Boost for top performer
But it can run oon electric power only up to a speed of 75km/h. With a full charge and kekeeping to a speed of 35km/3 h, it has a range ofo up to 4km, which is not very far.fa
The battery pack and other hybrid components add 135kg to the weight and boot space is reduced by 90 litres, but the split-fold rear seat remains.
The car accelerates from 0-100km/h in 5.3 seconds and fuel consumption is 5.9 litres/100km, down from 7.2 litres/100km.
No slouch: BMW’s ActiveHybrid 3 does 0-100km/h in 5.3 seconds.
To reduce fuel consumption the system shuts down at traffic lights as well as when braking or cruising up to a speed of 160km/h.
The Lexus GS450h and soon-to-be-launched Infiniti M35h spring to mind as rivals. Neither are slouches either, but Beemer has the edge with 0-100km/h taking 5.3 seconds. The Lexus and Infiniti do it in 5.5.
Make no mistake, this car is first and foremost a 335i, with twin turbos and plenty of mumbo. Punch the accelerator and it takes off. Acceleration is strident, the engine note impressive and it’s an exciting car to drive. The Hybrid is all this and more. To make the most of the hybrid system you must first put the car into Eco Pro mode, one of several drive modes available. In this mode the car makes more frequent use of full electric mode for maximum efficiency. The rev counter arearea (pictured) inincludes displays showing the amount of boost being provided by ththe electric motor, as well as energy flow aand energy recaptured during braking. Driving in Eco Pro mode in Germany recently we felt the engine turn off frequently at traffic lights, as well as when lifting off the accelerator or just driving slowly with a light application of the throttle.
The result after about 120km of driving was 8.2 litres/100km, not outstanding but we weren’t really trying. Others got in the low 6s.
Eco Pro is designed to work in tandem with the car’s satellite navigation system, looking ahead to see where it can deactivate the petrol engine to save fuel.
Civic duty or devious marketing ploy? It’s an intriguing way to entice people to buy and drive more hybrids, in effect giving them a 335i but with a top up in performance.
The twin turbo 335i has an enviable reputation as a driver’s car. It will be interesting to see what the public makes of this one.
The ActiveHybrid 3 joins the ActiveHybrid 5 here in October. The price is expected to be less than $100,000.