As part of its introduction of the lifecycle freshening for all 3 Series Sedans and Sports Wagons, BMW announced that it will launch the BMW 330e plug-in hybrid in 2016. The BMW 330e will be powered by a plug-in hybrid drive system with a combined output of around 250 hp (186 kW) and 310 lb-ft (420 N·m) (preliminary).
The BMW 330e will accelerate from 0–60 mph in approximately 6.1 seconds (preliminary) and have a top speed of 140 mph (225 km/h) (preliminary). The new BMW 330e is also capable of traveling up to 22 miles (35 km) in all-electric mode.
The 3 Series accounts for around 25% of total BMW worldwide vehicle sales, and has racked up more than 14 million sales globally since its introduction in 1975. For the 2016 model year, the new 3 Series receives a range of enhancements, including the world premier of an all new inline 6-cylinder gasoline engine (BMW 340i) producing 320 hp (239 kW) with 330 lb-ft (447 N·m) of torque. This new modular BMW EfficientDynamics engine features BMW TwinPower Turbo Technology.
This new 3.0 liter engine powering the 340i replaces the N55 powered 335i and tops the 3 Series gasoline line-up. It produced a maximum power of 320 hp between 5,500 and 6,500 rpm, a 20 hp improvement over the previous model. Peak torque is available from 1,380 rpm. The new BMW 340i Sedan equipped with the 8-speed Steptronic transmission accelerates from 0-60 mph in 4.8 seconds while the BMW 340i xDrive model takes just 4.6 seconds. All 340i models are governed to a top speed of 155 mph.
The new EfficientDynamics 6-cylinder engine is equipped with the latest generation of BMW’s innovative TwinPower Turbo technology, featuring twin-scroll turbocharger, High Precision Injection and Double-VANOS variable camshaft timing. It also incorporates VALVETRONIC fully variable valve lift.
The new 3 Series engine range comprises gasoline engines with output from 180-320 hp and a diesel engine with 180 hp (134 kW) and 280 lb-ft (380 N·m).
The new BMW 3 Series Sedan comes standard with an 8-speed automatic transmission and a 6-speed manual transmission is available as a no-cost option on 320i, 328i, 340i and 340i xDrive models. The 6-speed manual transmission on 340i models is equipped with a dual-mass flywheel with centrifugal pendulum absorbers. This technology counteracts uneven running on high-torque engines so that the driver can change gears smoothly. The 6-speed manual transmission is also offered with a rev matching function, which means the engine automatically blips the throttle on downshifting, resulting in improved smoothness.
The updated 8-speed Steptronic transmission features enhanced efficiency, wider gear ratio and reduced torque converter slip during gear shifts. At the same time, improved damping of engine irregularities make for improved comfort and smoother shifting. Sporty drivers will also enjoy the 8-speed Steptronic transmission. In Sport+ transmission mode, it allows the driver to rev the engine right up to the rev limiter, and also to perform multiple sequential downshifts. The 8-speed Steptronic Sport Automatic transmission with steering wheel paddle shifters is now standard on 328i, 328d and 340i models.
Further economy benefits are offered by the 8-speed Steptronic transmission’s coasting mode in ECO PRO. When the driver lifts off the throttle at higher speeds, for example on a gentle downhill grade on the highway, the engine is automatically decoupled from the transmission. It then simply idles, which saves fuel and ensures there is no unwanted engine braking at high speed.
Both types of transmission feature optimized efficiency, compact design and low weight, and are able to support a relaxed, low-rev and extra-fuel-efficient driving style. Further potential for savings is offered by the intelligent transmission control strategy. Among other things, a Proactive Driving Assistant (for models fitted with the 8-speed Steptronic transmission) uses navigation data to work out in advance where the driver will have to slow down on the upcoming route and adapts the powertrain strategy accordingly. It also passes on appropriate recommendations to the driver, if desired.
BMW EfficientDynamics measures are also present through Auto Start Stop, Brake Energy Regeneration, on-demand operation of ancillary units.