance-minded drivers the transmission, as the interface where the power from the engine is relayed to the rear wheels, is pivotal to a dynamic driving experience. It is just as important for it to offer precise shifting as to provide the right ratios. Smooth shifting, low noise and efficient design are further qualities demanded in the premium segment. For drivers who value a silky smooth seamlessly variable transmission and love to leave the shifting to the transmission, they will find an ideal offering in the innovative 8-speed automatic transmission. Drivers can also opt for a sports automatic version of this transmission, with steering wheel-mounted paddle shifts as an upgrade with the Sport Line and M Sport package.

    Innovative 8-speed automatic transmission: efficient power transmission and optimal ratios.

    The new BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon equipped with the optionally available high-performance

    sport 8-speed automatic transmission with steering wheel mounted paddle shifts, offers additional ratios not currently offered by any competitors in the premium compact sports wagon segment – This transmission combines unprecedented standards of comfortable shifting, sporty performance and efficiency. With all this going for it, the automatic transmission is fully in keeping with the overall sporty temperament of the new BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon.

    In terms of size and weight, this 8-speed unit is comparable with the 6-speed automatic transmission used in the past. A range of innovative technical features and exceptionally high internal efficiency allow this higher-performance unit to combine powerful acceleration, strong mid-range sprinting and further reduced fuel consumption. For performance-minded drivers this transmission also has lots to offer, particularly since the driver can choose to play a more active role by changing gears manually, thereby releasing even more of this sporty wagon’s potential.

    With its optimized control technology, the 8-speed transmission boasts extremely fast shift and reaction times and direct downshift capability. The electronic transmission controller can also alter the shift characteristics as required, to cater either for a sportier or for a more relaxed, fuel-saving driving style. Despite a larger overall spread, eight ratios mean that the spacing between them is smaller, so that the optimal ratio is available in virtually all situations. The close ratios deliver turbine-like power combined with smooth and fuel-efficient low-rpm operation. The new 8-speed automatic also allows drivers to maintain a very economical driving style.

    A sports version of the new 8-speed automatic transmission is available as an option for cars equipped with the Sport Line and M Sport package. This unit offers even sportier shift characteristics (e.g. faster shift times), and the option of changing gear manually using the paddle shifts on the steering wheel. Alternatively, it is also possible to use the electronic selector lever on the center console. The Normal and Sport modes are chosen using the Driving Dynamics Control switch. This allows the sports automatic to deliver both dynamic driving enjoyment and top-level comfort.

    Striking face with precise contours and multi-faceted surfaces.

    Characteristically, the sporting nature of the new BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon is made apparent to the eye by its wide track. By accentuating the width of the car, the multi-faceted surfaces of the expressive front fascia give the 3 Series Sports Wagon a more athletic appearance than ever.

    A three-dimensional interpretation of the upright, slightly forward-slanting BMW kidney grille emphasizes an assured presence. LED accent lights positioned like eyebrows above the traditional four round headlights with corona rings (if Adaptive Xenon headlights are specified) lend an extra intensity to the classic BMW focused look. Clearly defined headlight surrounds now extend up to the frame of the kidney grille, merging the headlights and grille into a single stylistic element and adding further emphasis to the car’s broad-set stance. The 3 Series Sports Wagon replaces the central air intake of its predecessor with two larger intakes, which are positioned underneath the headlights to the outer edges of the front fascia and add extra depth to the wagon’s sporty look. On the left and right edges of the main ducts are small vertical intakes which help create the “Air Curtain”. This new technology improves air flow around the front wheels, enhancing aerodynamic efficiency and reducing fuel consumption at higher speeds.

    The closely spaced, squat openings of the kidney grille, with their eye-catching surrounds, form the most prominent element of the new BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon’s front design. It is also where the precise lines of the dynamically contoured hood begin at the base of the A pillars and flow over the full length of the hood. The result is a front that appears lower-slung, giving the 3 Series Sports Wagon a clear sporting edge when viewed head-on.

    Precise lines produce a silhouette that enhances the sport wagon’s dynamic impact.

    Powerfully taut surfaces with sweeping lines dominate the side view of the BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon, stretching the car visually and lending extra verve to its dynamic stance. The flanks of the car are shaped by an eye-catching double character line running alongside each other. The higher character line emerges out of the low-slung nose and flows over the front wheel with an understated sweep, in a nod to the wagon’s fleetness of foot. The second character line develops lower down behind the front wheel and follows a delicately arching path towards the rear. Together, they reinforce the dynamic wedge shape of the wagon’s flanks. As well as providing a discreet increase in muscularity in the rear section below the character line, these styling cues also create vivid light and shade effects, which draw further attention to the wagon’s wide track.

