BMW extends 3 Series line-up

  • Latest saloon to be fitted with hybrid system
  • Four-wheel drive and M Sport variants offered
  • New 320i EfficientDynamics arrives in November

The latest BMW 3 Series saloon range is set to get a number of new additions for 2013.

The main news is that a hybrid model is due to arrive, while a four-wheel drive model and M Sport variant will also be added to the popular saloon’s range. This will be followed by an entry level petrol car and 320i EfficientDynamics car.

BMW's new hybrid 3 Series, called the ActiveHybrid 3, sounds like it's shaping up to be rather impressive. It will be powered by the manufacturer’s TwinPower Turbo 3.0-litre six-cylinder engine coupled to a 55bhp electric motor. Together the two powertrains produce 340bhp and 450Nm of pulling power, allowing for a 0-62mph time of 5.3 seconds.

Being a hybrid, however, this is as much about running costs as the performance. According to BMW it will be capable of achieving an average 47.9mpg, while CO2 emissions are just 139g/km. This equates to a first year and annual tax cost of just £120. The added batteries of the hybrid system don’t intrude on the 390 litre bootspace at all, meaning it'll be just as practical as the standard car.

Production of the BMW ActiveHybrid 3 will begin in July and the car go on sale for £40,225. It will also be available in SE, Modern, Luxury and M Sport specification.

As well as this, a new four-wheel drive version of the 3 Series will also be available. It will be initially available in the 184bhp 320i model and is aimed at giving customers the security of all-wheel drive, as opposed to the standard rear-wheel drive setup.

A new 330d model, with standard eight-speed automatic gearbox, is another new addition to the range. It produces 258bhp and 560Nm of pulling power, reaching 62mph in 5.6 seconds. At the same time the firm claims it will achieve 57.6mpg and emit just 129g/km. In SE specification this car will cost £33,280.

All models can now be specified in M Sport trim, which commands a £3,000 premium over the SE model. This adds 18-inch M alloys, M Sport suspension, M aerodynamic styling, leather interior, M Sport seats and M door sill designs. A Sport+ function is also added to the Drive Performance Control switch.

Finally, the 3 Series will also get a new 1.6-litre engine that makes 136bhp for the entry level 316i. Prices for this car will start at £22,850. This will be joined by a new 320i EfficientDynamics, priced at £25,730. Powered by a 170bhp version of the 1.6-litre engine it will achieve a claimed 53.3mpg and emit 124g/km of CO2.