BMW 330e Plug-in Hybrid To Bow Next Month

The BMW 330e plug-in hybrid promises powerful performance, typical BMW driving experience – and ability to travel all electrically for a certain stretch.

BMW says 25 miles range on the easier going European NEDC test cycle is possible. How far this may mean under U.S. EPA testing is not stated, but range somewhere in the teens is likely.

Meanwhile, 0-60 mph performance can be as quick as 5.9 seconds. Due to make its North American Debut next month in LA, the PHEV with its 7.6-kilowatt-hour battery appears to be a significant step up in eco performance from the outgoing ActiveHybrid3 regular hybrid.

Performance ability is derived from a “Twin Power” turbo four serving up 214 pounds-feet of torque merged with a “cutting edge” electric motor adding in 184 pounds-feet. Total system power is rated 252 horsepower and CO2 emissions under NEDC is 49-44 g/km. This super low emission profile is with battery assist, and unstated is the car’s emissions in regular hybrid mode.

Total electric plus gas range is stated as 373 miles (600 km), and power is pureed through an eight-speed Steptronic automotic transmission.

“The arrangement of the electric motor in front of the transmission allows the transmission ratios to be used in all-electric mode as well,” says BMW, “This means a torque converter can be omitted, which partially cancels out the extra weight of the additional drive unit.”

The car offers three driving modes: AUTO eDRIVE, MAX eDRIVE and SAVE BATTERY.

The default AUTO eDRIVE uses the engine and electric motor together, and an all-electric top speed of 50 mph (80 km/h).

A second drive mode is MAX eDRIVE which uses electric power only. Here top e-speed is 75 mph (120 km/h) and the touted “25 mile” raqnge (under NEDC) is promised. Per blended PHEV practice, the engine can cut in at any time the accelerator is pushed down beyond its kickdown position. Full acceleration therefore is with gas assist.

The third drive mode is called SAVE BATTERY. This sustains charge by sparing the battery for later.

The rest of the car, says BMW is pure adrenaline laced luxury performance BMW 3-Series.

Joining the 330e in making a North American debut at the LA Auto Show will be also the BMW M4 GTS, BMW X1, and BMW 7 Series.

BMW has several more plug-in cars in the works, and we expect more news ongoing.

U.S. pricing and availability for the 330e have not yet been announced.