The new i3 and i8 aren’t the only plug-in cars on BMW’s schedule; plug-in hybrid versions of regular models like the automaker’s sedans and SUVs are also in the works. The first is likely to be a plug-in hybrid version of the X5 SUV, as previewed by last year’s Concept X5 eDrive
. The second is likely to be based on the 3-Series, as evidenced by these latest spy shots.
They show a prototype 3-Series bearing a “Hybrid Test Vehicle” label and part of its left front fender hidden under thick black tape. From the Concept X5 eDrive, we know this is BMW’s preferred location for its plug-in hybrid charging port.
BMW hasn’t even announced the existence of any 3-Series plug-in hybrid so there are few official details to report on. However, it’s likely we’ll see the vehicle equipped with a version of the plug-in hybrid drivetrain previewed in the Concept X5 eDrive.
The concept featured a turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline engine paired with an electric motor rated at 67 kilowatts (90 horsepower). Few specifics were mentioned though BMW did say the drivetrain was good for an all-electric range of 19 miles for a vehicle the size of the X5, 0-60 mph acceleration of under 7.0 seconds, and gas mileage of about 61.8 mpg.
As battery technology improves, we suspect those numbers may improve too before the launch of a production X5 plug-in hybrid, most likely in 2015
. It’s likely this is when we'll see this 3-Series plug-in hybrid too. Note, the new hybrid will likely arrive as a 2016 model to coincide with the launch of a facelifted 3-Series range
. It will replace the current ActiveHybrid 3 in BMW's 3-Series range._______________________________________Follow Motor Authority on Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.