BMW announces ActiveHybrid 5

Andross Moonah - CAP staff
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There was a time not too long ago when the hybrid vehicle was essentially an economy car, devoid of any significant luxury. Nowadays, even luxury automakers are offering hybrid versions of their gasoline-powered vehicles - automakers such as BMW. In fact, the German automaker recently announced a hybrid version of its popular 5 Series sedan. It's called the BMW ActiveHybrid 5.

The BMW ActiveHybrid 5 is based on the BMW 535i sedan and uses the same 3.0-litre TwinPower Turbo inline 6-cylinder engine as the gasoline-powered vehicle. However, the ActiveHybrid 5's engine is mated to an electric motor housed in an 8-speed automatic transmission, and there's a high-voltage lithium-ion battery located in the trunk. The hybrid powerplant is good for a total of 335 horsepower and 330 pound-feet of torque, and can accelerate the ActiveHybrid 5 to speeds of up to 60 km/h on electric power alone.

A noteworthy feature of the BMW ActiveHybrid 5 is its ECO Pro mode which allows the vehicle to make more use of electric power as opposed to gasoline power. While in ECO Pro mode the engine is switched off completely when possible, leaving the vehicle to coast along at speeds of up to 160 km/h. During coasting or braking, the ActiveHybrid 5's lithium-ion battery can be charged by the electric motor, which runs as a generator to feed energy back into the battery. When the ActiveHybrid 5 is accelerating, the electric motor can then provide the vehicle with a surge of power similar to a nitrous oxide boost.

BMW's ActiveHybrid 5 also makes use of a Hybrid Auto Start-Stop function which shuts off the engine when the vehicle comes to a stop and restarts it once the brake pedal is released.

The BMW ActiveHybrid 5 is already confirmed to arrive in U.S. showrooms in March of 2012, though no Canadian release date has been specified yet. However, Canadians typically favour more fuel efficient vehicles than their neighbours to the south, so it's expected that BMW will appease the true north strong and free with a spring 2012 release date as well.

©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Sedan, Hybrid, Sport Sedan, BMW, 2012, ActiveHybrid 5,

Organizations: BMW

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