After many years of anticipation, it seems that BMW is finally set to offer partially electric versions of its standard (and highly popular) models — such as, in this case, the 3 Series.
The German company just announced a 2016 3 Series refresh, which, amongst other things, will see the release of the 2016 BMW 330e plug-in hybrid (PHEV) — which is, as it sounds, a plug-in version of one of the company’s most popular offerings. The 330e PHEV will reportedly possess 250 horsepower, 310 lb-feet of torque, and an all-electric range of 22 miles per full charge.
Our sister site Gas2 provides a bit more information and commentary:
No mention of fuel economy, in the press release, though the website estimates it will use as little as 3.5 liters of petrol per 100 km, or about 67 MPG. 0 to 60 MPH is said to go by in a very BMW-like 6.1 seconds. Beyond the fuel economy question, we’re also left to wonder what size combustion engine will be under the hood or the size of the battery pack.
Conventional wisdom says a small-displacement, turbocharged four-cylinder is most likely, but BMW may have dropped a hint in the press release that a three-cylinder engine may be on tap, saying; “This new BMW EfficientDynamics modular engine will share a common design blueprint, with 3, 4 and 6-cylinder inline cylinder arrangements, a displacement per cylinder of 500 cc and very lightweight, thermally optimized all-aluminum construction.”
That doesn’t necessarily mean a three-cylinder setup is on tap for the 3 Series…but if it was, I’d wager it’d find a way into the 330e.
Good news! I imagine that the 330e PHEV will end up doing quite well, it seems like exactly the sort of electric offering that the mainstream market will/would be interested in. I’m curious to see how this goes.