BMW adds plug-in hybrid 330e to its 3-series lineup
BMW unveiled the seventh generation of the 3 Series compact sedan at the Paris Motor Show earlier this year. Added to that series is a new plug-in hybrid 330e that the automaker announced this week. This PHEV includes BMW's latest eDrive Technology to enhance both efficiency and performance.
A key component of the new BMW 330e plug-in is the addition of XtraBoost, a system that allows the sedan to increase system output temporary by up to 41 horsepower (30 kW). That drives the 330e's already powerful 252 horsepower (185 kW) output up to 293 hp (215 kW). The 330e also sees its all-electric driving range increased to up 50 percent, to 37 miles (60 km) over the previous generation 3 Series plug-in. Fuel economy is improved by about 10 percent in the process.
The BMW 330e's drivetrain starts with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder twin-turbocharged engine that outputs 184 horsepower (135 kW). That engine is mated to a 68 hp (50 kW) motor with a peak output of 109 hp (80 kW) for a total system output of 252 horsepower. An eight-speed Steptronic automatic transmission houses both the motor and gearing, allowing for integration of recuperative braking to restore power to the car's batteries.
BMW says that together, the engine, motor, and transmission propel the 330e from 0 to 62 mph (100 km/h) in six seconds. Top speed for the car is 143 mph (230 km/h) and top speed in all-electric driving for the 330e is up to 87 mph (140 km/h), an improvement of 18 and 12 mph (30 and 20 km/h) respectively.
Power for the BMW 330e is stored in a 12.0-kWh lithium-ion battery pack. This gives the 330e that aforementioned all-electric range of up to 37 miles per charge. The high-voltage battery rests beneath the rear seating and the fuel tank sits behind that over the rear axle, helping to create an even weight distribution. Fuel economy for the BMW 330e is now up to 1.7 l/100km (about 138 mpg) using the European WLTP test cycle for NEDC.
The BMW 330e has several drive modes for the driver to select from. These include Hybrid, Electric, and Sport mode. Sport mode allows the use of XtraBoost for more power output and gears the 330e towards performance. XtraBoost is dependent on battery pack charge state to operate.
BMW says that the 330e will have the full range of optional equipment available for the 3 Series, including model variants such as the Advantage, Sport Line, Luxury Line, and M Sport. A full range of driver assistance and advanced safety equipment can be included with the 330e, depending on packages chosen. Standard with the BMW 330e will be passenger cabin pre-conditioning, heating or cooling the cabin to a set temperature using the BMW app suite and a connected smartphone. This remote-control system works regardless of the 330e's battery charge state.
The new BMW 330e will launch in the summer of 2019 (Northern Hemisphere). At launch, BMW says it will have new digital services to make charging the 330e more convenient when out and about. This will work through the navigation system, and includes services such as pointing out nearby hotels, restaurants, cafes, and tourist attractions near charging stations. Some connected charging stations can even show their availability in real time, allowing the driver to navigate directly to the plug. Charging station reservations will also be possible in the near future, BMW says.