BMW has introduced during this year’s Group Innovation Days the 3-Series plug-in hybrid prototype. The reason why there’s camouflage on the car is to hide the cosmetic tweaks which will be implemented on the upcoming facelift upon which the prototype is based. While the design is more than familiar, a lot has changed underneath the skin as the 3-Series has adopted a plug-in hybrid setup encompassing a 2.0-liter four-cylinder turbocharged gasoline engine teamed up with an electric motor and a lithium-ion battery that sits under the load compartment and can be charged via a household socket.
BMW says the 3-Series plug-in hybrid prototype provides a combined output of 245 HP and 400 Nm of torque transferred to the road through a revised 8-speed Steptronic gearbox. Thanks to this hardware setup, the vehicle will return an impressive 117 mpg US (140 mpg UK or 2 liters / 100 km) with 50 g/km of CO2 emissions. It can also be driven solely on electric power for as much as 22 miles (35 km) and is able to hit a top speed of 74.5 mph (120 km/h) when powered exclusively by the electric motor.
Chances are a production version of the BMW 3-Series plug-in hybrid will be released sometime next year together with the facelifted range.