New model comes standard with improved plug-in hybrid drivetrain
The BMW 330e plug-in hybrid was unveiled overnight ahead of going on sale globally from the middle of 2019.
The new 330e has a plug-in hybrid drivetrain consisting of a 135kW 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine with an electric motor integrated into the eight-speed automatic transmission.
Typically the electric motor is rated at 50kW, but can crank out 80kW when required. Total system output is rated at 185kW of power and 420Nm of torque.
The new plug-in hybrid also comes standard with an “XtraBoost” system, which uses a high-voltage battery to provide an extra 30kW of power for a limited period of time. The added electric punch is available when kicking down aggressively, or if the transmission is manual or sports mode.
Equipped with a 12kWh lithium-ion battery, the 330e has an electric-only driving range of up to 60 kilometres under the WLTP testing regime, a 50 per cent improvement on the previous-generation model.
Top speed in EV mode is 140km/h, or 20km/h more than the outgoing car. The 330e can be optioned up with an acoustic pedestrian warning feature, which presumably operates at low speeds when the car is running silently on battery power alone.
Overall fuel economy is said to be 1.7L/100km, while the 0-100km/h standard can be knocked off in 6.0 seconds flat.
With the car’s high voltage battery located under the rear seats, and the fuel tank placed above the rear axle, the 330e has 375 litres of boot space, down slightly from regular internal combustion versions of the new 3 Series.
The 40/20/40 split-fold rear seat can be used to expand storage space if required.
The 330e goes on sale in Europe during the northern summer of 2019. We’re waiting to hear back about Australian availability and timing.
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