    The wagon’s athletic overall impression is emphasized by the steeply raked D-pillars, the angle of the rear window and the subtly wedge-shaped geometry of the window surfaces. The roofline – which slopes downwards slightly to the rear and is extended visually by a spoiler – and the “Hofmeister kink” at the foot of the D-pillar also generate a sense of dynamic tension. The fine balance between the greenhouse and the body lends the new BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon a sporty, elegant and nimble look, while the rear lights extend well into the sides of the body and combine with its flowing lines to create a harmonious transition between the flanks and rear section.

    The rear of the new BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon also boasts a blend of sporting elegance and modern practicality. The horizontal lines and L-shaped lights set far to the outer edges accentuate the subtly flared fenders and the wider track. Two integrated bars of LEDs allow a slim light design and ensure they maintain an appearance that is instantly recognizable as a BMW both day and night. The positioning of the lights at the outer edges of the rear underline the car’s hunkered-down stance on the road. The large tailgate opening with separate rear window opening and low sill make loading and unloading bulky items that much easier while offering an accessibility option to loading and unloading cargo.

    The new BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon again features a rear window that opens separately from the tailgate. The window is unlocked electrically via a button on the rear window wiper arm and opened by hand. This practical function makes it easier to load and unload smaller items – especially when space is tight, as the rear window opens up rather than out.

    In order to make access to its generous cargo area easier, a power tailgate will be offered for the first time on a 3 Series Sports Wagon. Getting into the cargo area can be done at the touch of a button, either on the remote key or from inside the interior. Access is made even easier when Comfort Access is ordered, as it will include the Hands Free Opening Tailgate. If one approaches the new 3 Series Sports Wagon with hands full, one need only stick a foot under the rear bumper to initiate the operation and the tailgate automatically swings open.

    Driving Dynamics Control switch with ECO PRO mode: extra-sporty, more relaxed or more fuel-efficient driving modes – at the press of a button.

    The new BMW 3 Series Sport Wagon offers impressive driving dynamics combined with new standards of comfort unique in its segment. This is a result of superbly tuned suspension which achieves an astonishing balance between dynamics and comfort. On top of this, drivers are also able to vary the overall character of the sports wagon depending on the driving situation or to suit their personal preferences. As well as sportier or more comfortable drive settings, they can also opt for extra fuel efficiency. The different modes are selected using the new Driving Dynamics Control function including ECO PRO mode, which is standard on all 3 Series models.

    Using the Driving Dynamics Control switch, the driver is able to customize accelerator response characteristics, engine response, the power steering characteristics and the Dynamic Stability Control (DSC) thresholds. The Servotronic function, the automatic transmission and Dynamic Damper Control are integrated into the system too. Using the simple-to-operate rocker switch on the center console, drivers can choose between ECO PRO, COMFORT, SPORT and SPORT+ (depending on equipment) modes. Each of these predefined setups activates different settings for the relevant power train and suspension components.

    In SPORT mode, for example, throttle response is very sharp and the steering becomes even more direct. The shift points of the automatic transmission are altered to provide a significantly sportier drive.

    An additional button allows the driver to change the DSC settings. Selecting Dynamic Traction Control (DTC) mode, for example, makes it much easier to start off on loose surfaces or in deep snow. In this mode as well as in SPORT+ mode, the Dynamic Stability Control thresholds are raised and Dynamic Traction Control (DTC) is activated. It is also possible to shut off DSC altogether. The electronic limited-slip function for the rear differential can then provide extra-sporty acceleration out of corners or hairpin curves.

    ECO PRO mode, meanwhile, supports an extra-efficient and economy-conscious driving style. It does this by changing the accelerator mapping so that the same pedal travel delivers less power than in the standard mode. Also in this mode, the automatic transmission control strategy is modified so as to upshift sooner and to delay downshifts, while intelligent energy and climate management reduces the mechanical power consumption and consumption of electrical systems such as heated mirrors and seats. But the biggest potential for improving fuel economy comes from the driver’s own personal driving habits. Special displays in the instrument cluster informs the driver by how much the driving range is being extended, shows fuel consumption history, or, with reference to the specific driving situation, provides tips and incentives on how to develop a more economy-conscious driving style. ECO PRO mode allows average fuel consumption to be reduced with a corresponding increase in driving range.

