By next year BMW will be able to offer petrol-electric plug-ins across five of its series of cars. There is already the X5 xDrive40e and the i8, but in early 2016 these will be joined by three more: the 225xe, the 330e and the 740e.
The new 2 Series car, the 225xe Active Tourer, use some of the tech from the i8 so you can choose to send the power to front, back or all four wheels, depending on the ground conditions. It has a 1.5-litre three-pot turbocharged petrol engine which feeds 134bhp to the front wheels through a six-speed auto box. At the rear axle is an 88bhp electric motor which drives the rear wheels through a fixed-ratio gearbox.
The vehicle should have a range of 25 miles if you’re just using the electric power, although on normal cruise it just uses the petrol engine and the front wheels to help store the 7.7kWh lithium ion battery. But if you want to accelerate then the motors join forces to give you 221bhp pumping through all four wheels, which in turn should give a time of just 6.7sec for the dash to 62mph.
Moving up to the 3 Series, the 330e uses a lower power version of the powerplant from the X5 xDrive40e. That offers a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine along with an electric motor. Combine their power and you can have 248bhp with fuel consumption of 148.7mpg. CO2 emissions are just 44g/km.
At the top, the 7 Series 740e also uses a similar system. The relevant figures are 321bhp combined power output, 134.5mpg and only 49g/km of CO2. The range if you just use the electric source remains at 25 miles.Reuse content