It appears that more than just Tesla’s Elon Musk thinks that the auto industry’s future is electric. The recent Frankfurt Motor Show was inundated with EVs, with the most intriguing perhaps being BMW’s 330e.
For 2016, BMW redesigned the 3-Series and has been steadily showing off the variants of it for several months, but the maker waited for the biggest stage, Frankfurt, to charge into the most technologically advanced 3-Series ever made.
The 330e uses the company’s well-regarded modular eDrive plug-in technology from its i3 electric city can and the i8 supercar. It produces 252 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque from the combination of the electric motor and its 2.0-liter four cylinder engine.
The new EV can hit 75 mph using battery power alone and has a range of 25 miles, according to BMW, using its 7.6-kWh lithium ion battery pack. It’ll get from zero-to-60 mph in just 6.1 seconds. Not Model S fast, but not everyone feels the need to be ludicrous about getting to 60 mph.
BMW estimates the 330e will get between 112 and 124 mpg, based on European standards. There are no EPA equivalents, which leads to the downside of the 330e: BMW officials have been mum on whether or not they’re even bringing the EV to the U.S.
The Bavarian maker’s 330e is just one of 11 possible configurations available, although not all in the U.S. for the 3-Series. The choice of engines for the new BMW 3 Series comprises four gas and seven diesel units at market launch. Depending on the particular engine variant, power is transferred via traditional rear-wheel drive or, alternatively, via the BMW xDrive intelligent all-wheel-drive system.
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The company is perhaps the master at giving buyers, or more precisely particular buyers, the vehicle they want. The result? More than 14 million 3-Series sold globally. One of the more intriguing models also borrows from BMW’s i-Series.
The new 318i, which helps pushed the company’s then-entry-level model, to great success in the U.S., features the same 1.5-liter turbocharged 3-cylinder engine used by its i8 supercar. The powerplant puts out 134 hp and 162 ft-lb of torque.
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Even though Americans are taking to smaller turbocharged engines putting out big power numbers, BMW apparently believes that the 3 cylinder will not gain enough traction in the U.S. The impressive mileage numbers, about 50 mpg, aren’t substantive enough in the land where gas prices are hovering around the $2 per gallon mark aren’t expected to rise significantly any time soon.
Instead, the U.S. gets the new 340i, it replaces the outgoing 335i, with a new 3.0-liter twin turbo inline six putting out 320 hp and 338 ft-lb of torque. BMW claims zero-to-60 times are 4.8 seconds with rear-wheel drive and 4.6 seconds with xDrive.
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All of the 3-Series engines can be had with rear- or all-wheel drive. The gas engines offer the choice of a revised eight-speed automatic or a six-speed manual, which now includes a rev-matching function. Only the 340i, however, combines xDrive with the manual.