    The new BMW 3 Series Sport Wagon at launch will provide even more variety and become even more attractive with the introduction of BMW xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive. In addition to the typical benefits of all-wheel drive, the electronically controlled BMW xDrive system – which can fully vary the driver power split between the front and rear wheels with split-second speed – ensures top-class traction, safety and handling, and optimal power management whatever the weather and road conditions. The system has been recalibrated for greater agility and precision, with benefits also for cornering. With this new version, it offers an ideal combination of dynamism and comfort, and is the ideal basis for maximum driving enjoyment. The BMW 328i xDrive, all-wheel-drive models will go on sale at launch along with the introduction of the rear wheel drive 328i Sports Wagon.

    Four equipment Lines shine the spotlight on the wagon’s distinct character traits.

    High-quality material combinations and unbeatable build quality underline the premium ambience of the new BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon. The materials and color concept of the standard model accentuates the sporting character of the wagon, but a large selection of colors and upholstery variants also offer scope for various other options. From the standard satin silver matte surface treatment to the warm look of the fine burrled walnut wood, all trim surface options can be combined with either the leatherette or one of two leather upholstery colors.

    In addition to the standard trim level, the new BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon can now also be specified with any of four equipment lines. Customers can therefore adapt the appearance of their car to their personal lifestyle and preferences – in their own way and with eye-catching results. The Sport Line, Luxury Line, Modern Line and M Sport Line each emphasize the different sides to the new BMW 3 Series Sport Wagon’s character in their own individual way. The exclusive, carefully coordinated equipment features embrace both exterior design elements and the selection of materials and colors for each model. In terms of value, design coherence and expressiveness, the new BMW Lines go far beyond existing packages in the segment.

    Sport Line: With eye-catching exterior features in high-gloss black, this new line accentuates the dynamic appearance of the BMW 3 Series Sport Wagon. Eight heavily contoured high-gloss black kidney grille slats in a chrome-colored surround give the front end of the car a particularly sporty and alert look. The black inserts in the front apron make the air intakes appear larger and lend extra emphasis to the muscular wheel arches. Bi-color, double-spoke design 18-inch light-alloy wheels provide the athletic looks to match. Meanwhile, black painted exterior mirrors and the standard high-gloss black B-pillar and window trim add an extra sporting flavor to the flanks. A black trim strip on the lower crease underlines the width-enhancing effect of the rear styling, while the black chrome exhaust tips rounds off the exterior’s sporty appearance. The sporty and exclusive ambience of the interior is expressed by contrasting black and red accents. Red trim rings, red scales in the circular dials, red stitching on the sports steering wheel and a base trim strip in high-gloss black with coral red accent strips all underline the sporting ambience of the cockpit. The standard sports seats can be specified in a choice of two upholstery styles and three colors. The ignition key for Sport Line versions of the new BMW 3 Series Sport Wagon is identified by its black finish and red detailing.

    Luxury Line: The discreet high-gloss chrome elements of this line lend the exterior of the BMW 3 Series Sport Wagon a particularly elegant and exclusive appeal. The BMW kidney grille with 11 fine chrome slats, two slightly offset chrome trim strips in the front apron air intakes, and a high-gloss chrome trim strip running horizontally above the air scoop gives the front a striking appearance. As with the Sport Line, the B-pillar and window guide come in high-gloss black, and the window frame and weather strip are in chrome. Special 18-inch light-alloy wheels in multi-spoke design accentuate the stylishness of the new BMW 3 Series Sport Wagon when viewed side-on. From the rear, the new Luxury Line is easily identified by its exquisite, high-gloss chrome trim strip – which extends across the rear apron – and its chrome exhaust tips. Chrome elements also catch the eye inside the Luxury Line variant. This is the only line which gives the radio and air conditioning units a chrome surround. High-gloss wood trim (with stylish inlays are also available) and seats with distinctive stitching and leather upholstery in three classically elegant colors highlight an inviting, exclusive ambience. The ignition key for Luxury Line versions of the new BMW 3 Series Sedan can be identified by its black finish and chrome detailing.

