Next BMW 3-Series to get hybrid option?

It looks like BMW may be spreading its ActiveHybrid technology to the 3 Series line in the near future. Autobild is reporting that a battery-laden model will debut shortly after the 2012 3 Series arrives on dealer lots early next year. The report suggests that the company's forced-induction four-cylinder will also show up behind the headlights of the 3 Series in everything but the mighty 335i. The top-of-the-line 3 will continue to boast inline six-cylinder power for the conceivable future. Meanwhile, the hybrid variant will work with a version of the company's straight-six mated to tech from the ActiveHybrid 7 Series.

That means that buyers should be able to look forward to an additional 15 horsepower from a small electric motor as well as the boost of instantaneous torque. Chances are the system will use the same 120-volt lithium-ion battery pack as the big 7 as well. Or at least it will if the report turns out to be true. Right now, Autobild is working off of whispers obtained from unnamed sources within the shadowy halls of BMW headquarters, so take this hybrid 3 Series rumor with a grain of salt.

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