New 330e will have a 37-mile zero-emission range and up to 289 bhp.
BMW’s next-generation 3 Series plug-in hybrid will go on sale in the UK next summer, the Bavarian manufacturer has confirmed.
The hybrid saloon, badged 330e, will be based on the standard 3 Series revealed at the Paris Motor Show last month, but it will add electric power to the mix for extra power and zero-emission capability.
As before, the car will pair a 2-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine with an electric motor, although there’s more power than before thanks to the standard-fit XtraBoost performance system.
The 181 bhp petrol engine and 67 bhp electric motor combine to produce 248 bhp, but an extra 41 bhp is available for short bursts in sport mode.
As a result, the car can sprint from a standstill to 62 mph in six seconds flat, before hitting a top speed of 143 mph, while the electric motor can manage speeds of up to 68 mph before the petrol engine kicks in to help out.
Despite the performance, though, the car will cover up to 37 miles on electric power alone, while the official combined fuel consumption stands at 138 mpg. More importantly, the 39 g/km CO2 emissions mean the executive saloon is exempt from the London Congestion Charge.
This is partly thanks to the 12 kWh lithium-ion battery which is not only charged by the plug, but also via regenerative braking. The system can store energy that would normally be lost under braking and uses it to extend the car’s zero-emission range.
But while BMW has concentrated on improving the car’s efficiency and performance, the company has also attempted to improve the ‘feel’ of the car.
According to the Munich-based firm, the 330e has a “model-specific sound design” that is supposed to offer a “suitably throaty” engine note when the car is put through its paces.
Three trim levels will be available for the 330e, with BMW claiming that “virtually the entire range of optional equipment” will be offered to plug-in hybrid buyers.
Entry-level models will come in SE guise, with satellite navigation, climate control and BMW’s digital instrument cluster expected to feature as standard.
Moving up the range to the Sport Line model are likely to add to this with larger alloy wheels, heated seats and leather upholstery, while the top-of-the-range M Sport variants will likely get sports suspension and sports seats, as well as the M Sport aerodynamic styling.
Prices are yet to be announced, but BMW has revealed that the 330e will be available from July 2019.