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BMW 3-series in line to beat 100g/km barrier

Date: 01 December 2011   |   Author: Jack Carfrae

BMW 3-series in line to beat 100g/km barrier

BMW has hinted at plans to produce a sub-100g/km version of the 3-series within the new sixth-generation model's production run.

Speaking to BusinessCar, Dr Udo Haenle, project leader for the new 3-series, said: "The next-generation [diesel] engine will come in at about halfway through the model's lifetime. It has a six-year lifetime and we want to reach a value of under 100g/km. We have not confirmed this yet, but it should be around 99g/km or 98g/km."

Dr. Haenle believes that one of the biggest challenges faced by the outgoing 3-series was both improving and establishing the 320d as the dominant engine, as opposed to the larger 330 models.

Despite speculation that manufacturers have almost reached their limits of diesel engine efficiency, Dr. Haenle claimed there is still room for improvement and that work is in progress to further reduce CO2 and improve economy: "You can still make the engines more efficient using new engine technology, and improvements for the future could include electrification - plug-in hybrids etc."

He also confirmed the company is developing an advanced version of its stop/start system, which is designed to shut off the engine during deceleration: "We're working on new versions of the auto stop/start system. It will not only shut off when you stop at traffic lights but also when you are coasting."

In its current state, the new 3-series is no more efficient than the outgoing model, as the lowest-emitting Efficient Dynamics version generates 109g/km - identical to that of its predecessor. The difference is that the latest Efficient Dynamics model is now available with an auto gearbox and maintains the same CO2 figure. With this move, BMW is trying to change buyers' perceptions about the efficiency of automatics. "We were able to do away with the prejudice that automatics are less fuel efficient than manuals," said Dr. Haenle.



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