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BMW to Offer Plug-in Hybrid Versions of All Future Models

Will show 3 Series plug-in hybrid concept.

BMW plans to offer a plug-in hybrid version of all its future models, the company confirmed today, based on technologies developed for the Project i cars, the BMW i3 and BMW i8. To demonstrate that idea, BMW today will reveal a concept version of a 3 Series sedan with a plug-in hybrid powertrain.

Going forward, BMW will offer a plug-in option for “all its core-brand models,” the company said in a statement. The battery and motor technology is based on that used in the i3 and i8, with lithium-ion batteries and a high-efficiency cooling system taken directly from those i cars. BMW says its plug-in architecture can easily be scaled to multiple vehicle sizes, so “it will therefore be possible to deploy it rapidly across the BMW model range.”

“All BMW Group models benefit from BMW i. The fundamental technology involved in battery cells, electric motors and the power electronics will be used in our upcoming plug-in hybrid models,” BMW member of the board for development Herbert Diess said in a statement.

Advances in lithium-ion technology are said to give future plug-in BMWs battery capacity of 20-kWh, enough for a claimed 62 miles of all-electric driving. BMW plans to show a plug-in hybrid 3 Series sedan concept in France, with its prototype powertrain pictured above. The car will combine a turbocharged four-cylinder engine of undisclosed displacement with an electric motor and lithium-ion battery pack, although further details have yet to be confirmed.

BMW has made no secret of its intentions to electrify more models. Our spy photographers have previously caught plug-in hybrid versions of the 5 Series and X5 testing, and AUTOMOBILE European bureau chief Georg Kacher reports the next BMW X3 will also offer a plug-in hybrid powertrain. The X3 and X5 will both reportedly combine a 240-hp, 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine with a 95-hp electric motor, with a battery big enough to give a 25-mile all-electric driving range.

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