BMW provided details on its soon-to-be-available all-new 2013-MY ActiveHybrid 3 sedan, a new model in its 3 Series.
The new sedan features the automaker’s TwinPower Turbo 3.0L inline six-cylinder engine and an 8-speed Steptronic automatic transmission linked to an electric motor. BMW priced the ActiveHybrid 3 at an MSRP of $50,195, including destination and handling. The BMW ActiveHybrid 3 comes in Sport, Modern, or Luxury lines and the M Sport line.
When it comes to the powertrain, the all-new ActiveHybrid’s inline six-cylinder and hybrid system is capable of producing 335 horsepower and 332 lb.-ft. of torque. The six-cylinder engine is the same one used in the 335i model from the 3 Series.
The 2012-MY edition of its 3 Series 335i sedan gets 23 mpg city, 33 highway, for 26 mpg combined, with the six-cylinder engine, but BMW hasn’t released any official information regarding the fuel economy performance of the ActiveHybrid version of the 3 Series sedan.
This new version of the 3 Series is capable of traveling on electric power alone at speeds up to 45 mph for distances up to 2.5 miles, according to the automaker. The electric motor by itself can produce a maximum output of 55 hp. It also produces 155 lb. ft. of torque off the line.
When it comes to the battery system, it’s encased in high-strength housing and is located between the wheel arches in the trunk. BMW said this protects the battery and helps ensure balanced weight distribution in the sedan. The battery’s cooling system is integrated into the air-conditioning cooling circuit.
The BMW ActiveHybrid 3 also features a hybrid auto-start-stop function that restarts the electric motor or the electric motor and engine, depending on the battery’s current charge level and the amount of power the driver wants.
The sedan features different driving modes, including the ECO PRO mode and a new “coasting mode.” ECO PRO makes more use of all-electric driving mode and optimizes the energy efficiency of electrically powered convenience systems in the vehicle. Coasting mode, on the other hand, turns off the gasoline engine and disconnects it from the driveshaft when the vehicle isn’t moving or is driving at speeds less than 100 mph in ECO PRO mode and between 37 and 50 mph in the sedan’s Comfort driving mode. BMW said that in coasting mode all safety and comfort functions stay fully active.
BMW also linked its optional navigation system to the hybrid powertrain. Once a driver or passenger inputs a destination, for example, the vehicle can optimize its powertrain systems to travel there efficiently. One example BMW gave was a downhill stretch of road where the ActiveHybrid 3 can wait to recharge its battery and put that energy into extra driving power, as the battery will be recharged during the downhill descent. On longer downhill stretches, the electric motor’s generator function can also recharge the high-voltage battery without causing the vehicle to lose speed.
Inside, the BMW ActiveHybrid 3’s instrument cluster and control display can show the energy flow, battery regeneration, and the boost effect of the electric motor. Beyond instrument and control panel displays, BMW offers a range of ConnectedDrive systems as options. They include Park Distance Control, rear-view camera, Top and Side View, and Active Blind Spot Detection all as part of the Driver Assistance Package.
The Driver Assistance Plus option adds Lane Departure Warning with Forward Collision Warning and Speed Limit Info. Other options include Adaptive Headlights and High Beam Assistant. Lastly, the available Technology Package includes Navigation, Head-up Display, Online Information Systems, Smartphone Integration, BMW Assist with enhanced Bluetooth and USB port, BMW Apps and Real Time Traffic Info.