BMW is well on the way to offering its eDrive plug-in hybrid option on every model in its line-up after announcing the arrival of two new electrified production cars – the BMW 330e and BMW 225xe. Big Motoring World reviews both hybrids before they headline the Frankfurt Motor Show later this month.

Ever growing family

The eyes of world will be on Germany on September 15 and BMW will showcase models sporting more battery power than ever before. Having already presented fuel-efficient versions of its X5 and 7-Series, BMW has now given us our first look at its upcoming 2-Series Active Tourer and 3-Series plug-in hybrids.

The 330e and 225xe join the already-announced X5 xDrive40e and 740e. Both possess the ability to motor for up to 40km under electric power alone, but while both can travel emissions-free for similar distances, their configurations are very different.

BMW 225xe

The general layout of the 225xe’s powertrain is similar to the setup found in the i8 sports car. The 225xe features a 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine which is used to power the front wheels, while an electric motor drives the rear wheels. The system gives the 225xe effective on-demand all-wheel drive.

Combined, the two power units allow the 225xe to sprint to 62mph in just 6.7 seconds and reach a top speed of 126mph – producing CO2 emissions of just 46g/km. It can drive on pure electric power at speeds of up to 77mph and it posts a range figure of 25 miles from a fully charged lithium-ion battery.

BMW 330e

Unlike the 225xe, the 330e isn’t an all-wheel drive plug-in hybrid and it’s much quicker. The rear-wheel drive four-door saloon, like the 225xe, starts as a pure electric car, with the hybrid Auto eDrive as the default mode which sticks with battery power alone up to 50mph. The 330e is also equipped with a Max eDrive mode, which lifts the top electrically powered speed to 75mph and delivers around 25 miles of emission-free range.

The 330e’s system consists of a TwinPower 2.0-litre, four-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine working in conjunction with an electric motor integrated with the vehicle’s eight-speed automatic transmission. The 2.0-litre motor boasts direct fuel injection, a twin-scroll turbocharger, variable valve timing and lift, as well as a host of other features. The 330e has a peak output of 248bhp, which is enough for 0-60 mph acceleration in about 6.0 seconds and a top speed of approximately 140 mph.

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