BMW To Roll Out Hybrid 5-Series Sedan (Slideshow)

BMW AG
BMW ActiveHybrid 5

BMW AG introduced a hybrid-powered version of its new 5-Series sedan, called the ActiveHybrid 5. The car is based on the current 535i sedan and uses the same basic turbocharged 3-liter , six-cylinder engine in that car and several other BMW models.
The gradual proliferation of hybrid models in the BMW lineup marks a significant change inthe company's philosophy in the last several years. When theToyota Priusand a few other hybrid models began to take off, the German car maker said it wanted to avoid the obvious inefficiency of carrying two power systems in one vehicle. Now it is using a hybrid powertrain in its bread-and-butter 5 Series model.
The new car adds a 55-horsepower electric motor for a combined output of 335 horsepower and the ability to travel on electric power alone for short distances. Power is transmitted through an eight-speed transmission and can propel the ActiveHybrid to 60 mph in about 5.7 seconds. It can also move at speeds up to 37 mph on battery power and can travel for up to 2.5 miles at an average speed of 22 mph before the engine kicks in.
Buyers shouldn't expect Prius- or Honda Insight-style mileage from the BMW. But the company says it expects the ActiveHybrid's fuel economy to show”a double-digit percentage improvement”compared with the standard 535i, which has a rating of 20 miles per gallon in city driving and 30 mpg on the highway.
The hybrid power system charges its lithium-ion battery while the car is braking or coasting, with theelectric motor acting as agenerator. Under hard acceleration the motor gives a power boost. A driving mode called ECO PRO shuts off and decouples the gasolineenginewhile coasting at speeds of up to 100 mph to make the most efficient use of energy that might otherwise be wasted.
The car's drive-system electronics are alsoare linked to its navigation system, allowing analysis of the route and conditions. The car then adjusts to operate at high efficiency levels based on the route.
The BMW ActiveHybrid 5 arrives at US BMW centers in March 2012.

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