For those of you that have been waiting to configure your own BMW 330e plug-in hybrid, we’ve got good news: the BMW USA website now has a working configurator for it and you can spec out your eco-friendly 3er. Initially announced as the 330e, the new plug-in hybrid is now being marketed as ‘330e iPerformance’, a new moniker that it’s supposed to remind us it uses i3 and i8 technology. And indeed it does, as the battery’s cooling system, inverter and power-management hardware are shared with the i models.
However, other than that, there’s little to connect the two. The 330e uses a 2-liter four-cylinder internal combustion engine under the hood, making 180 HP and an electric motor inside the gearbox, replacing the torque converter and making 87 horsepower and 74 lb-ft (100 Nm) of torque. Admittedly the twist can go up to 250 Nm (184 lb-ft) but only for short bursts.
Combined, the two can deliver up to 248 HP and 310 lb-ft (420 Nm) of torque, helping the sedan reach the 60 mph benchmark speed in 5.9 seconds. You can also get up to 75 mph in this car using solely electricity.
The pure-electric range of the car has been rated at 14 miles by the EPA and charging the 7.6 kWh lithium-ion battery takes 2.5 hours at a 240-volt station. Using the 120-volt most US households have will take six or seven hours. Fortunately, the battery can also be charged on-the-go, by using the car’s Save Battery driving mode where the internal combustion engine also acts as a generator, keeping the charge at 50% at the very least.
Prices start at $44,695 which is $3,850 more than the 328d diesel model and $5,350 more than the 328i and it will be interesting to see just how well sales will be doing once cars start being delivered this summer.