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BMW to release plug-in hybrids: 330E and X5 xDrive40E

BMW are set to release two new plug-in hybrids in Australia later this year, the 330e sedan and X5 xDrive40e.

HYBRID DRIVE VEHICLES are becoming increasingly common in Australia, but few of them are plug-in models. Most local hybrids use an electric motor to supplement a primary petrol (sometimes diesel) drive, recharging the electric motor when the vehicle brakes or by using the primary motor. Other manufacturers offer a plug-in overseas we don’t always get it here, for example Toyota’s hybrid range.

BMW5

A plug-in makes sense if you store the car overnight near an electricity source, or for hours anywhere it can be recharged. Now BMW are, on the back for their BMW i range, adding the 330e sedan and the all-wheel-drive XDrive40E SUV, available from May 2016. Prices start from $71,900 and $118,900 respectively, plus on-road costs. These two models are equivalent to the non-hybrid 330i petrol and X5 xDrive40d diesel which cost $69,900 and $118,900. 

This is impressive because there’s only a $2000 price gap between the two 330 models, and nothing for the X5s. Given the state of current hybrid tech means that driveability and usability of a hybrid car is not compromised relative to the conventional models, then these hybrids look like the pick of the range for emissions and even good old cost-effective motoring.

Shawn Ticehurst, Head of Product and Market Planning at BMW Group Australia, said “Our eDrive models will introduce BMW EfficientDynamics and hybrid technology to a whole new audience, continuing our ongoing commitment to sustainable mobility.”

BMW also says that both cars will be capable of “completing urban commutes exclusively via electric power”, which would be true if you have a short commute or can recharge at your destination. The 330e is said to travel 37km on electric power alone, whereas the XDrive40E can manage 31km. The cars can be recharged by normal mains power, or by special public fast-charging points, or by the BMW i Wallbox charging unit. BMW have not said how long recharges take.

The XDrive40E has a four-cylinder, 2.0L petrol turbo engine good for 180kW and 350Nm, and an electric motor with 83kW and 250Nm. Combined, the two engines deliver 230kW and 450Nm.

The 330e has a four-cylinder petrol turbo engine with 135kW and 290Nm, and an electric motor with 65kW and 250Nm. The combined result is 185kW and 420Nm.

This compares to the conventional X5 40d with 230kW and 630Nm, and the 330i with 185kW and 350Nm.

That means as usual with modern hybrids straight-line performance is not very much compromised, with the XDrive40E managing the 0-100 sprint in 6.8 seconds, and the 330e’s figure is 6.1. These figures compare well with the non-hybrid equivalents – the X5 40d’s 0-100 figure is 5.9 seconds and the 330i is 5.8. The disparity is probably due to the increased weight of the hybrid drivetrain more than cancelling the hybrid’s additional torque, which would also only be available lower in the rev range.

Fuel economy is improved, with the XDrive40E managing 3.3L/100km on the combined cycle, and the 330e only 2.1L/100km. The conventional X5 40d runs 6.0L/100km and the 330i is 5.8.

BMW3

BMW 330e Sedan Standard specification

From $71,900 plus onroad costs

  • 19-inch light alloy wheels
  • Eight-speed automatic transmission with gearshift paddles
  • Acoustic Protection for Pedestrians
  • ConnectedDrive Services, including Real Time Traffic Information, Intelligent Emergency Call, TeleServices, Remote Services and eDrive Services
  • Cruise control with braking function
  • Driving Assistant, incl. Approach Control Warning, Lane Departure Warning, Pedestrian Warning with light city braking activation
  • Heads-Up Display
  • Lane Change Warning
  • Park Distance Control, front and rear
  • Rear View Camera
  • Surround View incl. Top View and Side View
  • Lights Package
  • LED taillights
  • Electric seat adjustment for front seats with memory function
  • Sport leather steering wheel
  • Stationary cooling
  • DAB+ Digital Radio
  • 8.8-inch Navigation system
  • Leather upholstery

