Here's What We Know About BMW's Battery-powered 3 Series Sedan

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【Summary】BMW’s world-renowned 3 Series performance sedan is the latest model to join the carmaker’s electrification movement. Here's what we know so far.

Manish Kharinta    Sep 09, 2020 3:00 PM PT
Here's What We Know About BMW's Battery-powered 3 Series Sedan

German automaker BMW aims to electrify its portfolio to a point where by 2025, 15 to 20% of all its vehicles sold would feature some level of electrification. To help reach its goal, the automaker is working towards developing production facilities capable of simultaneously manufacturing battery-powered, plug-in hybrid, and internal combustion variants for its entire lineup of vehicles.

Now it looks like BMW's world-renowned 3 Series performance sedan is the latest model to join the carmaker's electrification movement. In a recent development, an all-electric long-wheelbase version of the upcoming BMW 3 Series was spotted on a test run, albeit heavily camouflaged. 

Although the car appears to be a prototype, we expect the production version to hit dealerships sometime after the mid-life refresh of the outgoing combustion engine powered 3 Series sedan.

This battery-powered model might be exclusive to the Chinese market judging from the long wheelbase of the prototype featured in the spy shots. However, the all-electric BMW 3 Series might also be offered as a global model, in which case it will only be sold as an extended wheelbase version around the world.

BMW's electrified 3 Series might even adopt the i3 nameplate once the production of the outgoing i3 EV concludes. We expect that BMW will introduce its battery-powered sedan sometime after 2023. 

It's highly unlikely that the battery-powered 3 Series will share its powertrain with the i4 fastback sedan, which will be introduced as an all-electric version of the 4 Series sedan. 

i3serie-electrico-3_g Cropped.jpg

BMW's continued dedication to developing performance sedans is refreshing, especially in the current market climate where every EV manufacturer is trying to capitalize on the growing popularity of battery-powered SUVs, crossovers, and pickup trucks. 

The all-electric 3 Series should be an exciting alternative to BMW's upcoming electric iX3 crossover.

The internal combustion models of the outgoing 3 Series are manufactured at BMW's Munich facility and in all likelihood, the same factory will also manufacture the electrified versions of BMW's legendary performance sedan. 

The automaker is currently retooling its Munich facility and has suspended all operations so that the facility can be prepped for i4's production.

The BMW i4 will be positioned above the battery-powered 3 Series in the company's future lineup and will likely be designed as a more sportier version of the electric 3 Series.

We expect that the recently launched BMW iX3 will share its 74 kWh drivetrain with the electric 3 Series. The 286 horsepower powertrain of the iX3 delivers a 286-mile WLTP, which helps the crossover accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in 6.8 seconds.

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