BMW 320e and 520e Join Range as Entry-Level Plug-In Hybrids

BMW 320e and 520e 7 photos
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BMW 320e and 520eBMW 320e and 520eBMW 320e and 520eBMW 320e and 520eBMW 320e and 520eBMW 320e and 520e
If you’re interested in purchasing a new BMW with plug-in hybrid drive, you’ll be happy to know that entry-level electrified variants of the 3-Series and 5-Series will soon be joining the range. The two cars were announced just recently, with both the 320e and 520e featuring the same 2.0-liter four-cylinder unit, 12 kWh battery, and electric motor.
The internal combustion engine produces 161 hp (163 PS) by itself, while the total system output reads 201 hp (204 PS) and 258 lb-ft (350 Nm) of torque. Both models are available with eight-speed automatic transmissions and either rear- or all-wheel drive.

In terms of performance, the new BMW 320e sedan can accelerate from zero to 62 mph (100 kph) in 7.6 seconds before reaching a top speed of 140 mph (225 kph). The 320e Touring, meanwhile, needs 7.9 seconds to hit that same mark, before maxing out at 137 mph (220 kph). As for the 520e sedan and Touring, the former needs 7.9 seconds to hit 62 mph and has a top speed of 140 mph (225 kph), while the latter does the sprint in 8.2 seconds, with a top speed of 135 mph (218 kph).

As you can see, there’s no major difference between the two nameplates in this configuration, and this includes their all-electric modes. All four variants max out at 87 mph (140 kph) once the internal combustion engine takes a break. Side note: why couldn't they have made it 88 mph? Back to the Future fans would have enjoyed that.

Moving on, the 12kWh battery, which is mounted under the rear seats, has a capacity of 34 Ah and can be charged from zero to 80% in 2.6 hours (100% takes 3.6 hours) at a maximum capacity of 3.7 kW. You can use a conventional household socket, a wallbox, or a public charging station.

If you’re not using the 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline unit at all, you can cover 30-35 miles (48-57 km) on electricity alone (WLTP) in the 320e sedan, 28-33 miles (46-54 km) in the 320e Touring, 25-34 miles (41-55 km) in the 520e sedan, and 28-31 miles (45-51 km) in the 520e Touring.

Both models, destined initially for European markets, come with active pedestrian protection as standard, with automatic air conditioning, auxiliary heating and the BMW Live Cockpit Plus all available at no extra cost.
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About the author: Sergiu Tudose
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Sergiu got to experience both American and European car "scenes" at an early age (his father drove a Ford Fiesta XR2 supermini in the 80s). After spending over 15 years at local and international auto publications, he's starting to appreciate comfort behind the wheel more than raw power and acceleration.
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