The First Ever Plug-in Hybrid 3 Series Showcased in Fresh Video

Those that took the time to read the whole press release about BMW’s new 3 Series Facelift range might’ve discovered that the Germans were true to their word and will introduce a plug-in hybrid model in the range. Dubbed BMW 330e, the new car will be writing a new page in the brand’s history, not just the model’s.
BMW 330e Plug-in Hybrid iDrive screen 1 photo
Photo: screenshot from Youtube
Yes, we know that the Bavarians offered hybrid before but the ActiveHybrid3 was not a plug-in version. On top of that, it was a rather difficult car to understand and use both because of its weight and the way it was configured.

The new 330e was built around the same principles and technology from the i sub-brand. It has a 2-liter 4-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine under the bonnet making 184 HP and 290 Nm (214 lb-ft) of torque. Sounds familiar? That’s because it’s the same plant used on the 320i models.

On top of the internal combustion engine, the 330e uses an electric motor as well that is rated at 80 kW (107 HP). There’s no mention of how much torque the electric motor has at the moment but we’re guessing something close to 200 Nm (148 lb-ft) of torque. Just like on the X5 xDrive40e, we’re expecting the electric motor to be included in the gearbox casing but there’s no official mention of that anywhere in the official press release.

Unfortunately, the combined maximum power output is rated at 252 HP and 420 Nm (310 lb-ft) of torque, similar to what the 330i model has using just an internal combustion engine. Thanks to those figures, the car will be capable of accelerating from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 6.3 seconds and reach a top speed of 140 mph (225 km/h).

However, those are not the specs people interested in such cars are looking for. They will want to know more about how far the 3er can travel on electricity alone and how much CO2 it will be releasing into the atmosphere.

Early estimates from BMW say that the 330e will be capable of doing 22 miles (35 km) in EV mode alone. At the same time, the fuel consumption is supposed to be near 2.1 l/100 km (134.5 mph UK) which is identical to the claimed number for the i8, a much more technically advanced car with a considerably higher price tag.

Will these specs allow the new 330e to make a name for itself? Well, the competition is limited to just the Mercedes-Benz C350e model right now which, at first, seems to have similar specs.

It is powered by a 208 HP 2-liter 4-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine with 258 lb-ft (350 Nm) of torque and an 80 HP electric motor making 251 lb-ft (340 Nm) of torque. Combined, the two offer 275 HP and 443 lb-ft (600 Nm) of torque, considerably more than the BMW.

However, on the road, the Merc has a 2-mile deficit in EV range and is shy a couple of mpg in the overall ratings (which are preliminary at the moment, by the way).

There might also be an alternative from Audi coming to the market pretty soon, when the new A4 is released but we’re still a few months away from the unveiling of the new sedan from Ingolstadt.

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