There is no surprise anymore that BMW plans on launching several other hybrid models in the future. The new ActiveHybrid 7 and ActiveHybrid X6 were the first to BMW hybrids to make into production and other several ones are waiting their turn.
The next generation 1 Series has been rumored to feature a hybrid version as well, part of the EfficientDynamics program and BMW’s plans to improve the fuel efficiency and CO2 emissions in their fleet.
For the first time, spy photographers managed to photo capture a current 1 Series hatchback test mule featuring a hybrid sytem. The vehicle caught was wearing a “Hybrid Test Vehicle” badge as we’ve seen before on the X6 and even X5 test mules.
While not officially confirmed, we can assume that the 1 Series will feature the mild hybrid system seen in the X6, a modular setup with a motor/generator placed between the engine and transmission. Of course, a lithium ion battery will be strategically placed in the trunk.
Full photo gallery at Autoblog.com
While the BMW hybrid technology appears to be complete and fully developed, we’re still unclear if the hybrid system will be available in the current generation 1 Series or the new bodystyle that comes out in 2011. We’re inclined to believe that BMW will indeed offer the hybrid model in the new 1er line-up.
The BMW 1 Series Hybrid will take on the Lexus LF-Ch model unveiled recently at the Frankfurt Auto Show. If the current estimation are nearly accurate, we will see 1 Series hybrid a year after the new design launches.
No confirmation at the moment on whether these hybrids will make it on the U.S. soil, but due to the new rules for fuel efficiency and emissions that will require require all automakers selling automobiles in the U.S. to increase fleet fuel efficiency by 5% PER YEAR starting in 2012, we might actually be able to purchase them at U.S. dealerships.