BMW will offer five Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles this year in the form of the 141mpg BMW 225xe Active Tourer, the 148mpg BMW 330e Saloon, BMW 740e and 740Le xDrive, which will join the BMW X5 xDrive40e.
These new models are in addition to the BMW i3 and BMW i8.
The soon to be launched BMW 225xe Active Tourer shares the BMW eDrive technology previously seen in the BMW X5 xDrive40e. This technology includes a number of cutting-edge plug-in hybrid components that makes a significant contribution to reducing fuel consumption and emissions. In addition to this, the BMW 225xe also builds on the experience gained from the BMW i8 as it features xDrive technology.
Producing a total output of 224hp (a combination of the three-cylinder combustion engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology, 136hp and an electric motor developing 88hp), the combustion engine sends its power to the front wheels via a six-speed Steptronic transmission and produces a peak torque of 220Nm. Under heavy acceleration from rest and for overtaking manoeuvres, the power from the two drive systems combines to gives a peak torque of up to 385Nm. Its combined fuel consumption of 141.2mpg makes the 225xe one of the best in its class.
The electrified xDrive system allows the driver to call on electrified all-wheel drive up to speeds of 78mph. With the electric motor and combustion engine only driving one axle each, the electrically driven rear axle is added to the conventionally powered Active Tourer’s front-wheel drive, traction is increased and the BMW 225xe’s handling remains neutral for longer than the models with only front-wheel drive can claim. A further improvement in driving dynamics is the result.
As a PHEV, the BMW 2 Series Active Tourer with eDrive can charge its lithium-ion high-voltage battery (gross capacity: 7.6 kWh) by either brake energy recuperation during a journey or when plugged into a domestic power socket (in three hours 15 minutes from empty) or the optional BMW i Wallbox (two hours 20 minutes from empty).
In addition to the BMW Driving Experience Control switch – with its SPORT, COMFORT and ECO PRO settings, familiar from other BMW models, the eDrive button in the centre console offers three driving modes: AUTO eDRIVE, MAX eDRIVE and SAVE BATTERY.
AUTO eDRIVE is the basic setting activated when the car is started. It ensures the combustion engine and electric motor work together to optimum effect in all driving situations and gives a pure-electric top speed of 50mph.
MAX eDRIVE allows the car to run on the electric drive system alone up to a speed of 78mph. With SAVE BATTERY, the charge of the high-voltage battery can be maintained or, if it’s already depleted, raised to over 50 per cent during a journey so that the available electric range can be used later in urban areas, for example.
The BMW 225xe arrives in BMW retailers from April 2016 and prices start at £32,545.
The new BMW 330e Saloon offers a combined fuel consumption of 148.7mpg and CO2 emissions of 44g/km when it joins the range in 2016. Its state-of-the-art plug-in hybrid technology combines an 184hp 2.0-litre petrol engine with a 65kW (88hp equivalent) electric motor. The combined output of 252hp and combined maximum torque of 420Nm give the BMW 330e Saloon a 0-62mph acceleration time of just 6.1 seconds and a top speed of 140mph.
The high-voltage battery, made up of lithium-ion cells, is located underneath the boot and boasts efficient refrigerant cooling including a highly integrated low-temperature circuit. The battery has a total capacity of 7.6 kWh, which enables an all-electric and therefore locally emission-free range of around 25 miles, perfect for city dwellers and commuters.
The integration of the high-voltage battery in the compartment under the boot gives the BMW 330e Saloon a level load compartment floor, while use of the optional through-loading system with 40:20:40 split rear seat backrests remains unrestricted. Together with its boot capacity of 370 litres, the new BMW 330e therefore offers all the everyday practicality of a conventionally powered BMW 3 Series Saloon.
Similarly to the BMW 225xe, with the 330e Saloon there is a choice of three driving modes: AUTOeDRIVE, MAX eDRIVE and SAVE BATTERY.
With AUTO eDRIVE the top electric speed is limited to 50mph and ensures the combustion engine and electric motor work together to optimum effect in all driving situations. This mode is activated automatically as the default setting every time the car is started up.
In MAX eDRIVE mode the BMW 330e Saloon uses the car’s electric power only, drawing on the electric drive system’s full output. A top speed of 75mph is possible.
SAVE BATTERY mode only utilises the petrol combustion engine for driving and allows the battery’s energy stores to be deliberately maintained – or increased again if the charge level has dropped below 50 percent. This energy can then be used for pure-electric driving.
The BMW 330e Saloon is eligible for congestion charge exemption and is eligible for the Government’s Plug in Car Grant (PiCG) representing a significant saving on the purchase price. It is on sale now priced from £33,935 with the first customers getting their cars in April 2016.