Is This The Best BMW 3 Series Hybrid Yet?

Reveal

New 3 Series plug-in features more power than ever thanks to XtraBoost feature.

Only a few days after debuting the M340i, BMW is back with a new 3 Series variant. However, while the turbocharged, 370-horsepower M340i is likely to get your blood racing, the same cannot be said for the new BMW 330e, a plug-in hybrid version of the eighth generation 3 Series.

Nonetheless, with emissions restrictions getting increasingly strict and automakers looking to electrify their model lineups, the 330e could prove to be an important part of the 3 Series’ roster.

The new 330e features a similar powertrain to its predecessor—a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline four mated to an electric motor. However, the updated model brings a power increase along with an extended electric range. The combined system pumps out a respectable 250 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. This means the 330e is good for a six-second sprint to 62 mph, and can reach a top speed of 143 mph. On electric propulsion alone, BMW claims the 330e can do 68 mph, an 18 mph bump over the previous 3 Series hybrid.

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The electric motor is built into the eight-speed automatic transmission, and regenerative braking sends energy back to the 12-kwh lithium-ion battery, housed in the trunk. BMW claims a 37 mile electric range. The battery also allows for a new feature called XtraBoost, which acts like overboost in a turbocharged engine, adding extra power when the battery has enough charge. The feature can only be activated in Sport mode, but contributes an extra 41 horsepower, upping the total figure to 291 horses.

The 2020 BMW 330e is set to go on sale in summer 2019 in European markets. While it has yet to be confirmed for the US market, it is expected to arrive for the 2020 model year, around the same time as the M340i and the Sports Wagon body style.

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