The M340i Melbourne Red wasn’t the only model BMW USA brought to its recent media test drive as there was also a 330e. It was far from being a run-off-the-mill version considering the plug-in hybrid sports sedan had the xDrive setup and a Tanzanite Blue II Metallic paint. These options alone raise the asking price by $2,000 and $1,500, respectively.
The electrified saloon also happened to have the M Sport Package (another $2,550) encompassing the Shadowline exterior trim, 19-inch wheels with a two-tone finish, and sports seats on the inside. Speaking of which, this 330e xDrive’s cabin has the Sensatec (artificial leather) upholstery in Canberra Beige Perforated combined with the Aluminum Rhombicle Anthracite trim for the dashboard and center console.
The 330e represents the highest form of electrification available for the globally sold 3 Series. However, a fully electric model is sold in China where BMW has decided to repurpose the “i3” badge. While the quirky hatchback was never sold in the People’s Republic, the name is now used there on a long-wheelbase version of the 3 Series Sedan built and sold locally.
The rest of the world will have to wait until 2025 for a globally available i3, one that will be mechanically different from the current electric sedan. Instead of using the CLAR architecture shared with the combustion-engined 3er, it’ll ride on the Neue Klasse platform. The zero-emission model won’t spell the end for the G20 since BMW has reportedly taken the decision to extend the current car’s life cycle until 2027.
A next-gen 3 Series is still planned with combustion engines and is likely going to be even more electrified than the current car. Meanwhile, the United States only gets the 330e / 330e xDrive, but other markets also have a less potent 320e with or without AWD. The gap in output between the two is significant, 292 hp and 420 Nm (309 lb-ft) compared to 204 hp and 350 Nm (257 lb-ft).
Source: BMW USA