Mike Stevens | Mar 16, 2011

BMW is planning to show another take on its green technologies at April's Shanghai Auto Show: a plug-in hybrid version of the new 5 Series sedan.

Speaking at the company's annual press conference today, BMW Chairman Dr Norbert Reithofer announced plans to unveil a 'New Energy Vehicle' (NEV) concept based on the latest 5 Series.

Mr Reithhofer said the concept will preview plans for an "e-car" for the rapidly growing Chinese market, where it will also be built. Whether a version of the car will be offered in Western markets is unclear.

Technical details for the new concept have yet to be revealed, though it will likely build on technology featured in the 5 Series ActiveHybrid that appeared at last year's Geneva Motor Show, which combined BMW's twin-turbo 3.0 litre petrol six with a 40kW electric motor.

While also readying its range of i vehicles for launch in 2013, it was revealed today that BMW will soon add a small-displacement three-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine to its line-up, although Mr Reithofer did not offer any hints on which models would receive the new engine.

“We are gradually utilizing the BMW TwinPower Turbo technology in all petrol and diesel engines within our new BMW EfficientDynamics motor range,” Mr Reithofer said.

“This innovative engine technology package is based on a modular strategy. This holds true for future 4- and 6-cylinder engines as well as for our anticipated 3-cylinder drive. This modular system will generate significant economies of scale."

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