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.
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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.
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.
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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