BMW has shown its commitment to the development of hybrid and electric powertrains in recent years, with vehicles in its ActiveHybrid range, electrics like its BMW ActiveE and range-extended EVs like the i3 and i8. Plug-in hybrid-electric vehicles are clearly top-of-mind for the German automaker. We saw spy shots of the PHEV BMW X5 eDrive prototypes about a year ago, and now our shooters have come through with a 3 Series-bodied version of the technology, as well.
In addition to the obvious "Hybrid Test Vehicle" designation you see on the bodysides of this 3er, we also note that a second 'fuel cap' – presumably hiding the electric charge point – is in evidence. It's a fairly safe assumption that this 3 Series is making use of the same turbocharged four-cylinder engine and electric motor configuration that the X5 eDrive used. In the case of the X5, that meant a top electric-only speed of 75 miles per hour, with a range of just under 20 miles, and 0-62 mph in under 7 seconds. With considerably lighter, compact sedan bodywork clothing the PHEV drivetrain, we'd guess that the 3 Series eDrive could improve on each of those numbers.