Currently reading: BMW 3 Series, 5 Series gain new entry-level plug-in hybrid options
New 320e and 520e offer up to 35 miles of EV range but are not planned for a UK launch
Autocar-Felix-Page
News
2 mins read
27 January 2021

BMW's electrified model range has swollen with the addition of new entry-level plug-in hybrid versions of the 3 Series and 5 Series

Headed for German dealerships in March but not currently set for a UK launch, the new 320e and 530e will sit underneath the existing 330e and 530e as part of the company's drive to increase electrified model sales by 50% this year compared with 2020.

The BMW Group will offer 15 BMW models and one Mini model - the Countryman - with plug-in hybrid powertrains from March, and 25 individual models by 2023. 

As with their non-electrified equivalents, the ’20-badged models pack less power than the 330e and 530e but will also cost less. 

The two models will pair a 161bhp 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine with an electric motor for combined outputs of 201bhp and 258lb ft. Drive is sent from both powerplants through an eight-speed automatic gearbox to the rear axle as standard, but the Touring version of the 320e will be available with four-wheel drive. 

With power stored in a 12.0kWh lithium ion battery under the rear seat, the new entry-level PHEVs are capable of between 25 and 35 miles of electric-only range and can be charged at speeds of 3.7kW for an 80% top-up time of 2.6 hours. 

Depending on specification, the new 320i is officially capable of 128-217mpg on the WLTP combined cycle, while the 520e will muster 149-217mpg. 

The 320e saloon will cover 0-62mph in 7.6sec, while the estate takes 7.9sec in rear-driven form, or 8.2sec in xDrive guise. The larger 520e saloon covers the same ground in 7.9sec and the estate in 8.2sec. 

Each comes as standard with BMW's new Live Cockpit Plus connectivity software, which gives drivers access to various digital services, including 'eDrive Zone'. The platform uses geo-fencing to automatically switch the car to EV mode in designated zones of more than 80 European cities, helping to cut down on emissions and noise in urban areas, as well as minimise fuel wastage. 

The BMW Points scheme rewards drivers for each kilometre travelled under electric power, giving points that can then be converted into credit at BMW public chargers. 

READ MORE

BMW 3 Series 330e 2020 long-term review​

BMW 530e iPerformance SE review

BMW prices up new plug-in hybrid models in UK​

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xxxx 27 January 2021

Eu are currently undertaking studies to see exactly how often these tax dodgers are actually plugged, so it is in bmw's interest to influenece peoples behaviour with a short term bribe and try to show the phev is a environmental. The last thing they want is for the eu to realise what is happening in the real world.

superstevie 27 January 2021

It is an interesting idea, this points scheme. One of the biggest comments on this is that most don't charge the battery enough. This sounds like good way to encourage more to charge their cars up

NavalReserve 27 January 2021
If you never charge the battery, you will never get (or need) any points.