    Modern Line: In contrast to Luxury Line models, the avant-garde trim elements included in Modern Line versions of the new BMW 3 Series Sport Wagon are all in satin aluminum, underlining the contemporary character of this line. The BMW kidney grille, with 11 satin aluminum slats, and double trim strips for the air intakes in the same color give the front end of the new BMW 3 Series Sport Wagon a particularly contemporary, classy touch. The high-gloss black B-pillar of the Modern Line blend smoothly with the satin aluminum trim elements at the front and rear. 18-inch turbine-style light-alloy wheels strengthen the future-focused concept of this equipment line. The harmonious lightness of the interior dispenses with strong contrasts. Instead, with a light upper side to the dashboard and a steering wheel in dark oyster, it generates an all-new ambience. Leather upholstery in oyster or black, and a choice of four trim surfaces with accent strips in pearl-effect chrome, further enhances the appealing interplay between materials. A trim element with three-dimensional structure and open-pored wood, lays on a whole new feast for the fingertips. Modern Line versions of the new BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon are marked out by the oyster-colored ignition key with matte silver detailing.

    M Sport Line: The M Sport Line brings the ultimate in sporting makeovers to the new BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon. An all-new aerodynamic package for the exterior clearly sets cars specified with this package apart from the base model and the three other lines. 18 nch light-alloy wheels in hallmark M design, M Sport suspension, a black kidney grille and BMW Individual High-gloss Shadowline trim give the car that typical M look. The theme continues inside the car with sports seats boasting distinctive upholstery choices, trim elements with blue accent strips, M door sill covers, an M driver’s footrest and the new M leather steering wheel.

    New dimensions in driving pleasure and dynamic performance: Sporty power delivery, outstanding efficiency and enhanced ride comfort. The sixth generation BMW 3 Series sports sedan offers top-level agility and driving dynamics, and they combine all this with new levels of comfort. At the same time, there is no change to the proven basic concept comprising high-performance engines, a sporty chassis and a rigid, lightweight body. After all, over the past 35 or more years, drivers have come to expect dynamic, sporty driving enjoyment as a matter of course in a BMW 3 Series model, while power train and chassis technology rank as a core strength of the brand. A longitudinally mounted engine, rear-wheel drive and a balanced (50:50) weight distribution are a formula that makes the BMW 3 Series the sportiest wagon in its segment.

    BMW EfficientDynamics: More power, less fuel consumption.

    With high-performance engines, superior suspension technology and an extremely torsion-resistant body, the new BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon is building on its position as the sportiest sports wagon unique in its segment. It is also advancing even further on the comfort front. Agility and dynamic performance continue to be the sport wagon’s stand-out features, and are key to its high standards of driving enjoyment. To cap this off, the 3 Series sports wagon also boasts an exceptionally good balance between performance and fuel consumption. This reassuring knowledge is a further incentive for drivers to make full use of the dynamic potential of the new BMW 3 Series Sport Wagon.

    To a large extent, these typical BMW qualities are due to the BMW EfficientDynamics strategy that has been used on the new 3 Series Sports Sedan. A new, more fuel-efficient engine, extra-efficient transmission(s), on-demand control of ancillary units, intelligent lightweight design, Auto Start-Stop function, and low drag aerodynamics including “Air Curtain” and underside fairing all help to consolidate the leadership position of the new BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon on fuel consumption and emissions.

    Auto Start-Stop, Brake Energy Regeneration, ECO PRO mode.

    The new BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon is equipped with an Auto Start-Stop function, which automatically switches off the engine during short stops at traffic lights or in stationary traffic, so as not to waste fuel. For the first time, and uniquely in this class, this system can be combined with the new 8-speed automatic transmission. The new BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon is also equipped with BMW’s now familiar Brake Energy Regeneration system. With Brake Energy Regeneration, power for the vehicle’s electrical system is generated only during braking and overrun. When the engine is under load, the alternator can often be disengaged. This not only means that electricity can be generated with little or no effect on fuel consumption, it also grants the sports wagon livelier acceleration. Finally, the new Driving Experience Control switch gives drivers the option of selecting ECO PRO mode by modifying the power train management and re-programming the heating and air conditioning, the heated seats and the exterior mirrors to operate at optimum efficiency while reducing fuel consumption.

    On-demand control of ancillary units saves energy.

    Intelligent energy management in the new BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon is further enhanced by the ancillary units, which consume significantly less energy compared with conventional systems. Examples include the on-demand coolant pump, the electronically controlled oil pump and the electromechanical steering system, which only consumes electric power when steering assistance is actually required. The special air conditioning compressor featured on many of the sports sedan models works on the same principle. As soon as the driver switches the air conditioning off, the belt drive to the compressor is disconnected by a magnetic clutch, to minimize power drain.

    Intelligent lightweight design brings further reduction in fuel consumption.

