BMW 3 Series plug-in hybrid electric vehicle

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.