BMW announces 2012 ActiveHybrid 3

Andross Moonah - CAP staff
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As far as hybrids go, BMW currently offers the ActiveHybrid 7, the ActiveHybrid X6 and the ActiveHybrid 5. In addition to this trio of larger hybrid offerings, BMW will soon include the new 2012 ActiveHybrid 3 in its lineup - a premium compact hybrid based on the recently introduced 6th-generation BMW 3 Series.

BMW's new ActiveHybrid 3 is the very first 3 Series hybrid. It is powered by a TwinPower Turbo inline 6-cylinder engine with 300 horsepower, coupled to an 8-speed automatic transmission with an integrated electric motor. The electric motor can provide the ActiveHybrid 3 with a 55-horsepower boost for limited periods, boosting the total powertrain output to a lofty 355 horsepower. The maximum combined torque of the ActiveHybrid 3 is said to be 330 pound-feet. Average fuel consumption is rated at better than 6.4 litres/100 km (EU test cycle).

In addition to using the gasoline engine and the electric motor together, the ActiveHybrid 3 can also run solely on electric power for a distance of between 3 to 4 km according to BMW. Under electric drive, the ActiveHybrid 3 can travel at speeds of up to 60 km/h and as high as 160 km/h when operating in its coasting setting (known as the overrun). During the overrun or when braking, the ActiveHybrid 3's electric motor becomes a generator and converts the kinetic energy of the vehicle into electrical energy for charging the battery.

BMW claims that from a functional perspective there is no significant difference between the ActiveHybrid 3 and other 3 Series models. For instance, the high-voltage battery is located under the floor of the trunk and allows for a trunk space of 390 litres (13.77 cu-ft). Additionally, BMW says the ActiveHybrid 3's driving characteristics are on par with the 306 horsepower 335i, which leads the range of 3 Series models (not counting the exclusive BMW M3).

The BMW ActiveHybrid 3 will go on sale in the U.S. in autumn of 2012. No specific Canadian release date has been specified, but it's expected that Canadian buyers will receive the first allocation of ActiveHybrid 3s next autumn as well.

©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Sedan, BMW, 2012, ActiveHybrid 3, Hybrid, Compact,

Organizations: BMW

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