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2020 BMW 330e Makes Other Hybrids Look Bland

Reveal / 8 Comments

The new tree-hugging 330e is more potent than all but the M340i.

When BMW rolled out the new G20-generation 3 Series, it promised a new plug-in hybrid version, but kept mum on the details. Until now, that is, as it's revealed the new 330e sedan – complete with 50 percent more all-electric range than the old model.

The new BMW 330e combines a 2.0-liter turbo four with an electric motor to deliver a combined total of 292 horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque. That, in case you're counting, is more power than all but the top-of-the-line M340i, which is pretty impressive when you consider that the 330e is also the "greenest” member of the family.

The power's delivered with an XtraBoost function that supplements the standard 252 hp with an extra 40 horses, available on demand for up to ten-second bursts. So it takes just 5.9 seconds to hit 62 mph from a standstill, and it'll keep pulling down the Autobahn until it's reached 143 mph.

At speeds up to 87 mph – 12 mph higher than the previous model – the new 330e will also operate on electric power alone. And with a new 12-kWh battery pack, it'll travel for up to 41 miles (50 percent longer than before) without ever needing to spool up the internal-combustion engine.

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By fitting that battery pack under the rear seats (instead of in the trunk), the 330e also retails a respectable cargo capacity of 13 cubic feet. The eight-speed automatic transmission has been geared specifically for the hybrid model. Carbon emissions are 20 percent lower than the conventional 330i sedan, or 60 percent when using a "green” energy source to recharge. And it even has an exterior speaker emitting a subtle sound to warn other road users of the otherwise often silent vehicle approaching.

The new 330e sedan is set to reach dealers already this summer, and for the first time will be joined next year by a wagon version as well – in certain markets (other than ours), at least.