PHOTO CAPTION: BMW 3-Series similar to 'mule' thought to be equipped with electric hybrid drive.

BMW 3-Series Plug-In Hybrid Spied

F30 3-Series caught by spy photographers sports a charging port on the driver's side front fender, leading to speculation it is an electric hybrid, possibly development 'mule.'

Published: 08-Feb-2014

Six- and eight cylinder gasoline-hybrid models might be impressive and all (…sometimes, but not always), but if you really want to make the best use of this twin power-source technology in terms of efficiency, you need less cylinders under the hood.

This is what BMW proposed with the 2.0-liter four-cylinder X5 eDrive Concept that was claimed to return an impressive fuel consumption of just 3.8 liters per 100 kilometers (74.3 mpg UK / 61.9 mpg US) and CO2 emissions of 90 g/km. Place the same hybrid unit on a smaller and lighter car like the 3-Series, and well, you get the picture…

Our spies photographed BMW's engineers testing an F30 3-Series, which besides the "Hybrid Test Vehicle" decals, also came with a charging port cover hidden behind the black tape on the driver's side front fender.


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