Today BMW announced it will reveal at this month’s New York auto show its plug-in hybrid Concept Active Tourer, and 328d wagon and sedan models which are pending launch in the U.S. as 2014 models.
BMW has not announced the Concept Active Tourer will be a production model, but speculation from reputable sources has been that it would, and BMW does have a dedicated Web page to drum up interest for the car.
The diesel 3-Series is just one of several diesels the German automaker has pending for the U.S. in the next couple years, or less.
New Kind of Car
The Concept Active Tourer is essentially a hatchback laden with user interface technology as well as high-tech under the hood.
The elongated, wedge-shaped vehicle is meant to be sporty, fun, and makes clever utilization of space inside. As part of the 1-Series lineup, it departs from BMW tradition by being front-wheel-drive.
It’s powered by a 1.5-liter, transversely mounted 3-cylinder gas engine paired with an electric motor and lithium-ion battery pack which BMW says delivers up to 95 mpg.
Both powertrains work in conjunction as per hybrid fashion, or the electric motor can propel the car independently for an estimated 18-20 miles.
Performance for the concept has been reported at 190 horsepower with 0-62 mph time of under eight seconds with top speed of 124 mph.
The concept uses a “Suspended Particle Device” technology in the glass roof to create what it calls “Cool Shade” technology. Essentially, the opaque glass roof can be switched to crystal clear at the touch of a button.
Inside is a host of gee-whiz user interfaces including a 10.25-inch LCD display in place of analog gauges.
BMW enthusiast forums have been anticipating the arrival of BMW’s 328d – which looks just like a 328i except for the badging – and the car will be here to be seen March 27 as a four-door and a wagon.
It is believed the car will be offered also in its xDrive all-wheel-drive format although BMW did not state this in its announcement today.
What BMW did say is it will be motivated by its TwinPower turbo 4-cylinder engine delivering 180 horsepower and 280 pounds-feet of torque.
Fuel economy on the U.S. EPA cycle could equal or exceed 40 mpg, but BMW said more accurate estimates will be made closer to its time of launch.
BMW says the car will achieve a new benchmark with all the driving dynamics expected of a 3-Series along with efficiency of the diesel powertrain that has proven so successful in Europe.