BMW ActiveHybrid 5

BMW has released details of the new ActiveHybrid 5, an inline-six engine hybrid based on the BMW 535i. The car, which will be the first BMW hybrid with an I-6, will feature the amenities of a luxury sedan but offer the exceptional fuel economy of a hybrid.

The ActiveHybrid will use the same direct-injection, turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six engine that the 535i currently employs and combine with an eight speed automatic transmission with an integrated electric motor/generator, which will store electrical energy in a trunk-mounted lithium-ion battery pack. Together, the engine and motor create a peak power output of 335 horsepower.

The sedan’s navigation system helps increase fuel economy by linking to the hybrid drivetrain to optimize the engine and motor based on the route. When the driver nears the end of their route, the system will try to ensure that the battery is fully charged so that low-speed activities, such as parking, can be performed solely on electric power.

Fuel economy standards for the ActiveHybrid 5 have not yet been released, but the 2011 535i receives 20/30 MPG city/highway.  The sedan will also be able to travel solely on electric power for up to 37 mph and for up to 2.5 miles at an average speed of 22 mph. BMW’s start-stop technology is also standard.

The BMW ActiveHybrid 5 is expected to go on sale in the U.S. in March 2012.

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