If you're a BMW enthusiast in search of a hybrid model, you have options, just not many of them. However, that's about to change. BMW this week announced that it's planning to offer plug-in hybrid versions of its core-brand models rather than restrict the more eco-friendly drivetrain to just a few variants. The first to roll off the assembly line will come from the company's 3-Series, which it will present in Miramas, France.
The BMW 3-Series plug-in hybrid prototype combines a turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline engine with an electric motor. It looks to be quite different from the company's ActiveHybrid 3, which sports a 3-liter, turbocharged six-cylinder engine. However, BMW left out several details, including how far a driver can get on a single charge, how long it takes to charge it back up, the number of horses it's putting out, and so forth.
"The fundamental technology involved in battery cells, electric motors and the power electronics will be used in our upcoming plug-in hybrid models. When it comes to the electrification of the drivetrain, we are deliberately developing a wide-ranging expertise in order to offer our customers worldwide the ideal solution," said Herbert Diess, Member of the Board of Management BMW AG, Development.
While BMW didn't offer specific metrics, Diess did say that shorter distance urban trips and commutes will be possible on a single charge, adding that the electric motor will be powered by an externally rechargeable high-voltage battery. For longer trips, BMW concedes drivers will need to switch to "combined mode" to reach their destination.
Not only is BMW anxious to get its plug-in hybrid technology rolling out to its core models, the company also hints that it won't take long to do so. The company says the flexible nature of its plug-in hybrid technology will make it possible to rapidly deploy across BMW's entire model range.