(video) The new BMW 330e PHEV gets official ahead of 2015 Frankfurt Auto Show

The new BMW 330e.
3.3 E-mobility gains a new dynamic edge.
The BMW 330e adds another highly innovative variant to the BMW 3 Series line-up with its advanced plug-in hybrid drive system. To this end, the engineers transferred cutting-edge BMW i technologies into a representative of the world's most successful premium model range for the first time. The BMW 3 Series Sedan has already set standards for sports performance and fuel economy in its segment using conventional combustion engines. And so it provides the perfect environment for an inspiringly dynamic yet also exceptionally efficient plug-in hybrid model. Key ingredients here are its intelligent lightweight design, outstanding aerodynamics for this class of car and the extensive spread of BMW EfficientDynamics technology fitted as standard.

Ideal platform, superior drive components, unbeatable efficiency.

The combustion engine fitted in the BMW 330e is based on the four-cylinder petrol unit with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology that has already won the International Engine of the Year Award on two occasions. Stand-out characteristics include its sporty power delivery, output of 135 kW/184 hp and peak torque of 290 Nm / 214 lb-ft (combined fuel consumption: 2.1–1.9 l/100 km [134.5–148.7 mpg imp]; combined CO2 emissions: 49–44 g/km)*, not to mention an ultra-high-efficiency factor and excellent refinement.

The electric motor, developing 65 kW/88 hp and peak torque of 250 Nm / 184 lb-ft

motor is powered by a lithium-ion battery with a capacity of 7.6 kWh. The model-specific concept of the high-voltage battery, including its battery highly efficient models. The battery can be recharged at any domestic power socket and is mounted flat in a particularly crash-safe position underneath the load
from the high-voltage battery to the on-board electrical systems and provides centralised control of hybrid-specific functions.

The BMW 330e consequently offers a system output of 185 kW/252 hp and peak torque of 420 Nm / 310 lb-ft, allowing the dynamic Sedan to sprint from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 6.1 seconds and reach a top speed of 225 km/h (140 mph). The average figures for fuel consumption and CO2 emissions are 2.1–1.9 litres* per 100 kilometres (134.5–148.7 mpg imp) and 49–44 grams* per kilometre. Pure-electric driving is possible at speeds of up to 120 km/h (75 mph) and with a range of around 40 kilometres (25 miles). Overall, the BMW 330e offers a realistic range in everyday use of up to 600 kilometres (373 miles). These figures, together with the electric motor's boost function – which can be clearly felt under acceleration – bring a sharp and intensely dynamic dimension to everyday motoring.

* Provisional figures. Fuel consumption figures based on the EU test cycle for plug-in hybrid vehicles, may vary depending on the tyre format specified.,

BMW decided to use an operating strategy for the drive unit that involves a permanent electric boost function. Here, the electric motor supplements the power from the combustion engine with 100 Nm / 74 lb-ft of torque and can deliver a brief extra burst – depending on the position of the accelerator – of up to 250 Nm / 184 lb-ft. On the move, this comes across as an extremely forceful and sustained wave of power giving the impression of a far larger- capacity combustion engine. And because ample power is on hand at all times, a superior and relaxed driving feeling results. Overtaking manoeuvres are that much quicker, and on twisty stretches of road the BMW 330e provides a thrilling level of driving pleasure.

The power generated by both the combustion engine and the electric motor is channelled to the BMW 330e's rear wheels via an eight-speed Steptronic transmission. This means the transmission ratios take effect for both drive systems, lowering the mechanical and thermal loads placed on the electric motor by sustained high revs. This has a positive effect on the operating life of the electric drive system. It also means a torque converter is not required, which partially cancels out the extra weight of the additional drive unit. And – as in conventionally powered BMW models – the advanced Steptronic transmission's low friction losses allow it to make an additional contribution to the high efficiency of the car's drive system as a whole.

BMW eDrive can be configured in three different driving modes.

BMW 330e drivers can choose from three BMW eDrive-specific programs – AUTO eDRIVE, MAX eDRIVE and SAVE BATTERY – via the eDrive button in the centre console. These settings allow the plug-in hybrid drive system to be adapted to the way the car is being used at any particular time.

