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We've learned to expect that hybrid vehicles will produce lower emissions and fuel-consumption scores than their standard gasoline-burning siblings. What we generally don't expect, however, is for that same hybrid to be quicker to 60 than its turbocharged brother or for it to make more overall horsepower.

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We've learned to expect that hybrid vehicles will produce lower emissions and fuel-consumption scores than their standard gasoline-burning siblings. What we generally don't expect, however, is for that same hybrid to be quicker to 60 than its turbocharged brother or for it to make more overall horsepower.

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The BMW 3 Series has been the most lauded sport sedan in the world for longer than we can remember. Worthy competitors pop up, only to fall short of beating this benchmark – often by some subjective measure that can't be quantified. So it's a big deal when the 3 Series is up for a clean-sheet redesign. Not one to refuse a challenge, BMW has stepped up to the task of redesigning its best-selling vehicle and came up with this, the redesigned 2012 BMW 3 Series.

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When we first saw the BMW ActiveHybrid 7 Concept and its conceptual 5 Series sibling, we immediately got the sneaking suspicion that the car wouldn't be the last Bavarian with a battery pack. Now it looks like the 3 Series will be the next in the company's stable to get the electric motor treatment. While speaking with shareholders, BMW head-honcho Norbert Reithofer let it slip that we'll be seeing a hybrid version of the company's bread and butter 3 Series fairly soon. When is that, exactly? It

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