BMW Debuts Next-Generation 330e, a Plug-In Hybrid You’ll Actually Want to Drive
Featuring up to 45 more horsepower and traveling 50 percent further on electricity alone, the 330e is BMW’s newest hybrid poster child.
BMW has lifted the covers from its second generation 330e, announcing its newest plug-in hybrid to the masses. Packing a bigger battery and ability to deliver more power to the wheels, the electrified version of BMW's G20 3 Series is a hybrid sedan that you'll actually want to drive.
Like its older brother, the new 330e will amalgamate the power from a 184 horsepower 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with a stout 68 horsepower electric motor, in total producing a respectable 252 ponies and 310 pound-feet of torque. Its powertrain is coupled to BMW's eight-speed manu-matic Steptronic gearbox and will rotate only the rear wheels. The automaker says that the hybrid can sprint from 0 to 60 miles per hour in six seconds flat and continue to pull all the way to 130 mph.
Though this number is only an additional four ponies over its previous iteration, the Germans also decided to include a new feature which they call XtraBoost. As the name might imply, XtraBoost is designed to deliver short bursts of extra power to the sedan's wheels, similar to the overboost functionality on some of BMW's other performance-oriented, gas-powered cars. By supplying extra power to the electric motor, the 330e increases its total power output by a sturdy 41 horsepower for a short period of time. BMW says that XtraBoost will only be available should the battery have sufficient charge and sport mode is engaged.
BMW has also increased the capacity of the 330e's battery pack by more than 55 percent. According to BMW, the new 12-kilowatt-hour battery will propel the 330e for a claimed 37 miles on electricity alone, with a combined fuel economy reaching 1.7 liters per 100 kilometers (138 mpg).
Despite receiving BMW's base gasoline powertrain, the 330e certainly isn't lacking in features and options. The automaker will offer four different trims level (Advantage, Sport Line, Luxury Line, and M Sport) with the optional upgrade of various BMW M bits, including Adaptive M suspension and M Sport brakes. The connected in-car infotainment will also locate EV charging stations and allow drivers to reserve their spot at an empty charger.
It may not be the quickest hybrid on the market, nor does it carry its weight by attaining the most range in its class, however, the 330e is an all-around swiss army knife of drivability. If one is in the market for a luxury electrified commuter when the new 330e launches in Summer 2019, this hybrid should be a satisfying consideration.