BMW Plans Plug-In Hybrid Variants for All Core Models

BMW AG says it eventually will offer plug-in hybrid powertrain options in all its primary car and crossover model lines. The company did not provide a timetable for doing so.

 This week BMW is showing a prototype 3 Series and concept vehicles fitted with the expected eDrive hybrid system. The technology is borrowed from BMW's electric i3 and hybrid i8 production cars.

The i3 EV is powered by a 170-hp electric motor and 22-kWh lithium-ion battery. The i8 hybrid is fitted with a 1.5-liter turbocharged 3-cylinder engine delivering 231 hp to the rear wheels. A 5.2-kWh lithium-ion battery powers an electric motor that makes 131 hp for the front wheels.

BMW says its current hybrid system is flexible enough to be quickly deployed across its entire product lineup.

The company reveals it is already working on considerably more powerful next-generation hybrid architectures. It promises systems with 20-kWh batteries, all-electric driving ranges of about 100 km and output greater than 500 kW (670 hp).