With hybrid technology now more advanced than ever, these gas-electric vehicles aren't the efficient but slow things they were about a decade ago. These days, hybrids not only match the efficiency of turbo diesels, they can also go as fast as their gas counterparts, giving you the best of both worlds.
One of the latest offerings hails from BMW with the X3 xDrive30e. It's essentially a plug-in hybrid version of the brand's mid-sized crossover, and it packs quite the punch.
But before we tell you how fast it goes, we'll touch on the part that matters more in hybrids: fuel economy. BMW rates the X3 xDrive30e at 2.1 to 2.4 liters per 100 km, which translates to about a whopping 41.6 to 47.6 kilometers per liter. Not only that, it has a pure electric range of up to 55 kilometers, which should be ideal for city traffic.
Power on the other hand comes courtesy of a 2.0-liter TwinPower Turbo petrol engine and an electric motor with a 12 kWh capacity. The engine makes 184 PS while the electric motor provides 80 kw (109 PS). Combined output is rated at 292 PS along with a torque rating of 420 Nm, making it even more powerful than the standard X3 xDrive30i and at par with the X3 xDrive20d.
Those figures help this plug-in hybrid achieve a 0 to 100 km/h time of 6.1 seconds, making it faster than the non-hybrid version which does the same task in 6.6 seconds. Top speed, on the other hand, is restricted to 210 km/h and the top speed in pure electric drive is 135 km/h.
To spot the differences between the plug-in X3 from other models, you'll have to try a little bit harder to tell one from another. The only clues you have are the eDrive badges, the model designation, and the flap for the charging socket. Inside, it gets a unique set of displays on the instrument cluster to show battery status.
For now, there is no word whether the plug-in X3 will be offered in the ASEAN market, let alone in the Philippines. Still, our market is slowly embracing hybrid technology with some manufacturers bringing in some of their electrically assisted models here.