BMW Australia has launched the first ever 3 Series plug-in hybrid model, the 330e. Joining the recently launched petrol-electric X5 xDrive40e in BMW’s expanding plug-in hybrid iPerformance range, the new 330e promises exceptional fuel efficiency and ultra-low emission from $71,900 plus on-road costs, a $2,000 premium over petrol 330i.
Sharing the same sports-executive styling, standard features and premium interior ambience as the recently updated 3 Series line-up, the 330e pairs a 135kW/290Nm turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine with a 65kW/250Nm electric motor to power the rear wheels.
The electric motor is fitted between the petrol engine and standard eight-speed automatic transmission endowing the combined powertrain with a maximum power output of 185kW and peak torque of 420Nm – the same peak power and an additional 70Nm of torque compared to the petrol-only 330i.
The BMW 330e can also run on electric power alone for guilt-free driving of up to a range of 37km. A hybrid powertrain control system offers three modes of operation depending on driver requirements.
With the powertrain mounted over the front axle and a 7.6kWh high-voltage lithium-ion battery that supplies energy for the electric motor located under the boot, the 330e has a 48/52 (Front/Rear) weight distribution. Kerb weight increases by 165kg to 1,660kg due to the addition of the battery pack and associated hardware.
In addition to three modes of engine management, the 330e also features BMW’s Driving Experience Control that offers up to four modes of operation – COMFORT, SPORT, SPORT+ (available with Sport Line and M Sport Package) and ECO PRO – to further tailor the powertrain, transmission and steering to personal preferences.
Visually, the 330e incorporates standard LED lights and 19-inch light alloy wheels. The model is defined by its charging socket located in the left front wing, 330e badging and ‘eDrive’ logo on the bootlid and door sills.
Inside, the 330e is offered in Sport Line, Luxury Line or M Sport trim packages and features BMW ConnectedDrive Services.
Dual-zone climate control – with cabin preconditioning available thanks to the auxiliary heating/cooling unit – keyless Comfort Access System, cruise control with braking function, interior LED ambient lights package, Rain Sensor automatic windscreen wipers and lights, electric seats, Dakota leather upholstery and multifunction steering wheel with gearshift paddles are all standard.
Providing optimum safety and driver assistance are six airbags, Dynamic Stability Control, Acoustic Protection for pedestrians, Driving Assistant, Rear View Camera with Surround View, Head-Up Display and front and rear Park Distance Control.
The 330e also features a hybrid specific version of the BMW Remote app, eDrive Services, which allows checking the battery status and locating public charging stations, along with instrument cluster and control display information tailored to the hybrid drive.
The lithium-ion battery that supplies energy for the electric motor comes with a six-year warranty and is able to be charged from empty from a standard domestic power socket in three hours and 15 minutes, via the high-speed and efficient BMW i Wallbox in two hours and 15 minutes, or through the growing number of public charging stations.