AUTO eDRIVE: This setting ensures the combustion engine and electric motor work together to optimum effect in all driving situations and enables a pure-electric top speed of 80 km/h (50 mph). This is the default setting and is activated each time the car is started up.

MAX eDRIVE: In this mode the BMW 330e uses electric power only, allowing it to drive for up to 40 kilometres (25 miles) with zero local emissions. In so doing, it draws on the electric drive system's full power output and reaches a top speed of 120 km/h (75 mph). This makes the BMW 330e the ideal car for commuters and city dwellers, for example, as it allows them to complete their daily journeys extremely efficiently and with an eye on the environment. The combustion engine can, however, cut in at any time if the accelerator is pushed down beyond its kickdown position when additional power is required, e.g. for overtaking.

SAVE BATTERY: This mode contains two operating settings. If the high- voltage battery's charge is below 50 per cent, the battery is charged to 50 per cent by the combustion engine. But if the battery still has more than 50 per cent of its energy remaining, the charge level is "frozen", so that the remaining electric energy can be used for part of the journey still to come – e.g. the approach to a city centre destination. If the selector lever is moved into the S gate, the combustion engine starts up regardless of the mode engaged, ensuring that availability of the combined maximum output of the two drive systems is sustained. In addition, the high-voltage battery's charge is raised to 80 per cent.

A harmony of efficiency and hallmark BMW dynamics.

In addition to its eDrive button, the BMW 330e – like other series-produced BMW models – also has a Driving Experience Control switch on the centre console which allows the remaining settings to be adapted according to need and the situation at hand; the COMFORT and SPORT settings and ECO PRO mode are all activated using this switch. As well as the steering and chassis functions and the shift characteristics of the eight-speed Steptronic transmission, these modes also make changes to the operating strategy of the hybrid drive system. In COMFORT mode, which prioritises a fine balance of comfort and efficiency, as well as hallmark BMW dynamics, the use of the electric motor is regulated in such a way that it helps to ensure both relaxed and economical driving. If required, the electric motor teams up with the combustion engine to maximise power delivery. Top-end performance using the full system output of the combustion engine and electric motor combined is the focus of SPORT mode. In this setting the engine and motor are both permanently active. This allows the drive system to react instantaneously to every movement of the accelerator. In ECO PRO mode, the efficiency potential of electrification is utilised particularly extensively. Intelligent hybrid functionality allows the electric motor and combustion engine to work together with the greatest possible overall efficiency. The extremely efficient energy management for the drive systems involves carefully regulating the power output of electrically operated convenience functions such as the climate control system, seat heating and exterior mirror heating. This also helps to maximise the car's range.

Intelligent energy management adjusts the drive systems' responses to the situation at hand.

The BMW 330e comes with an integrated, hybrid-specific Proactive Driving Assistant that works using the BMW navigation system. This function represents the interplay between BMW EfficientDynamics and
BMW ConnectedDrive technology at its most systematic and advanced. When the route guidance function is active, the navigation system collates the available information on the route ahead and uses it to manage the responses of the two drive units. Here, the system accesses both the static data from the interactive map, such as speed restrictions and gradient information, and real- time information on the current traffic situation (Real Time Traffic Information – RTTI). This proactive energy management uses the information as a basis to identify particular stretches of the route where the electric drive system will be preferred over the combustion engine. It ensures that the car drives through residential areas or – if the battery has sufficient charge – entire cross-town links on electric power alone and approaches the destination using only the electric drive system. The system also prepares to use electric energy for uphill sections of road, so that the system's full recuperation potential can be used on a subsequent downhill stretch. The Proactive Driving Assistant ensures the BMW 330e is even better equipped to offer locally emission-free driving, but also to cover long stretches extremely efficiently and with less impact on the environment.

Battery can be charged easily at home or during a journey using BMW 360° ELECTRIC solutions.

