BMW is further expanding is coverage of electrified models by offering a new plug-in petrol hybrid (PHEV) powertrain which carries the 20e powertrain designation.

The new entry-level PHEV system consists of a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder that produces 163 hp and is paired to an electric motor. The combined system output is 204 hp and 350 Nm of torque. With the 8-speed automatic, the 320e makes the century sprint in 7.6 seconds while the 520e takes 0.3 seconds longer.

For those who questioned, yes, these benchmark sprint times are slower than the 320i Sport (7.1s) and 520i (7.8s) petrol-only variants. The XtraBoost feature which temporarily adds another 40 hp that debuted in the BMW 330e M Sport is not made available in this entry-level PHEV system.

Just last week, BMW Thailand launched the range of facelifted 5 Series and it features the higher-output 30e powertrain designation.

BMW says the new 20e PHEV models can be driven at up to a speed of 140 km/h in pure-electric mode and reach a top speed of 225 km/h.

In terms of pure-electric driving range, the BMW 320e can travel from 48 to 57 kilometres and 41 to 55 kilometres for the BMW 520e. Both values are obtained under the WTLP test cycle.  

The boot is practically sized too, thanks to the placement of the 12.0 kWh lithium-ion battery under the rear seat. This allows the boot to have a size of 375 litres in the BMW 320e and 410 litres in the 520e.

Charging time, using a 16A/3.7kW supply, from zero to 80% is 2 hours 36 minutes, and another hour is needed for the lithium-ion battery to reach 100 % capacity.

To highlight on the electric-only driving suitability, BMW has equipped the 320e with a 40-litre fuel tank and the 520e with a 46-litre fuel tank.

With the vehicle being more connected, BMW has programmed the navigation system to automatically activate the pure-electric driving mode as soon as the vehicle enters an eDrive Zone. In total, the BMW eDrive Zone service can already be used in more than 80 European cities.

In Germany, the new BMW 320e and 520e also meet criteria to be classified as an electric vehicle and thus subject to 50% reduction in company car taxation plus special rights on public roads.

BMW will begin sales of the new 20e-range of plug-in hybrids from March 2021. It will be available in both sedan and touring body styles of the BMW 3 Series and 5 Series. By 2023, the company intends to have its model range to feature 25 electrified vehicles.


GALLERY

2020 BMW 5 Series Facelift

2020 BMW 330e M Sport


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Siew Weng
Enjoys studying specifications and understanding features that aid performance as well as the aesthetics of a vehicle. From spreadsheets and proposals for new products to reporting about the finished product and more.