BMW's green revolution is spreading to Australia, with the upcoming October launch of its new ActiveHybrid 5 sedan.
Revealed at last year's Geneva Motor Show, the ActiveHybrid 5 combines an electric motor with a powerful petrol engine, focusing on big performance and small-car fuel consumption.
The green sedan's hybrid system sees a 40kW electric motor paired with the same 225kW turbocharged six that drives the 535i, offering a combined 250kW of power.
Together, the system offers 450Nm of torque, yet fuel consumption is listed at between 6.4 and 7.0 l/100km, compared to 8.4 l/100km for the regular 535i.
The ActiveHybrid system is mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission, and BMW promises a 0-100km/h time of 5.9 seconds - a match for its petrol-only stablemate.
You'll need to be especially drawn to the image of owning a hybrid, though, as the diesel-driven 535d is a fair match for the ActiveHybrid 5.
Power for the diesel is lower at 230kW, but torque is higher at 630Nm and its 0-100km/h time is slightly quicker at 5.7 seconds.
Importantly, the diesel's combined fuel consumption is listed at 6.1 l/100km, and with its boot unfettered by a battery pack, there's 175 litres more storage.
With pricing on both cars set a mere $2000 apart, you could have a tricky decision on your hands.
That ActiveHybrid Technology
The ActiveHybrid 5's fuel savings are thanks noy only to the petrol-electric system, but also BMW's start/stop system and an ECO PRO mode. The latter system shuts off the petrol engine while coasting at speeds up to 160km/h.
Sandwiched between the petrol engine and the ZF-sourced eight-speed auto, the electric motor also operates as a generator under decelleration and helps charge the rear-mounted high-voltage battery pack.
The eletric motor's lithium-ion battery pack gives the ActiveHybrid an aditional advantage, with an all-electric driving range of 4km, at speeds up to 60km/h.
Lastly, the ActiveHybrid 5 features a "Forward-looking Intelligent Energy Management" system, designed to analyse the driving situation and optimise the drive components for optimum efficiency.
The system allows the car to read the conditions ahead and adjust its performance to suit, priming the regerative braking system if the road is about to slope downhill or engaging electric-only drive if the battery is full and the car is just a few kilometres from its destination.
On the styling front, the ActiveHybrid 5 is largely unchanged from the regular model, gaining only a set of identifying badges and unique alloy wheels.
The ActiveHybrid 5 is on sale in Australia from October, priced from $122,900 - excluding on-road costs.
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