    Use of lightweight materials has played a significant role in reducing vehicle weight and in delivering high passenger cell safety standards, combined with a significant increase in strength. At the same time, these measures also help to ensure superior driving dynamics. Intelligent lightweight design is integrated into all areas of BMW vehicle development work and into all components, from the body and engine to the suspension. Materials used include high and ultra-high tensile steels, a hot-stamped B-pillar, plastics and state-of the-art composites. Increased use of aluminum components in the engine and suspension systems has also further reduced the weight of the relevant assemblies.

    Practicality and versatility: Hallmarks for the new 3 Series Sport Wagon

    The new BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon offers remarkable flexibility. A net as well as an additional strap along the right side panel can be used to help secure cargo. Four tie-downs are integrated into the cargo floor. A net along the left-hand panel will also be available. A pair of coat hooks and an addition 12-volt outlet add an extra measure of flexibility. A storage tray under the load compartment floor and a deep stowage compartment on the left-hand side of the cargo area can accommodate smaller items. Another neat twist, the luggage compartment cover can be stowed away under the load compartment floor, allowing it to be kept in the car even when not in use. Also standard is a separate partition net, which can be employed in a variety of ways even when the rear seat backrests are folded down. The rear seats can be folded down in three sections in a 40:20:40 split. The large through-loading facility allows the new 3 Series Sports Wagon to carry four adults and longer items, such as skis or snowboards, at the same time.

    In addition to the increase in load-carrying capacity –the usable space between the wheel arches has also grown in size – the Sports Wagon also makes a credible case for a high degree of versatility. The folding rear seat bench can be split 40:20:40 as standard, allowing load capacity to expand up to a maximum of 35.3 cu. ft. Folding down all the backrests creates an almost level load compartment floor with a smooth transition to the sides of the interior. The generously sized tailgate aperture, measuring from 38” to 40.5 “wide and 26” high, makes it easier to load in bulky items over the strategically place scuff plates designed and placed to protect the luxuriously appointed cargo interior.

    In addition to the flexibility and utility offered by the interior of the new BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon, other features unique to this model includes roof-rails that provide a basis for many optionally available racking systems for everything from bicycles and skis to cargo boxes. It will also be available with a full glass panoramic sunroof.

    BMW ConnectedDrive: The latest in safety and infotainment

    With its broad range of driver assistance systems and mobility services, all offered as part of BMW ConnectedDrive, the new BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon sets a new benchmark when it comes to safety, convenience and infotainment. To ensure that the available features deliver the maximum benefit, the exchange of information between the passengers, the vehicle and the outside world is managed by BMW ConnectedDrive.

    The new BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon is available with a full-color Head-Up Display. It projects key information in sharp resolution onto the windshield in the driver’s direct field of vision. Depending on the vehicle specification the speed limit is noted in addition to the car’s speed. The driver can also see navigation instructions and various alerts in the Head-Up Display. Thanks to the wide variety of driver assistance systems available in the new BMW 3 Series range, more information can be placed in the driver’s direct line-of-sight while their eyes remain squarely on the road.

    State-of-the-art camera technology provides the potential for new levels of safety and convenience. Active Safety options include Lane Departure Warning as well as Active Blind Spot Detection. Backing up and parking both are made easier with the available Rear-view Camera with Top View which provides a bird’s-eye view of the car. Another convenience-enhancing assistance system is the BMW Parking Assistant, which takes charge of maneuvering into parking spaces making parallel-parking a breeze.

    BMW Assist, a globally unique mobility service, comprises among other features a telephone information service and BMW’s industry-leading enhanced Automatic Collision Notification function with automatic detection of the vehicle location. BMW Assist also includes Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity.

    Other innovative technologies allow the integration of the Apple iPhone and other smartphones as well as music players, including the use of Internet-based services. The Apps option enables iPhone users, among other things, to receive Internet radio stations and to display Facebook and Twitter posts on the onboard monitor. With BMW Apps, iPhone users can access and listen to music streaming services like Pandora, MOG and Stitcher with the ability to add other Apps as they are made available using ConnectedDrive as a platform designed to continuously support future Apps as they are developed.

    The all-new BMW 3 Series Sports Wagon again brings the versatility of a wagon with the driving dynamics of the quintessential sport sedan. The new 3 Series Sports Wagon will be arriving in US showrooms in spring 2013. Pricing details and standard/optional equipment will be announced closer to the on sale date.

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    So with the tie up with Toyota, Toyota says BMW will be using their Hybrid technology unless I am miss reading it, always a possibility. Yet, Ford at least admitted they were using it, here there is no mention of using anyone elses hybrid technology.

