BMW recently revealed a prototype version of the 3 Series plug-in hybrid. The decision of using the sedan as the starting point for developing a fuel efficient plug-in hybrid model according to the German automaker was ideal as the 3 Series itself has already set standards in the mid-size premium segment as it blended of sportiness with frugal fuel figures.

Outside, the front and rear end sections of the car are camouflaged as the prototype is based on a facelifted version of the 3 Series which the company has not yet officially introduced to the market. Looking beyond the swirls and lines of the camouflage, one can find the plug-in port that can be found on the rear right section of the car.

The rear of the 3-Series hybrid

Propulsion for the prototype hybrid is provided by a 2.0-liter TwinPower Turbo engine and an electric motor that is powered by a rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack. Combined, it has a total system output of 245 PS with 400 Nm of torque and is mated to an updated 8-speed Steptronic transmission. It has an average fuel consumption of 50km/l and only emits 50g of CO2 per km. It has a full electric mode which has a maximum range of 35 km and a top speed of 120 km/h.

A nifty feature of the car is the Driving Experience Control that manages 3 modes, Comfort, Sport and Eco Pro. Each of the 3 modes alter the settings of the gearbox and hybrid powertrain. On Comfort Mode, the system balances efficiency with convenience as the electric motor and internal combustion engine is set to relax while still providing enough power when needed.

The plug-in port

During Sport Mode, the system maximizes performance output as power from both the engine and electric motor are used to provided the needed boost. Lastly, Eco Pro Mode acts as a go-between for the earlier mentioned modes.

Another unique feature included in the prototype is a hybrid-adapted Proactive Driving Assistant that manages the powertrain to current battery level, route, speed restrictions and traffic conditions.