Published on January 19th, 2018 | by Nicolas Zart0
If A 2018 BMW 530e Plug-In Hybrid Meant No Extra Cost, Would You Own One?
January 19th, 2018 by Nicolas Zart
Hybrids are a tough sell in a world where we demand more than simply an electric motor supporting a helplessly antiquated internal combustion engine (ICE) move us along. So BMW had a thought. What if owning a 530e plug-in hybrid meant no extra cost? And the question we ask you is, would you own one?
Of course, before answering that question, you’d have to know the specs and price.
BMW 530e Specs & Price
The new plug-in hybrid 530e has a turbocharged, direct-injection, 2.0L, 4-cylinder gasoline engine with 181 hp (135 kW) and 214 ft-lbs (290 Nm) of torque. It sports a synchronous electric motor that is integrated into the 8-speed automatic transmission. It also uses a 9.2 kWh Li-ion battery neatly located underneath the back seat. The electric motor provides an additional 83 kW (111 hp) and 250 Nm (184 ft-lb) of torque. Altogether, the 530e has a combined 248 hp (185 kW) and 310 ft-lb (420 Nm) of torque. Initial test drives are putting the fuel consumption at around 31 mpg.
Not bad for performance, but how much does it cost?
$52,650 is what you’ll have to cough up if you want to own a BMW luxury hybrid. This is the same price as the non-hybrid 530i. Leasing is $589 a month with a $3,500 down payment, $925 acquisition fee, and $5,014 due at signing.
Is BMW Trying To Change Its Business Model?
Although we’re not privy to BMW’s board discussions, this sounds as if BMW is trying to entice drivers to switch to electricity. The company has been seriously working on the electrification of its lineup. But selling hybrids these days and keeping up with the Joneses is a difficult thing to do financially for carmakers. Many want to look good and green. And don’t laugh, but looking green conscientious can mean anything from a conventional hybrid to a home solar-powered Tesla Model S, depending on the customer.
In order to sweeten the deal, BMW offers plenty of drive modes, adjusting not only the accelerator but also steering, suspension, transmission shift points, and how it deploys or regenerates power. BMW uses its eDrive button for its Auto eDrive, Max eDrive, and Battery Control mode.
The Auto eDrive gives the 530e the option to drive up to 56 mph (90 km/h) on electricity only. Higher up, both engine and electric motor work together to hit as much as 146 mph (235 km/h).
Interestingly enough, the Max eDrive mode allows for an electric top speed of 87 mph (140 km/h). At that speed, the electric range drops to a claimed 28.5 miles (46 km). Of course, this is one of the beefs against low-range hybrids — performance.
The Battery Control mode determines how much charge the battery will retain, which ranges anywhere from 30% to 100%. This is what BMW believes is ideal for consumers — cruising at high speeds relying on the 530e’s gas engine until the battery recharge is completed again or until you get to an urban area where you want to benefit from the electric drivetrain’s efficiency — and perhaps access, as more low-emission and zero-emission zones are created.
Lastly, BMW is throwing in an updated iDrive6 infotainment OS, which means more digital services.
In comparison to the above specs, the regular 530i is estimated at 24 MPG in city driving and 34 on highways. It belches out 248 hp with 258 lb ft of torque.
Can BMW Rekindle the Love of Hybrids with the 530e?
It’s really hard to answer this question. We do know there is a posterior for every seat out there. The question for any particular model and trim is how many? How feasible is it for BMW to push luxurious performance hybrids?
We can’t help but shake the feeling BMW is pushing hybrids as far as they will go instead of jumping back into the electric shift. For around $53,000, there are a lot of cars to choose from. So we put it to you: Would you own a BMW 530e plug-in hybrid if it cost the same price as the regular 530i?