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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Discontinued sedan

Volkswagen nixing Passat after 2022 model year

Racing Green Metallic is one of four exclusive colors for the car.

Volkswagen

After five decades on sale in the U.S., Volkswagen is pulling the plug on the midsize Passat. The explosion of SUVs' popularity and the need to shift production power to electric vehicles are behind the decision, which will take place after the 2022 model year. The cars have been built at the automaker's Chattanooga, TN plant since 2011, but the facility is being repurposed as VW's North American hub for electric vehicle assembly.

Volkswagen is giving the car one last hurrah, however, in the form of the Passat Limited Edition. The car features 18-inch wheels, LED headlights with an Advanced Front Lighting System, and an easy-open trunk. Inside, the cars come with sport seats wrapped in Vienna leather, memory seating, a Fender Premium Audio System, parking assistance, and parking sensors.


2022 Volkswagen Passat Limited Edition Each car gets a special model tag with its limited production number.Volkswagen


Only 1,973 of the cars will be built, and it will only be sold in four colors, each with its own limited production numbers that have special meaning for the Passat:

  • Aurora Red Metallic with Titan Black interior: 411 units to represent the original vehicle production code
  • Racing Green Metallic with Mauro Brown interior: 423 units to commemorate the Chattanooga 423 area code
  • Pure white with Mauro Brown interior: 524 units to signify the Chattanooga plant's May 24 opening date
  • Platinum Great Metallic with Titan Black interior: 615 units to signify six generations of imported Passats, one generation assembled in Chattanooga, and five decades of U.S. sales

Pricing for the 2022 Passat starts at $31,290, which includes a $995 destination fee. Adding Aurora Red Metallic drives the price up by an additional $395. Each car will receive a special number plate to designate its place in the limited production run.


2022 Volkswagen Passat Limited Edition The Passat Limited Edition gets several upscale features. Volkswagen

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Electric vehicle features

The VW ID.4 sounds futuristic

The ID.4 is VW's first electric crossover in the U.S.

VW

The Volkswagen ID.4 is finally here. The electric crossover offers compelling features, decent all-electric range, and a reasonable price. On top of all that, Volkswagen focused heavily on the electric experience with the ID.4, down to the sounds it makes in everyday operation.

Where many automakers seek to humanize electric vehicles with familiar gas engine sounds, Volkswagen hasn't bothered with any of that. Instead, the automaker's ID.4 electric crossover features several sounds that embrace the EV's place in the future of transportation.

On startup, drivers are greeted with a sound that Volkswagen says will alert them that the vehicle is ready to go. It's not at all unlike the flying saucer sounds heard in sci-fi movies decades ago, but it's a nice reminder of the ID.4's future-forward drivetrain.



In motion, VW gave the ID.4 what is known as an Acoustic Vehicle Alerting System, which helps alert people to the presence of a moving electric vehicle. Since the drivetrain doesn't make the same noises that a gas engine does, EVs can move almost silently at low speeds, so it's important to have some kind of warning sound.

Even the turn signal sounds received scrutiny in the ID.4's design, and while they're still fairly traditional, the sounds are subtle and pleasing overall. Beyond that, VW says it developed a library of sounds for typical vehicle control buttons and other functions that are exclusive to its electric vehicles. The goal, according to the automaker, is that the sound aligns with the vehicles' character, visual design, and features, and that people will be able to recognize a VW EV by its unique sound.

The ID.4 is just the first of several EVs that Volkswagen plans to release here in the United States. Larger family vehicles are on the horizon, and we may even see an electric revival of the legendary VW bus.

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