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BMW Unveils its New 330e Plug-in Hybrid with ‘XtraBoost' Feature

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【Summary】BMW has revealed details of the new 330e plug-in-hybrid version of its popular 3-Series sedan. The new hybrid sedan includes the latest generation of BMW’s eDrive Technology combined a 4-cylinder internal-combustion engine, as well as an improved electrically powered hybrid drivetrain.

FutureCar Staff    Nov 15, 2018 5:47 PM PT
BMW Unveils its New 330e Plug-in Hybrid with ‘XtraBoost' Feature
author: FutureCar Staff    

BMW has revealed details of the new 330e plug-in-hybrid version of its popular 3-Series sedan. The new hybrid sedan includes the latest generation of BMW's eDrive Technology combined a 4-cylinder internal-combustion engine, as well as an improved electrically powered hybrid drivetrain.

In addition to a host of upgrades, BMW managed to increase the electric-only driving range of the new BMW 330e Sedan as compared to the predecessor model by 50 percent. It is now possible to cover a distance of up to 37 miles on battery-power alone.

The plug-in hybrid system consists of a turbocharged 2.0-litre 4-cylinder gas engine with a output of 135 kW/184 hp along with an electric motor, which generates a continuous output of 50 kW/68 hp and a peak output of 80 kW/109 hp. In addition, fuel consumption and emission are reduced by more than 10 percent as compared to its predecessor.

The new 330e includes software which controls the interaction between the electric motor and the combustion engine. The control over the electric powertrain works to increase efficiency and creates a distinctive form of driving dynamics associated with the BMW brand.

The engine and electric motor produces a system output of 185 kW/252 hp along with a maximum system torque of 310 ft lbs. As a result, the new BMW 330e Sedan accelerates from zero to 100 km/h in 6.0 seconds.

The top speed of the 330e is 143 mph.

In ‘HYBRID' mode, the new 330e is able to reach a speed of 69 mph using the electric motor alone—18 mph quicker than the predecessor model. In ELECTRIC only mode, speeds up to 87 mph are possible, all while producing zero emissions.

BMW XtraBoost

Among the most notable standard features is XtraBoost, which temporarily increases the system output of the plug-in hybrid drive from 185 kW/252 hp with an extra boost up to 30 kW/41 hp. Its the first time the feature is available.

XtraBoost is a standard feature on the 330e. It gives the vehicle a high level of dynamic performance that BMW drivers have come to expect from the brand. To activate the system, the car includes what BMW calls a "driving experience switch" used to activate "SPORT mode". The electric motor with XtraBoost temporarily provides up to 30 kW of additional battery power along with 41 additional horsepower from the vehicle's electric motor.

BMW claims that this system more closely matches the drive characteristics available on the standard gas-powered BMW 3-Series sedan. The additional XtraBoost makes for a more intense acceleration experience than in a conventionally powered vehicle with a comparable engine output.

The XtraBoost feature can be used up to the minimum charge status of the high voltage battery.

Also for the first time in a BMW hybrid model, tuned the accelerator pedal curve to offer both maximum acceleration with a specific shifting program tailored for the 8-speed Steptronic transmission.

The electric motor of the 330e is integrated in the 8-speed Steptronic transmission in order to save space. Due to its compact design, BMW says the hybrid transmission is only 15 millimetres longer than the corresponding versions for conventionally powered models of the new BMW 3 Series.

To keep the battery charged and increase efficiency, the hybrid 330e includes regenerative braking, with the electric motor taking on the function of a generator when braking. The electrical energy produced by regenerative braking also serves to power the vehicle's electrical accessories. This means that a belt-driven generator or alternator bolted to the combustion engine is no longer needed, which increases the efficiency of the entire system.

Bmw engineers designed for the high-voltage battery in the new 330e to be positioned underneath the rear seats, while the fuel tank is located above the rear axle. This means that luggage compartment space is not compromised much to make room for the battery. Additional space is gained by a folding rear backrest with 40 : 20: 40 split.

In addition to the standard version of the car, the BMW 330e also comes in the model variants Advantage, Sport Line, Luxury Line and M Sport. The car can be outfitted with the Adaptive M suspension which adds Variable Sports Steering and the M sports brake system.

For safety, the 330e includes a number of safety systems ranging from Driving Assistant Professional with steering and lane guidance system to park assistant, including reverse assistant.

The optional features for the hybrid 330e include an acoustic pedestrian protection function. The system uses sensors to see the cars or people in front of the vehicle. If they are too close, a warning notification appears. If the driver doesn't react in time, the system will activate emergency braking.

By the time the car launches in the summer of 2019, BMW said new digital services will be available which make it more attractive and convenient to charge the battery vehicle's battery while out on the road.  The navigation system will provide the driver with a list of nearby EV chargers and recommended nearby hotels, restaurants, tourist attractions and cultural institutions.

Charging station availability can also be checked using the vehicle display, allowing drivers to reserve a spot for ahead of time right from the vehicle.

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