2018 BMW 530e iPerformance Plugs Into The Heart Of The Luxury Market

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The 2018 BMW 530e iPerformance plug-in hybrid is the company's latest attempt to spread the electrification message around to some of its most popular models.

BMW has released more details for the 2018 530e iPerformance plug-in hybrid, the link that adds electrification now to its core sedan lineup, following the 330e iPerformance and the 740e iPerformance. It's the latest iteration of the G30 generation of 5-series that was announced in October.

BMW says the 530e is notable because it's the first time they're offering an iPerformance plug-in variant with either rear-wheel drive or optional xDrive all-wheel drive. Currently the 330e comes only in rear-drive and the 740e only with xDrive. It seems BMW would love to sell more plug-in hybrids in snowier climates.

As in the 330e, the 530e gets a 2.0-liter turbo four and electric motor pairing for a total of 248 combined horsepower and 310 lb.-ft. of torque, according to estimated BMW figures. The company says that means the 530e is good for 0-60 mph in 6.1 seconds and a top speed of 130, which certainly will put it behind a gas-only 5-series of the same horsepower league, but it's far from a slow car. The only transmission is an 8-speed automatic with paddle shifters.

A 9.2 kWh battery pack sits under the floor of the trunk and BMW says the 530e can get charged up in less than 7 hours on a 120-volt outlet, while a Level 2 charger will do it in less than 3 hours. BMW didn't disclose how far they expect a 530e to go on a charge before shifting to hybrid mode, but count on roughly the same 18-20 miles that I got while driving the 330e very gently. Like the other iPerformance vehicles, a button allows the driver to cycle through modes for either hybrid propulsion, mostly electric power or to conserve electric power for a later time.

The 530e should go on sale early next year, with the first cars reaching the U.S. in spring with the rest of the new 5-series line.

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