BMW is all geared up to make itself future proof and hybrids are the stepping stone for the Bavarian brand in the run towards electrification. The new BMW models such as the 7 Series Facelift and now the updated 3 Series range have seen the addition of a plug-in hybrid variant. The 745e (7 Series Hybrid) has already been launched in India and given that the 3 Series Plug-in Hybrid has also made its public appearance globally, we hope it will come to our shores soon.
Also Read: 7th Generation BMW 3 Series Sedan Review
Under the hood, the BMW 330e hybrid's 2.0-litre, four-cylinder engine is coupled with a single electric motor which provides a combined maximum output of 249 bhp and is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission which is 15 mm taller than the one used in the conventional variant. The engine generates 182 bhp while the electric motor adds 111 horses more. That said, the most impressive tech here is something called the XtraBoost mode that the 330e gets. In Sport mode when you floor the pedal to get a sudden thrust, the powertrain generates 39 bhp more from low revs for 10 seconds taking the total output to 288 bhp in that duration. The motive here is to wipe out the bottom end lag and ensure a seamless power delivery as and when required which is pretty cool.
Next comes the fuel efficiency bit of the 330e and it's little hard to believe but BMW is claiming it will deliver between 52.63 kmpl to 62.5 kmpl. The interesting part is that the 330e can take a speed of 140 kmph running on the electric motor only, however, the speed is restricted to 110 kmph, when in hybrid mode. The all electric range in the 330e is around 66 km and this is one area where it leaves you wanting for more. Some more kilometres for your daily commute without burning the fuel would have been ideal, especially those who live in metro cities. The electric motor gets its juice from a 12 kWh lithium-ion battery which has been integrated right beneath the rear seat (just ahead of the fuel tank). It eats a little into the boot and you get a comparatively smaller boot space of 375 litres.
The hybrid powertrain has also made way for some more trendy features like pre conditioning (heating/cooling) of the cabin which is done using the energy stored in the battery pack. In terms of variants, you also have choice here, basically all variants BMW usually offers. So the 330e will be available in Advantage, Sport Line, Luxury Line or the top notch M Sport variants and can be equipped with the Active M Suspension along with Variable Sport Steering and M Sport brakes. BMW will also offer a trailer as part of its accessory package with maximum load of up to 750 kg.
BMW is launching the new generation BMW 3 Series in India in the next week and the 330e hybrid is expected to join the line-up later in 2020 after it goes on sale in the European markets. The 330e will also get a touring variant alongside standard sedan.