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 now we learned it will be available in Spring of 2012.

During the first quarter of 2012, ActiveHybrid 5 will be launched in five major markets, including the United States. This 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.

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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.

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Like the BMW ActiveHybrid 7, there will be a dedicated ActiveHybrid 5 air-conditioning unit.

The production ActiveHybrid 5 will feature a different front bumper than the one unveiled on the concept model, as well as a new set of wheels designed to improve the aerodynamics.

Price has yet to be revealed, but expect a price point above the 550i top model.

[Source: BimmerToday ]