New Model News

2021 BMW 330e gets company's new PHEV drivetrain that includes a boost function

BMW recently redesigned its 3 Series. The 2021 BMW 330e is the latest model to be added to the 3 Series lineup.

Photo courtesy of BMW

BMW is adding the 330e sedan to its lineup for the 2021 model year. The sedans feature the next-gen BMW plug-in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) drivetrain and a new power boost function that delivers additional output off the line for drivers looking for a more exhilarating drive experience.

Offered in 330e and 330e xDrive (rear and all-wheel drive) variants, the models both have a twin-turbocharged 2.0-liter engine that yields 181 horsepower and 258 pound-feet of torque. That engine pairs with an electric motor that develops an additional 107 horsepower and 77 pound-feet of torque.

The engine and motor work in tandem with a 12-kWh lithium-ion battery that is located beneath the car's rear seats. The car has 22 miles of all-electric range and an estimated 75 MPGe rating (67 MPGe for the all-wheel drive model).

The system is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission.

New XtraBoost functionality enhances power and performance when the car's throttle is in the kick down position and in Sport mode. It provides an immediate 40 horsepower increase for a period of 10 seconds.

The car can operate on purely electric power at speeds up to 68 mph. Emissions-free driving is available up to 87 mph.

The BMW 330e accelerates from zero to 60 mph in 5.6 seconds (5.7 seconds for the 330e xDrive Sedan). Both models feature an electronically limited top speed of 130 mph when equipped with all-season tires. When equipped with summer performance tires, the 330e Sedan reaches a top speed of 142 mph (140 mph for the 330e xDrive model).

BMW has equipped the model with the most modern technology is has in its 3 Series sedan, including phone as key functionality.

Amazon and BMW have teamed up to offer a 240-volt/Level II wall charging unit for sale, including installation services. By visiting www.amazon.com/bmwcharging, customers can find out charging times for their specific vehicle, choose from a selection of best-selling charging units and compare prices, with and without professional installation. An installation estimate is provided based on a simple three-question survey and the customer's zip code.

The model goes on sale later this year. Pricing will be announced closer to its on-sale date.

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The teaser image of the 2027 Kia lineup includes numerous cars and SUVs.

Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

Kia has revealed plans to launch seven new battery electric vehicles (BEVs) by 2027 in numerous segments. The first, code named CV, will launch in 2021 and serve as the kickoff to a new Kia design direction. The move is known internally as the “Plan S" strategy. Under Plan S, Kia's BEV line will include 11 models by 2025.

The announcement coincides with the company's stated goal of having 25 percent of Kia's global sales come from BEVs by 2029. To do that, the company plans to work to expand the world's electric vehicle (EV) charging network. Kia has sold over 100,000 BEVs worldwide since the company introduced its first model in 2011, the Kia Ray.

Kia Ray EV 2011 The Kia Ray was the company's first production EV.Photo courtesy of Kia Motors

Plan S includes a company-wide business transformation that will include production, sales, and services. Dealerships will likely be required too invest in equipment to handle the influx of EVs. In the U.S, Kia will increase the number of EV work bays at dealerships to 600 by the end of 2020 and increase the number to more than 2,000 by 2023..

The product plan includes a diverse number of models. The vehicles will include BEVs that are “suitable for urban centers, long-range journeys, and performance driving". They will be based on the company's new adaptable Electric-Global Modular Platform (E-GMP). The platform will allow for best-in-class interior spaciousness, according to Kia.

Though subscription services have not gained widespread popularity in the U.S., the company is exploring the creation of subscription services, as well as EV battery leasing and rental programs. Other “second life" battery-related businesses may be part of the plan as well.

Kia also plans to add around 500 charging stations in North America, partnering with its dealer networks. Further, the company is seeking a partner in North America to support a larger infrastructure buildout.

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Audi vehicles equipped with the MIB 3 infotainment system can take advantage of the technology.

Photo courtesy of Audi AG

Audi has partnered with iHeartRadio to deliver Hybrid Radio to owners of select 2021 model year Audi vehicles. The result is an industry-first experience.

Models that are equipped with Audi's MIB 3 suite of infotainment technology will be able to take advantage of Hybrid Radio, which allows listeners with an Audi Connect Prime or Plus subscription not switch between broadcast and digital radio signals when they have entered or exited radio signal territories for uninterrupted listening.

iHeartRadio Audi The new technology allows you to take your local radio station with you when you leave its broadcast zone.Photo courtesy of Audi AG

When the vehicle is cycled off and on again, it is able to retain the radio station, picking up the digital radio channel via internet connection.

"The ability to bring Hybrid Radio® to Audi customers would not be possible without pioneers like iHeartRadio embracing this technology," said Pom Malhotra, director, Connected Services, Audi of America. "Audi advances progress through technology, and we are thankful to be able to collaborate with iHeartRadio to continue bringing new conveniences to our customers."

"Radio has always been the consumer's No. 1 choice for companionship in the car," said Michele Laven, president of Strategic Partnerships Group for iHeartMedia. "The innovative functionality Audi is introducing via their Hybrid Radio® experience allows yet another way for that companionship to be seamlessly extended beyond the range of the broadcast signal keeping the consumer connected to their favorite station, no matter where the road takes them."

Hybrid Radio is available to Audi customers at no additional cost as part of their subscription.

It uses the integrated 4G LTE Wi-Fi hot spot. Verizon is Audi's wireless connectivity provider.

Models equipped with the MIB 3 system are arriving at U.S. dealerships this month.

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