BMW X5 xDrive40e standard specification              

From $118,900 plus onroad costs

  • 19-inch light alloy wheels
  • Eight-speed automatic transmission with gearshift paddles
  • Adaptive suspension package ‘Comfort’ with Dynamic Damper Control
  • Acoustic Protection for Pedestrians
  • ConnectedDrive Services, including Real Time Traffic Information, Intelligent Emergency Call, TeleServices, Internet, Concierge Services, Remote Services and eDrive Services
  • Cruise control with braking function
  • Driving Assistant, incl. Approach Control Warning, Lane Departure Warning, Pedestrian Warning with light city braking activation
  • Heads-Up Display
  • Park Distance Control, front and rear
  • Rear View Camera
  • Surround View incl. Top View and Side View
  • Adaptive Bi-Xenon headlights with High Beam Assist
  • Lights Package
  • Automatic tailgate operation
  • Comfort Access
  • Electric sport seats seat adjustment with memory function for driver’s side
  • Sport leather steering wheel
  • Stationary cooling
  • Storage compartment package
  • Convenience telephony with extended Smartphone connectivity
  • DAB+ Digital Radio
  • Harman/Kardon Surround Sound system
  • 10.25-inch Navigation system, Professional
  • Leather upholstery
  • Instrument panel finished in leather

BMW X5 xDrive 40e Exterior colour: Glacier Silver, Upolstry: Ivory White Nappa Leather, Pure Excellence Exterior Design, max. system output: 230kW/313 hp; average consumption: 3,4-3,3 Liter/100 km 15,4-15,3kWh/100km - CO2-emissions: 78 Ð 77 g/km


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McF1
McF1
4 years ago

In my opinion based on the specifications, safety technology, electric/hybrid technology, performance, and a price of $71,900, the BMW 330e appears to be the bargain of the year for a medium prestige sedan. The only thing I am not clear on is how well it drives. Hopefully Practical Motoring is able to review the 330e to understand the driving component.
The 330e has the possibility of being one of the best selling models in the 3 Series range. I am very excited about the 330e. It will be interesting if there ends up being an extensive waiting list. Hybrids sales have not been all that great recently, maybe the 330e with it’s features and pricing can reverse the trend.
Both the Mercedes C250 petrol at $68,900 and the diesel at $70,400 do not match the equipment level of the BMW 330e, and that does not included the advanced electric/hybrid technology.
I would imagine that the electric/hybrid technology will be very reliable, considering that BMW and Toyota had formed a partnership. Toyota shares their electrical technology with BMW, and BMW shared their diesel technology with Toyota, which would help Toyota penetrate the European market.

Robert Pepper
4 years ago
Reply to  McF1

Have to agree, McF1!

McF1
McF1
4 years ago
Reply to  Robert Pepper

Thanks Robert, hope that PM is able to place their hands on the new 330e for a review.

McF1
McF1
4 years ago

Another thing with the BMW 330e being $71,900 and with a great equipment specification, would be that the marketing strategists for Mercedes Benz Australia have just thrown their current plans for the C350e Plug-In/Hybrid into the rubbish bin and are back to the drawing board.
The general talk was when/if the C350e is introduced into Australia it would be about $15,000 more than the C250, which would make it around the $84,000 mark. This price would now be to much when compared to the 330e. Although the C350e is more powerful and has more torque than the BMW 330e, the C350e acceleration of 5.8 sec is not significantly quicker. Mercedes-Benz would also be reviewing their proposed equipment specification for the C350e.

godafoss
godafoss
4 years ago

Nice and I hope we see a 340e down the track as that is the only one that would interest me. Price is half-decent seeing it’s BMW. Does nobody wonder why we are seeing better prices with the dollar in the toilet than when it was at record highs. Sure theirs competition but in the past the Europeans couldn’t have cared less as they formed a price cartel and it’s not the Japanese have any performance options to entice you away.

Robert Pepper

Robert Pepper