The new four-cylinder 318i will have more power and torque than its three-cylinder predecessor. Picture: SUPPLIED
The new four-cylinder 318i will have more power and torque than its three-cylinder predecessor. Picture: SUPPLIED

BMW has added a new entry-level 318i derivative to its 3 Series. It’s powered by a turbocharged, 115kW and 250Nm four-cylinder engine instead of the 1.5 three-cylinder in the previous generation.

Producing 15kW and 30Nm more than its three-cylinder predecessor, it’s a detuned version of the 2l four-cylinder turbo petrol that also powers the 320i and 330i models.

The newly added entry model is equipped standard with an eight-speed Steptronic transmission and is good for a claimed 0 to 100km/h in 8.4 seconds and a top speed of 223km/h. Average fuel consumption is rated at 5.3l/100km and it is confirmed for introduction into the SA market in the first quarter of this year.

Starting in March, BMW will also start rolling out 48V mild hybrid systems on its 120d, 320d and X3 and X4 20d models.

The mild hybrid technology works by using brake energy recuperation systems to capture energy that would have normally been lost through acceleration and braking, converting it to provide electrically powered auxiliary functions such as air con and others with energy they would normally draw from the 12V battery system.

The system generates an additional 8kW of drive power. At speeds below 15km/h the engine is completely disconnected and the vehicle is powered only by the mild-hybrid system. These upgrades form part of a plan to ensure no less than 33 BMW models fulfil upcoming Euro 6d emissions regulations that come into force in 2021.

BMW SA is yet to confirm whether the newly announced mild-hybrid 320d will be available here.

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