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BMW reacts to Audi A4e

Date: 18 May 2009   |   Author:

BMW 318d auto

BMW is readying a response to Audi's 119g/km upper medium A4e, with developments to the 3-series due to be announced this autumn.

BMW has been the market leader for CO2 reduction in the past few years, but its rivals have gradually closed in, with Audi being the first maker (along with sister brand VW's Passat) to confirm an upper medium model in the 13% benefit-in-kind tax banding.

"We have to be aware of what our competitors are doing and look to respond," BMW fleet boss Steve Chater told BusinessCar. "The 3-series is critical in the fleet business sector and my personal goal is that it is seen as the company car of choice."

The 143PS 318d is BMW's lowest-emitting 3-series currently at 123g/km, compared to the 136PS A4e's and 119g/km, putting the Audi into the 13% BIK band compared to the 318d's 18%.

"Efficient Dynamics has set a benchmark and I believe it will continue to do so in the way we approach the market," added Chater. However, he said BMW is keen to avoid stripping back too much on kit and features in order to achieve low CO2 figures.

"We don't want to put all our focus on CO2 and affect RVs, but we could do that if we don't put in the right specification - it's important for whole-life costs and funding."

BMW is also keen to avoid compromising on driving dynamics and being seen as a green-focussed brand at the expense of making enjoyable cars.

"We've been second-to-none for driving while still ticking boxes for green," Chater said. "We give the best of both worlds - it's pretty unique."