Making its world debut in Frankfurt, BMW’s venerable 3 Series welcomes its first plug in hybrid. BMW has proven this plug-in hybrid technology in the BMW i8 and X5 eDrive. Continuing BMW’s commitment to efficient dynamics, the new 330e combines a turbo four cylinder gas engine with an electric motor and battery. This combination makes a vehicle capable of up to 25 miles all electric yet still provides the dynamics that BMW customers expect.
The immediate benefit of this plug-in-hybrid and its 7.6 kWh battery, is the possibility of pure electric local trips of up to 25 miles (40 km) and speeds up to 75 mph. The hybrid powertrain can reach 0-100km/hr (0-62) in just 6.2 seconds and has a top speed of 140 mph. Range anxiety wont be problem with the 330e it has a range of 373 miles in every day driving. The electric motor augments maximum acceleration giving the drive the impression of a larger motor.
The rear wheel drive only 330e is powered by two motors. First there is an in-line turbocharged 2.0 liter four cylinder engine producing 184 hp and 214 lb-ft of torque. The 330e’s electric motor is capable of producing 88 hp and184 lb-ft. The 330e seamlessly switches between either motor or can combine them for a stout 252 hp with 310 lb-ft of torque.
Driving modes on the 330e range from a pure electric driving, a combined electric/petrol and finally pure petrol driving mode. BMW calls the pure electric mode MAX eDrive. Auto eDrive allows the BMW to choose based upon driving conditions and battery state of charge. Lastly there is a Save Battery mode, where the 330e will use its gasoline motor for propulsion and extra energy captured in brake energy regeneration will be routed to the battery.
The electric motor is situated just behind the motor and in front of the transmission. This means the electric motor sends power through the eight-speed transmission. Helping save weight, the torque converted is removed as it is no longer needed. The 330e uses a J1772 charging plug and does not have a DC charging option.
The 7.6 kWh battery located in floor of the trunk and the 330e still manages a respectable 370 liters of cargo capacity. The 7.6 kWh lithium ion cells can be charged in 2 hours with a Level 2 charger, such as the BMW Wall Box Pro, but can still be charged with a household wall socket in about 3.5 hrs. Despite all the complexities of the plug in hybrid powertrain, BMW has managed to keep a 50/50 weight distribution. The 330e is rated at unladen, 1735 kg.
BMW has done some subtle cosmetic tweaks to communicate the hybrid nature of the the 330e. These is a door to allow charging situated just behind the drivers front wheel arch. Electric blue hues around the rounder and a eDrive badge on the trunk remind us this is a special 3 Series.
Take a look at the photo gallery below for more photos: