BMW has whipped the covers off its new 330e, a plug-in hybrid addition to the latest-generation 3 Series range.

The 330e combines a turbocharged 2,0-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine (generating 135 kW) with an electric motor (offering 83 kW) integrated into the eight-speed Steptronic transmission. Together, the two drive sources produce total system outputs of 215 kW and 420 N.m.

The claimed all-electric range is some 66 km, while BMW says the combined fuel economy drops as low as 1,6 L/100 km. The high-voltage battery is mounted under the rear seats, while the petrol tank sits over the rear axle.

The newcomer furthermore features what the Munich-based firm has dubbed an “XtraBoost” function, which comes into play in sport mode. A “vigorous stamp” (BMW's words) on the accelerator unlocks an additional 30 kW (on tap for up to 10 seconds) on top of the combined 185 kW generated by the system.

BMW promises the “instant-impact” XtraBoost arrangement delivers a “significantly more intense experience of acceleration” than a conventionally powered vehicle with comparable outputs. The result is a sprint from standstill to 100 km/h in a claimed 5,9 seconds and a top speed of 230 km/h. BMW says the 330e features a “model-specific and emotionally engaging” drive system note as well as “acoustic pedestrian protection”.

In the hybrid driving mode, the new 330e can hit speeds of up to 110 km/h on electric power alone, while efull lectric mode offers emissions-free driving at speeds up to 140 km/h.