Vehicle Overview from Edmunds.com
Edmunds.com 2012 BMW ActiveHybrid 5 Overview
BMW, looking to improve the fuel economy of its vehicle lineup, will likely introduce the 2012 BMW ActiveHybrid 5 in the summer of 2011. We expect that this new 5 Series will be powered by the same 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-6 found in the 535i in tandem with a 40-kilowatt electric motor. This means the vehicle can be powered solely by the electric motor at low speeds, switch the gasoline engine at higher speeds and combine the two when maximum power is summoned. Additionally, power is created via regenerative braking when decelerating for maximum efficiency and an eight-speed automatic transmission makes the most of the available power. Like the ActiveHybrid 7, the 5 will situate the battery pack in the trunk area, so expect cargo space to be a bit smaller than the gas-only 5 Series. The ActiveHybrid 5's battery pack is even larger than the 7's, so that may further hamper storage. On the plus side, the ActiveHybrid 5's 40 kW electric motor is much more powerful than the 7's 15 kW unit. Fuel-efficiency is also aided by the integration of several onboard systems, including the navigation. When a destination is entered, the system analyzes the route to determine how best to utilize the ActiveHybrid powertrain. For instance, the vehicle may run on electric power for longer periods if downhill grades are coming up, allowing regenerative braking to replenish the batteries. BMW is hopeful that these advances will improve the 2012 ActiveHybrid 5's fuel economy by at least 10 percent over its 535i counterpart. We've yet to drive the 2012 BMW ActiveHybrid 5, but check back later as further details or driving impressions emerge.