    I wonder if it really is a BMW only system and they will go to the Toyota Technology in rev #2 or what. Anyone else have any more info on if this is a true BMW built Hybrid system or is it the Toyota system?

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    So with the tie up with Toyota, Toyota says BMW will be using their Hybrid technology unless I am miss reading it, always a possibility. Yet, Ford at least admitted they were using it, here there is no mention of using anyone elses hybrid technology.

    I wonder if it really is a BMW only system and they will go to the Toyota Technology in rev #2 or what. Anyone else have any more info on if this is a true BMW built Hybrid system or is it the Toyota system?

    I believe this is a BMW system..

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    Seems like a lot of extra money over a 335i, unless the hybrid has a lot of the equipment packages thrown in. But to pay $8k over a 335i for a barely quicker car, it better be posting 40 mpg to justify the price difference.

    And agreed with Oldsmoboi, what they need is diesel power!

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    Well what I was getting at was that if the hybrid doesn't get better mpg numbers than the 335d, what's the point? People who are very mpg conscious aren't going to care about 0.4 seconds faster to 60.

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    But imagine the 2 liter turbo diesel with the hybrid system. The 320d is 181 hp and 280 lb-ft adding around 30 to each with the electric motor should keep 0-60 around 7 seconds and probably push it to 50 mpg. The greenies will like that, and the non-greenies can buy the 335i.

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    In truth, there is reason to be concerned as Colorado has witnessed what type the which using too much of it will damage the plant. click here In this article we will discuss the rules for delicate hour light and 12 hour dark situation to grow properly.

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      Finding a seating position in the SportWagen is simple thanks to the combination of manual and power adjustments for the front seats and a tilt-telescoping steering wheel. The seats earn top marks for comfort and support for long trips. The back seat offers plenty of head and legroom for most folks. This is impressive when you take into account our SE tester comes with a panoramic sunroof as standard. As for cargo space, the SportWagen offers 30.4 cubic feet behind the rear seats (7.6 cubic feet larger than the standard Golf) and 66.5 cubic feet when folded (13 cubic feet larger than the Golf). To give you some idea of the space on offer, I was able to fit a desk from Ikea that measured 53.5 inches long with no issues.
      On the technology front, all Golf SportWagens feature a 6.5-inch touchscreen with Volkswagen’s Car-Net infotainment system. This is one of our favorite systems thanks to an easy to understand interface, buttons around the screen to take you to the various parts, and fast performance. The only item we would like to see Volkswagen address is the screen. The matte finish on it sucks some of the color and brightness. Any 2016 Volkswagen fitted with the Car-Net infotainment system will feature Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration. Being an iPhone person, I tried out the CarPlay integration and find it to be one of the best implementations. It only takes a few seconds for the system to detect the phone before bringing up the CarPlay interface. Apps launched quickly and showed no signs of slowdown or crashing.
      At the present moment, the Golf SportWagen is only available with a turbocharged 1.8L four-cylinder producing 170 horsepower and 199 pound-feet of torque. This engine is paired with a five-speed manual (only available on the S) or a six-speed DSG dual-clutch transmission. The 2.0L TDI four-cylinder is currently on probation due to the diesel emission scandal. The 1.8T is one our favorite engines as you never feel wanting for power. Torque arrives at low 1,600 rpm which allows the Golf SportWagen to leap away from a stop. More impressive is engine responding with power in an instant if you need to make a pass or merge onto the freeway. We wish we could say the same of the DSG transmission. As we noted in our quick drive of the Passat V6, the DSG doesn’t like low-speed maneuvers as it exhibits signs of hesitation and lurching. At higher speeds, the transmission is lightning fast with shifts.
      EPA fuel economy figures for the Golf SportWagen stand at 25 City/35 Highway/29 Combined. Our average for the week landed around 28 mpg.
      Ride and handling characteristics for the Golf SportWagen can be described as balanced. The suspension provides a well-damped ride over rough roads. In the corners, body motions are kept in check and the wagon feels very agile. The steering provides a decent amount of weight and feel that will please most drivers. One area where the Golf SportWagen truly shines is in noise isolation. Barely any wind and road noise makes inside the cabin, making it a perfect long-distance companion. 
      The 2016 Golf SportWagen kicks off at $21,625 for the base S. Our midlevel SE tester starts at $27,025 and comes with keyless entry, push-button start, leatherette upholstery, Fender audio system, and 17-inch alloy wheels. We had the optional driver assistance (adds adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning with autonomous braking, blind spot monitoring, lane departure warning, park distance control, and park assist) and lighting (bi-xenon headlights that can swivel when the steering wheel is turned and LED daytime running lights) packages that brings our as-tested price to $30,335. We think the SE with the driver assistance package is the sweet spot for Golf SportWagen as you get most everything you need.
      The dark cloud of the diesel emission scandal still lingers over Volkswagen. Whether or not the company can turn back their fortunes in the U.S. remains to be seen. But if I was Volkswagen, I would be putting the likes of the Golf SportWagen in the spotlight. Yes, it is one of the vehicles affected in the diesel emission mess. But take the diesel out of the equation for a moment and you still have a strong vehicle. From increased practicality for both passengers and cargo to the right balance of comfort and support in the ride, the Golf SportWagen is an interesting alternative to growing segment of compact crossovers. 
      Disclaimer: Volkswagen Provided the Golf SportWagen, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2016
      Make: Volkswagen
      Model: Golf SportWagen
      Trim: SE
      Engine: Turbocharged 1.8L TSI DOHC Four-Cylinder
      Driveline: Six-Speed Dual-Clutch Automatic
      Horsepower @ RPM: 170 @ 4,500
      Torque @ RPM: 199 @ 1,600
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 25/35/29
      Curb Weight: 3,120 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Puebla, Mexico
      Base Price: $27,025
      As Tested Price: $30,335 (Includes $820.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Driver Assistance Package - $1,495.00
      Lighting Package - $995.00
    • By dfelt
      G. David Felt
      Alternative Fuels & Propulsion writer
      www.CheersandGears.com
       
