Super-saloons such as the Tesla Model S have served as a vivid demonstration of the torque-rich potential of electric motors.
A word of warning, though: because the 330e’s electric motor is of only modest muscle and operates through the same transmission as the engine (rather than as a stand-alone power unit attached to an axle), you’ll be disappointed if you’re expecting firecracker pace.
Nevertheless, the car’s power sources are so expertly integrated that it never feels less than surprisingly rapid, largely because of the effortless way speed is accumulated.
The top portion of pedal travel is dedicated to the electric motor and thus offers unusually sharp response.
Squeeze the throttle harder and you get the meat of the turbocharged four-cylinder engine and an additional 110lb ft from the electric motor for brief bursts.
It’s a discreet, flexible and refined powertrain that gives the driver plenty to be getting on with and makes very light work of overtaking, as illustrated by its impressive in-gear acceleration times: 50-70mph in fourth is roughly a second quicker than for the Passat GTE, for instance.