BMW will soon offer an estate version of its hybrid 3 Series, according to product manager Stefan Horn. It’ll be the brand’s first plug-in hybrid estate car, and will follow shortly after the standard 3 Series Touring launches later this year. 

With BMW’s plug-in push set to include hybrid versions of everything from the 2 Series to X5 and X7, an electrified 3 Series wagon is thought to be a priority for the German car maker.

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When asked about why BMW has never offered a 330e Touring, and whether such a car might appear in the revised model range, Horn told Auto Express: “We will have a solution for that in the future”.

He emphasised BMW’s desire to make electrification “the norm”, as well as an appetite to offer electrified options in every new car segment in the future. BMW will remove all hybrid-specific styling cues from its electrified cars in 2019; iPerformance badges will be dropped, while the subtle blue accents will be replaced with body-coloured trim.

However, there will be no 3 Series EV: “The i4 will do that”, Horn told us.

The new BMW 330e saloon was revealed late late year, just weeks after the 320d, 330i and M340i were launched at the Paris Motor Show.

Like the previous generation 330e, the new model uses a 182bhp turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine mated to a 67bhp electric motor. Total system output is rated at 249bhp, just as before.

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However, BMW claims that this new, lighter model can now do 37 miles of electric running on a single charge – an increase of 12 miles over the model is replaces. Fuel economy increases a little to 138mpg, while claimed CO2 emissions have been slashed to 39g/km. Top speed on battery power now stands at 68mph.

BMW claims that performance has increased, too. The 0-62mph sprint now takes six seconds, while the 330e’s top speed is 143mph. There’s also a new XtraBoost function, which is enabled by selecting the Sport drive mode. This summons extra battery power from the 12.0kWh pack, and boosts the output of the electric motor, taking total system power to 289bhp. Drive is sent to the rear wheels via an eight-speed automatic BMW Steptronic transmission.

Boot space stands at 375 litres – down 105 litres on the standard 3 Series due to the integration of the battery pack.

Prices have not yet been revealed, but we’d anticipate the new 330e to eclipse the outgoing model with a price tag approaching £40,000 when it goes on sale in July. SE, Sport and M Sport trim versions will be available.

Click here to read our in-depth review on the BMW 3 Series...

Source: AutoExpress

February 14, 2019