      2017 Chevy BOLT Update

      Car & Driver did a ride along on a near production BOLT with  Bolt’s chief engineer, Josh Tavel . It was interesting to read that while Tavel stated the BOLT does zero to 60 in 7 seconds, that that drove it said the feel in the butt is that it is faster than that. They also stated that hit feels even faster the the BMW i3. Picture are here of a early run on the assembly line of a Chevy BOLT. These car pictures are our best view of what the production run BOLT will look like and it is looking very nice indeed.
      Some of the other interesting notes is that Josh is an SCCA Spec Racer. As such he had been very focused on making sure the BOLT is dialed in for the best of both worlds, daily driver and performance junkie. The story had the following to say as they got to take the BOLT out and about in the Detroit area.
      At 3600lbs, this compact CUV is what the public wanted when GM did their research, not some slick slice through the air Jelly bean car like Tesla, but a CUV. So this pretty much puts to rest the whole airflow thing, as they did their best while giving the public what it has asked for, a roomy, high seat position CUV.
      Also with 200HP and 266lbs of Torque, the story states that you have a clear choice, put the transmission in D and drive it like any other auto or slip it into L and Drive it normal but enjoy just like the Tesla S a return on regenerative power. What this means is you can get some of the battery recharged driving in the regen mode. Interesting is that Josh says if you drive the full 200+ miles you can get about 40 miles added back into the battery, so then you have a 200+ range plus 40 miles more when driving in L mode using regenerative mode.
      To quote the Story in regards to steering as many here have always talked about the numb feel in various auto's;
      " The electrically assisted rack-and-pinion steering is slack-free on-center, quick to respond, and nicely weighted. Walking that fine line between comfort for civilian drivers and engaging dynamics for enthusiasts is no easy feat, but Tavel deserves credit for balancing the two conflicting mentalities."
      There is plenty more to be said about the auto, an example is that using a DC quick charge, gives you 90 miles of range in 30 min. It is worth clicking the link above to read the story.
      Over all this has made me even more excited about the BOLT and what it can do for the public. Especially that after a 50+ mile drive in the BOLT, they say that having plenty of space for passengers, personal stuff and a highly congenial attitude makes the BOLT a Joy. I do like the BOLT in White as the 19 Pictures show with a decent interior.
      If you want to read just how much the BOLT beats the BMW i3, then read this story. 
      Chevy BOLT stacks against the BMW i3
      Considering this is written by the folks at BMWBlog, they feel the BOLT was designed to give customers the range of a Tesla but focused on the i3 as it's clear CUV competitor.  They also feel that the BOLT is faster than the stated 7 seconds for 0 to 60. They make some other statements and still claim that the i3 is an excellent package for the money. Not sure how they see that as the i3 is 80 miles range compared to the 200+ of the BOLT. Plus looking at the pictures, the BOLT is a superior interior I believe, but then this was written by a BMW fan.

    • By William Maley
      BMW Group U.S. Reports July 2016 Sales BMW brand sales decrease 4.4 percent MINI brand sales decrease 8.0 percent WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J., Aug. 2, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Sales of BMW brand vehicles decreased 4.4 percent in July for a total of 25,777 compared to 26,970 vehicles sold in July, 2015.  Year-to-date, the BMW brand is down 8.4 percent in the U.S. on sales of 179,213 compared to 195,593 sold in the first seven months of 2015.   Notable vehicle sales include the BMW 7 Series which increased 31.3 percent, the BMW 2 Series which increased 66.1 percent, and the BMW X1 which increased 79.1 percent.   "The volatility that has characterized the 2016 sales year was clearly evident in the beginning of the third quarter," said Ludwig Willisch, President and CEO, BMW of North America. "As we have seen through the early months of the year, the 2 Series and X1 have acquired a strong following and the 7 Series continues gaining ground.  At the same time, the global popularity of our X models continues to constrain our sales here in the U.S."      BMW Group Sales In total, the BMW Group in the U.S. (BMW and MINI combined) reported July sales of 30,551 vehicles, a decrease of 5.0 percent from the 32,161 vehicles sold in the same month a year ago.  Year-to-date, BMW Group sales are down 9.5 percent on sales of 209,131 in the first seven months of 2016 compared to 231,044 in the same period in 2015.    MINI Brand Sales For July, MINI USA reported 4,774 automobiles sold, a decrease of 8.0 percent from the 5,191 sold in the same month a year ago.  Year-to-date, MINI USA reported a total of 29,918 automobiles sold, a decrease of 15.6 percent from 35,451 automobiles sold in the first seven months of 2015.  
      BMW Group
      Vehicle Sales BMW of North America, LLC, July 2016
          July 2016
      July 2015
      %
      YTD July 2016
      YTD July 2015
      %
      i3
      1,479
      935
      58.1%
      4,359
      5,391
      -19.1%
      i8
      166
      217
      -23.5%
      786
      950
      -17.3%
      2 Series
      1,708
      1,028
      66.1%
      10,765
      6,370
      68.9%
      3 Series
      6,799
      7,729
      -12.0%
      39,775
      50,525
      -21.3%
      4 Series
      2,186
      3,190
      -31.5%
      21,462
      28,083
      -23.6%
      5 Series
      3,303
      2,186
      51.1%
      23,578
      25,767
      -8.5%
      6 Series
      523
      311
      68.2%
      2,398
      5,395
      -55.6%
      7 Series
      1,203
      916
      31.3%
      6,808
      6,139
      10.9%
      Z4 
      124
      118
      5.1%
      675
      1,190
      -43.3%
      X1
      2,130
      1,189
      79.1%
      14,269
      7,094
      101.1%
      BMW passenger cars
      19,621
      17,819
      10.1%
      124,875
      136,904
      -8.8%
      X3
      2,678
      2,340
      14.4%
      22,506
      15,623
      44.1%
      X4
      329
      407
      -19.2%
      2,944
      3,553
      -17.1%
      X5
      2,744
      6,011
      -54.4%
      24,948
      35,162
      -29.0%
      X6
      405
      393
      3.1%
      3,940
      4,351
      -9.4%
      BMW light trucks 
      6,156
      9,151
      -32.7%
      54,338
      58,689
      -7.4%
      BMW brand
      25,777
      26,970
      -4.4%
      179,213
      195,593
      -8.4%
      Cooper /S Hardtop 2 Door
      813
      2,482
      -67.2%
      7,053
      12,727
      -44.6%
      Cooper /S Hardtop 4 Door
      924
      1,036
      -10.8%
      7,243
      9,297
      -22.1%
      Cooper /S Convertible
      536
      272
      97.1%
      2,366
      1,979
      19.6%
      Cooper /S Clubman
      1,076
      0
      0.0%
      5,487
      0
      0.0%
      Coupe
      0
      25
      -100.0%
      6
      283
      -97.9%
      Roadster
      1
      78
      -98.7%
      4
      751
      -99.5%
      Countryman
      1,422
      1,203
      18.2%
      7,702
      9,481
      -18.8%
      Paceman
      2
      95
      -97.9%
      57
      933
      -93.9%
      MINI brand
      4,774
      5,191
      -8.0%
      29,918
      35,451
      -15.6%
      TOTAL BMW of North America, LLC
      30,551
      32,161
      -5.0%
      209,131
      231,044
      -9.5%
       
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