Back in 2010, the Geneva Motor Show hosted the world premiere of the first 5 Series hybrid vehicle from BMW. The ActiveHybrid 5 Concept was a preview of the production model that will be available in the Spring of 2012.
During the first quarter of 2012, ActiveHybrid 5 will be launched in five major markets, including the United States. A reader of Automobile Magazine spotted in Californoia a 5 Series Hybrid prototype running through the usual test cycles. The prototype wears a sticker on the trunklid with the word “HYBRID” followed by some German and was painted in BMW’s hybrid-exclusive blue water metallic paint
ActiveHybrid 5 will be the first hybrid from BMW with an in-line six-cylinder engine. The drive system featured in the BMW Concept 5 Series ActiveHybrid consists of 3.0 liter straight-six N55 gasoline engine with TwinPower Turbo technology, eight-speed automatic transmission, and electric drive.
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. Drawing its energy from a high-voltage battery at the back of the car, the electric motor develops maximum output of 40 kW.
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 ActiveHybrid 5 should therefore, despite its more than 300 horsepower, deliver a standard fuel consumption of around 8 liters per 100 kilometers.
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.
Like the BMW ActiveHybrid 7, there will be a dedicated ActiveHybrid 5 air-conditioning unit.
The production ActiveHybrid 5 sports a similar design as the “regular” 5 Series sedan. One visible change comes from different wheels options designed to improve the aerodynamics. A slightly revised front grille and fascia will distinct the 5 Hybrid from the standard version.
When it does debut, the 5 Series hybrid will join the 7 Series ActiveHybrid and X6 ActiveHybrid in BMW’s hybrid lineup. We anticipate base price to be slightly higher than the gasoline-powered 5 Series sedan.[Source: Automobile Magazine]