2013 BMW 3 ActiveHybrid

Activehybrid is the name of the hybrid version of the BMW 3 Series due to be launched in the U.S. later this year. The car offers a no compromise package of speed and economy, with the same looks and practicality as a normal 3er.

Maximum combined power is 250 kW/340 hp, with maximum torque of 450 Newton metres (332 lb-ft). Under combined ICE/electric power, the BMW 3 ActiveHybrid delivers a 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) acceleration time of 5.3 seconds. The Sedan’s governed top speed is 250 km/h (155 mph). BMW ActiveHybrid technology reduces average fuel consumption to 5.9 litres per 100 kilometres (47.9mpg imp) and CO2 emissions to 139 grams per kilometre.

It costs 50 grand which is kinda 5-series money, but it’s hard to beat what the Activehybrid 3 offers. Especially that it is still the best driver’s car in this segment.


Further details in BMW press release below:

Electric motor: eager power delivery, compact design.

The BMW 3 ActiveHybrid’s synchronous electric motor develops a maximum output of 40 kW/55 hp. As well as supporting all-electric operation around town, it can also provide a performance-boosting function for more powerful acceleration. In either case, the drive power is supplied instantly and without lag. Like all electric motors, this one develops its full torque – of 210 Newton metres (155 lb-ft) – from a standing start.

The electric motor is compactly integrated in the housing of the eight-speed automatic transmission, and is connected to the transmission by a clutch. Its operating temperature is controlled by the cooling system of the internal combustion engine. Thanks among other things to its high internal efficiency and low weight, the eight-speed automatic transmission contributes to the efficiency of the powertrain as a whole.

With its eight speeds, it combines a wide gear range with close ratio spacing. It also allows more use to be made of top gear, for a fuel-efficient, low-rpm driving style. The direct downshift capability and exceptionally short shift times can support very sporty driving, too. Throughout, the high-performance transmission controller ensures that gear changes are always closely matched to the driver’s demands and the driving situation. Optionally, the BMW 3 ActiveHybrid can be supplied with a quick-shifting sports automatic transmission, whose dynamic characteristics are emphasised by a customised selector lever and steering wheel-mounted paddle shifts.

Lithium-ion high-voltage battery housed underneath the boot.

The electric motor is powered by a lithium-ion high-voltage battery, which again was developed specifically for the BMW 3 ActiveHybrid. The battery is encased in a special high-strength housing and positioned between the wheel arches in the boot. This provides optimal protection for the battery and helps to ensure a well-balanced weight distribution. The battery cooling system is integrated into the air conditioning cooling circuit. The battery comprises 96 cells and has an effective energy capacity of 675 Wh.

In addition to its conventional 14V electrical system, the BMW 3 ActiveHybrid is also equipped with a high-voltage electrical system with a rated voltage of 317V. Linked by a voltage transformer, these two systems provide maximum electrical power throughout the operating range, for improved performance and comfort. Both the electric motor and the air conditioning compressor are powered exclusively by the lithium-ion high-voltage battery, via the high-voltage electrical system. This allows the desired interior climate to be maintained even when the internal combustion engine is switched off – i.e. when the car is at a standstill, operating purely on electric power or in coasting mode.

Intelligent energy management with proactive analysis of the driving situation.

In the BMW 3 ActiveHybrid, the advanced-design power electronics have been developed a stage further. In addition to coordinating the operation of the internal combustion engine and electric motor with precise reference to the current driving situation, they also support proactive, forward-thinking analysis of the driving situation for even more efficient energy management. To achieve this, the power electronics can be linked up to the optional navigation system Professional. When destination guidance is switched on, the electronics can then access and analyse data that gives early warning of an upcoming change in external conditions or driver requirements. Based on this analysis, and subject to the quality of the navigation data, the vehicle can be prepared in advance for imminent requirements so that all powertrain systems and the onboard electronics can be managed appropriately and in such a way as to make the most efficient possible use of the available energy.

Factors that may cause a change in powertrain operating strategy include the topography of the route and speed limits. For example, if the system knows that a downhill stretch is coming up soon, the BMW 3 ActiveHybrid can invest all the high-voltage battery’s electrical energy in providing supplementary driving power, since the battery will be recharged during the forthcoming descent at no cost in terms of fuel consumption.

On longer downhill sections the electric motor’s generator function, too, can be enlisted to recharge the high-voltage battery with no loss of speed. The operating strategy can also be managed so as to achieve, as far as possible, optimal charging of the high-voltage battery when nearing the end of the journey, thereby increasing the electric driving range on the “last lap”.

The operating status of the powertrain components is shown in intuitive, model-specific displays in the instrument cluster and in the Control Display of the BMW 3 ActiveHybrid. As well as the energy flow and energy recuperation display, these include a further gauge next to the rev counter which shows the boost effect being provided by the electric motor during acceleration. A model-specific menu in the iDrive operating system provides a variety of information – for example on the lithium-ion high-voltage battery’s charge level and the power sharing between the internal combustion engine and the electric motor in the course of a journey. A fuel consumption history can also be displayed, which not only shows fuel consumption history for the previous 15 minutes but also the extent to which the electric motor of the BMW 3 ActiveHybrid has been used.

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