Mike Stevens | May 19, 2010

BMW BOSS Norbert Reithofer has confirmed plans for "full hybrid" versions of the new 5 Series and the next-generation 3 Series, driven by demand in the Japanese market.

Speaking at BMW's AGM in Munich this week, Mr Reithofer said that the market for hybrid vehicles in Japan has grown to the point that brands without hybrid models might "soon find themselves not selling cars in Japan at all."

"As early as next year, the new BMW 5 Series will also be available as a full hybrid," he said. "And we are anticipating the hybridisation of further models series, such as the BMW 3 Series."

Reithofer added that BMW is aiming to reduce average CO2 emissions across its line-up by 25 percent between 2008 and 2020 - a plan which will be helped by its upcoming Megacity range and hybrid versions of its larger models.

One possible look at how the new 3 Series might appear.
One possible look at how the new 3 Series might appear.

Earlier reports have suggested that tightening emissions and fuel consumption regulations will see the next-generation 3 Series debut with a three-cylinder turbocharged engine. Power is expected to be somewhere between 110 to 125 kW with torque figures of around 200 to 300 Nm.

As part of BMW’s EfficientDynamics technologies, the new car will reportedly feature an eight-speed automatic transmission, wind-cheating aerodynamics, on-demand electronics and more efficient heating and cooling systems.

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