BMW continues to grow the current-generation 3 Series lineup with new plug-in hybrid models. BMW revealed the rear-wheel-drive 2021 BMW 330e and all-wheel-drive 330e xDrive on Thursday.
Both models use the same powertrain, which consists of a 2.0-liter turbo-4 and 8-speed automatic transmission that work with a single electric motor and 12-kwh lithium-ion battery pack. Total system output is 248 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque. In Sport mode, an XtraBoost feature activates when the throttle is pushed past a kick-down position, adding 40 hp for 10 seconds.
EPA-estimated electric range is 22 miles for the 330e and 20 miles for the 330e xDrive. BMW estimates the 330e and 330e xDrive will achieve 75 MPGe combined and 67 MPGe combined, respectively. Top speed in electric mode is 87 mph, up from the previous 75 mph, according to BMW.
In hybrid mode, the 330e will do 0-60 mph in 5.6 seconds, while the xDrive version is tardier by 0.1 second, according to BMW. With the standard all-season tires, both models are electronically limited to 130 mph. The sedans can also be equipped with summer performance tires, raising the top speeds to 142 mph for the 330e and 140 mph for the 330e xDrive. Those sportier tires are part of an optional Dynamic Handling Package that also includes M Sport brakes, Adaptive M Suspension, and sport steering.
2021 BMW 330e
The 3 Series plug-in hybrids get BMW's Digital Key, which allows the driver to use a smartphone in place of a traditional key fob. Holding the phone near a door handle unlocks the car, and placing the phone in its center console tray lets the driver start the car. However, the feature is only compatible with certain Samsung Galaxy smartphones running Android 8.0 and above. On the other hand, BMW doesn't offer Android Auto, but does have Apple CarPlay.
Other available tech includes BMW's Intelligent Personal Assistant voice-control system, gesture control, and a head-up display.
As with other 3 Series models, the plug-in hybrids are available with a variety of driver aids. Adaptive cruise control and lane-departure warnings are standard, while park distance control, and a more sophisticated adaptive cruise control system that can bring the car to a full stop and set off again are optional extras.
Prices start at $45,545 for the 330e and $47,545 for the 330e xDrive, and both models are expected to go on sale in the United States in May. Both prices include a mandatory $995 destination charge. Note that BMW was previously expected to launch an all-electric 3 Series, but that model has likely been supplanted by the upcoming i4, which is set to launch in 2021.