The 2017 BMW 330e i Performance may be a plug-in hybrid rather than an all-electric car, but BMW hopes to snag some customers who don't want to wait for the Tesla Motors [NSDQ:TSLA] Model 3.
The 215-mile, $35,000 electric car debuted to much fanfare earlier this year, but production isn't scheduled to start until late 2017.
That's something BMW is trying to take advantage of with new ads for the 330e. They point out that the plug-in hybrid 3-Series is available today, unlike a certain future electric car that goes unnamed. Buyers don't have to put down "deposits" or "wait in line" to get a 330e either, the ads note.
"You will wait, and wait, and wait some more, all before that electric car company's new model ever even arrives," says the voiceover in one ad, calling the 330e "the car you've been waiting for, without the wait."
While BMW's only current electric car—the tiny i3 hatchback—is in a somewhat different category than the Model 3, the 330e isn't a totally implausible Tesla competitor. The Model 3 will likely be close in size to the 3-Series, and both cars will likely target the same tech-conscious, mildly-affluent buyers.
However, while Tesla has promised a $35,000 base price for the Model 3, the 2017 330e starts at $44,795, including destination.
Tesla won't release detailed specs on the Model 3, but the 330e sports 248 horsepower from a 2.0-liter turbocharged inline-4 and electric motor integrated with an 8-speed automatic transmission. BMW claims 0-60 mph in 5.9 seconds and a top speed of 140 mph.
There is general uncertainty about whether Tesla can deliver the Model 3 on schedule. The company has missed every one of its own deadlines for new car launches so far, and volume Model 3 production also depends on Tesla's ability to ramp up production of lithium-ion battery cells at its massive Gigafactory in Nevada.