BMW announces 318i entry level and other model enhancements

The 318i returns to four-cylinder turbo power while mild hybrid versions are also on the way

17 January 2020 - 12:52 By Motoring Reporter
The new four-cylinder 318i will have more power and torque than its three-cylinder predecessor.
The new four-cylinder 318i will have more power and torque than its three-cylinder predecessor.
Image: Supplied

BMW is to soon add 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 2-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol that also powers the existing 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 100 km/ in 8.4 seconds and a top speed of 223 km/h. Average fuel consumption is rated at 5.3l/100km and it’s confirmed for introduction into the SA market in the first quarter of this year.

Starting in March, BMW will also start rolling out 48-volt 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 which would have normally been lost through acceleration and braking, converting it to provide electrically-powered auxiliary functions like air con and others with energy they would normally draw from the 12V battery system.

The system also 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 equipped 320d will be available here.