At the recent 2010 Geneva Motor Show, BMW unveiled the third hybrid in their line-up: BMW Concept 5 Series ActiveHybrid. The 5 ActiveHybrid shares the same design as the regular 5 Series, but with minor cosmetic touches: distinct front-bumper, specific paint and aerodynamics wheels.
Due to launch in 2011, BMW 5 Series Hybrid was spotted recently during some test trials, most likely focusing on the new drivetrain and hybrid system. The drive system featured in the BMW Concept 5 Series ActiveHybrid consists of a straight-six gasoline engine with TwinPower Turbo technology, eight-speed automatic transmission, and electric drive. Integration of BMW ActiveHybrid technology in a sedan already extremely efficient with its “conventional” combustion engine reduces both fuel consumption and emissions once again by more than 10 per cent. A small number some may say, but a necessary step into this direction of premium sporty, yet fuel friendly vehicles.
The electric motor offers a boost function, supporting the gasoline engine in generating particularly dynamic drive power for an even more sporting driving experience in the car.
The drivetrain technology featured in the BMW Concept 5 Series ActiveHybrid allows all-electric, zero-emission motoring in city traffic. At the same time a special hybrid-based Auto Start Stop function offers additional efficiency by consistently switching off the combustion engine when stopping at the traffic lights, a road junction, or in congested traffic.
The combustion engine is supported in the BMW Concept 5 Series ActiveHybrid by an electrical drive system developed specifically for this model and arranged in compact dimensions between the straight-six combustion engine and the automatic transmission. Drawing its energy from a high-voltage battery at the back of the car, the electric motor develops maximum output of 40 kW.
In overrun and when applying the brakes, the electric drive systems acts as a generator developing electric power fed into the high-voltage battery. This converts kinetic energy otherwise wasted as heat in the brake system into electric power saved for subsequent use.
Nonetheless, this is an exciting technology developed by BMW and will certainly be implemented in other future hybrid models, another one being considered is the upcoming 6 Series.