Warren Brown and Lou Ann Hammond chat on www.washingtonpost.com, January 27, 2012

I can hardly believe the statistics I’m reading about the forthcoming four-cylinder turbo BMW 328. Are they for real? 0-60 in 5.7 seconds, and STILL gets 36 mph on the highway? Why will anyone buy BMW’s 6 cylinder 3-series that accelerates only .3 seconds faster, gets worse mileage, and costs @ $8,000 more? And why can’t Audi, Mercedes, etc. get acceleration figures under 6 seconds (or 7 seconds, for that matter) and comparable mileage from their 4 cylinders? (C250 7.1 seconds/31 mpg highway; A4 7.2 (multitronic); 30 mpg highway (multitronic). What has BMW figured out that the rest of the automotive world hasn’t?

Exactly the reason BMW bested Mercedes and Lexus as the luxury car of the year. And Mercedes was none too happy about either.

I’ll be driving their new 3-series next week and will have a review up for you.

Part of the reason is carbon fiber. BMW went into a joint venture with a carbon fiber group and that makes a car lighter, more agile, just as strong etc.

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warren_brown Warren Brown and Lou Ann Hammond chat on www.washingtonpost.com, January 27, 2012 Auto industry news Automobiles and Energy Driving tips Manufacturers Warren Brown Washingtonpost.com

About the Author:

Lou Ann Hammond is the CEO of Carlist and Driving the Nation. She is the co-host of Real Wheels Washington Post carchat every Friday morning and is the Automotive, energy correspondent for The John Batchelor Show and a Contributor to Automotive Electronics magazine headquartered in Korea. Hammond is a member of the North American Car and Truck of the Year (NACTOY), Women's World Car of the Year (WWCOTY), and the Concept Car of the Year.