As a plug-in hybrid, the BMW 330e can also be charged externally via the mains power supply. The empty lithium-ion high-voltage battery can be fully replenished in just two hours and 15 minutes using a BMW i Wallbox (charging power: 3.7 kW, can be installed at home or the workplace), so that the car's maximum electric range is available when the driver is ready to set off again. Alternatively, the BMW 330e can also be charged from empty in three hours and 15 minutes from a conventional domestic power socket using the standard charging cable supplied. The charging solutions available from
BMW 360° ELECTRIC make topping up the battery during the course of a journey that much easier. The BMW i mobility service ChargeNow opens up access to the largest network of public charging stations worldwide (covering over 30,000 charging points managed by partners in 22 countries).
BMW ConnectedDrive, the BMW ConnectedDrive app and the ChargeNow app make locating and using charging stations run by partners an extremely fast and easy process, while the ChargeNow card allows convenient and cash-free billing and payment.

The car is hooked up to the power supply via the charging socket, which is located in the front wing on the driver's side, between the front wheel arch and the A-pillar. A flap with an integral sealing system protects it against ingress from moisture and dust, for example. The charging socket itself has a corona ring, which uses a colour scheme to inform the user which stage of charging has been reached. If the corona ring flashes blue, the BMW 330e is in charging mode. It then changes to a solid green light once the charging process has been completed. A solid blue ring indicates a pause in charging, and a flashing yellow ring tells you a system check is taking place. Finally, a flashing red corona ring indicates that the charging system is not active. The BMW 330e comes with its own standard charging cable – stored away in a special bag in the boot and secured with a net – to connect it to the power supply. If no stationary charging options are available, the empty battery can be brought up to at least 50 per cent of full charge while on the move by activating SAVE BATTERY using the eDrive button. In addition, the driver can choose to start up the combustion engine – regardless of the mode currently engaged – by moving the transmission's selector lever into the S gate. This ensures that availability of the combined maximum output of the two drive systems is sustained, and at the same time the battery's charge is raised to 80 per cent.

Level load compartment floor and unrestricted through-loading facility.

The neat integration of the high-voltage battery (capacity: 7.6 kWh) in the area under the load compartment gives the BMW 330e a level load compartment floor, and full use of the optional through-loading system with 40:20:40 split rear seat backrests. Together with its primary boot capacity of 370 litres (which can also be used without restriction), the new BMW 330e therefore offers all the everyday practicality of a conventionally powered BMW 3 Series Sedan. Access to the secondary luggage area in the storage tray under the load compartment floor is, however, restricted.

In order to maximise the car's load capacity, the stainless-steel pressure tank was also positioned underneath the rear seat bench in semi-saddle tank form. It offers a usable capacity of 41 litres. Outgassing fuel in the BMW 330e is trapped by an active carbon filter system, as is standard practice with vehicles powered by a combustion engine. In conventional drive systems, the fuel collected by cleaning out the active carbon filter is channelled back into the engine's combustion process once the filter has reached a pre-set degree of saturation. However, the filter can only be cleaned when the engine is running and, as the engine in the BMW 330e is not constantly in use, this cleaning process happens far less frequently. The result is significantly higher pressure inside the fuel tank, which is why the stainless-steel pressure tank in the BMW 330e is designed to withstand pressure of to up to 340 mbar.

Another benefit of the intelligent positioning of the electric drive system's components is that the car's finely balanced weight distribution – 50 per cent at the front axle, 50 per cent at the rear axle – has been preserved. This is one of the key factors underpinning the dynamic and dextrous handling shared by all BMW 3 Series models.

Outstanding connectivity with BMW ConnectedDrive.

BMW ConnectedDrive is all about the link-up of the driver, vehicle and outside world. As well as the intelligent energy management mentioned earlier (using a BMW navigation system), this technology also enables access to the most important vehicle information at any time in the BMW 330e. Inside the car, the driver can call up data – such as the battery charge, available ChargeNow public charging stations and journey distances covered – on the display or pre-set a temperature for the passenger compartment. The BMW 330e comes as standard with auxiliary heating and cooling (output: 5 kW). These functions can be activated either straightaway by means of the button on the car key, via the BMW ConnectedDrive smartphone app or using a two-week timer on the iDrive operating system. The next activation is then shown on the Control Display, and the driver also has the option of revising the schedule. Running the heating or cooling functions while the car is charging does not restrict its electric range.