Plug-in hybrid BMWs modified by tuners are few and far between, but with the M division expressing its commitment to PHEVs, we’ll be seeing more of them in the years to come. In the meantime, this inconspicuous 330e has gone through a stage 1 upgrade, taking the combined output from the series 292 hp and 420 Nm (309 lb-ft) to 420 hp and a meaty 720 Nm (531 lb-ft).
While it’s still no M3 by any stretch of the imagination, the plug-in hybrid sports sedan is properly quick. The aftermarket package has lowered the 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) sprint time by nearly a second to 4.9s while the top speed has increased from the series 233 km/h (145 mph) to 255 km/h (155 mph). We can see the modified 330e being pushed hard with the launch control system active on the Autobahn in Germany where there are still sections of the highway with no speed limits.
Lest we forget the 330e makes do with the four-cylinder B48 engine whereas the bigger 5 Series PHEV is available with the inline-six B58 for the 545e. BMW has refrained from putting the 3.0-liter inside the recently unveiled 330e LCI, which would’ve made for quite the compelling package. Tuners are attempting to bridge the gap between the two, but having the superior combustion engine in the smaller car would be an ideal combo.
Nevertheless, this tuned 330e is no slouch once you factor in its curb weight of 1,740 kilograms (3,836 pounds), which is only 40 kg (88 lbs) less than an M3 with xDrive. Of course, traditionalists will always prefer the pure gasoline experience, but with increasingly stringent emissions regulations, we’ll be seeing a lot more hybrids and EVs in the coming years.
We’re curious to discover how the tuning scene will react to BMW’s Neue Klasse platform, which will serve as the basis for not only an i3 Sedan due in 2025 but also an i3 Touring arriving later down the line. The bigger CLAR-based i5 is actually coming sooner in both body styles, so interesting times ahead.
Source: AutoTopNL / YouTube