BMW ActiveHybrid3 Test Drive by Car and Driver

BMW is well known for its agile and sportive 3 Series models, a car that was at the pinnacle of the sports sedan segment since it was released. Now, the Bavarian company is venturing into new areas, some that might pose some problems.
BMW ActiveHybrid3 Test Drive 5 photos
Photo: Car And Driver
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One of these is hybrid vehicles. The ActiveHybrid versions launched by BMW are not too popular these days and Car and Driver set out to see why, testing the ActiveHybrid3 version of the 3 Series.

The car comes fitted with the N55 engine at the front, that develops the usual 300 HP and an electric motor that produces up to 55 HP. However, the combined power for the two is not over 335 HP and 330 lb-ft (450 Nm) of torque.

All this electric wizardry and conventional power is hooked up to the amazing 8-speed ZF gearbox that ultimately sends the power to the rear wheels and the road. The EPA estimate on the highway is 37 mpg and inside the city 44 mpg. Surprised?

Well, that's the case for almost every hybrid out there. Because of the added weight (due to the batteries) and the way they are built, most of them are actually more economical in the city than on the highway.

The car had to suffer some changes because of the added 300 pounds. Even though it has more power, it's not as fast and agile as a normal 335i but it wasn't designed to take on fast tracks but just drive quietly around the city. And that is where it excels.

Full story at Car and Driver
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