We’re seeing more and more of BMW’s i division technology trickle into its mainstream models, and this BMW 330e plug-in hybrid is the latest example. After first announcing this addition to the 3 Series lineup last year, BMW is now providing more details on the sedan’s gas-electric hybrid powertrain.
Combining a 2.0-liter turbo-four with a 65-kW electric motor, the BMW 330e provides a combined output of 252 hp and 310 lb-ft of torque, essentially sitting in between the 328i and 340i gas models in terms of power. The 0-62 mph run takes just 6.1 seconds, and the top speed is 140 mph, or 75 mph when driving in pure-electric mode. A 7.6-kWh battery pack resides under the trunk and affords around 25 miles of all-electric range on a full charge. The 330e is rear-wheel-drive only, and routes its power through an eight-speed automatic transmission that’s placed behind the electric motor. That means the transmissions eight ratios can be used when the car runs on electrical power, too.
Like in most plug-in hybrids, different drive modes in the BMW 330e allow the driver to choose how the gasoline engine and electric motor are used. “Auto eDrive” is the default and operates as a normal hybrid would, combining the engine and the electric motor and sometimes shutting off the gas engine. “Max eDrive” uses the electric motor exclusively until the battery is depleted, and “Save Battery” mode keeps the engine running to either charge the battery pack or maintain the state of charge so the car can be driven in electric-only mode later. When plugged in to a conventional outlet, charging takes three hours, while the BMW i Wallbox high-speed adapter shortens that time to 2 hours and 12 minutes.
BMW says that the addition of the battery pack hasn’t upset the balance of the 3 Series sedan, and the car looks nearly identical to any other 3 Series. The main clues to set it apart are the charge port on the front fender and a few different information displays inside. The 330e does weigh a bit more than a standard 3 Series, predictably, at around 3,660 pounds.
We don’t know when this car will reach the U.S. market, but it seems a sure bet to arrive on our shores to join the BMW X5 xDrive40e plug-in that’s on sale now. Stay tuned for more news on this electrified BMW 3 Series as we learn more info.