BMW takes the development of intelligent hybrid drive systems to the next level with the introduction of the BMW ActiveHybrid 5 – another series-produced model in which a combustion engine and electric motor join forces to enhance both efficiency and the brand’s hallmark driving pleasure. The BMW ActiveHybrid 5 brings together a BMW TwinPower Turbo six-cylinder in-line engine, an electric drive system and an eight-speed automatic gearbox for the first time. The latest generation of BMW ActiveHybrid technology also adds precisely controlled – and therefore extremely effective – intelligent energy management to the mix. All of which gives the BMW ActiveHybrid 5 an exceptional balance of performance and fuel economy for the premium executive car class.
The 225 kW/306 hp six-cylinder in-line engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology in the BMW ActiveHybrid 5 is the same unit renowned for its free-revving capability, pulling power and efficiency in the BMW 535i. The electric motor, meanwhile, develops 40 kW/55 hp and is supplied with energy by a high-performance lithium-ion battery integrated into the luggage area. Power from the two drive systems is transferred to the rear wheels by the eight-speed automatic gearbox. In addition to its full-hybrid construction, which enables purely electric and therefore local emission-free driving in urban conditions, the BMW ActiveHybrid 5 boasts not just highly sporty performance but also a double-digit percentage improvement in fuel economy over the BMW 535i.
The drive system generates combined output of 250 kW/340 hp, allows the car to be driven on electric power alone up to 60 km/h (37 mph), accelerates the BMW ActiveHybrid 5 from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 5.9 seconds, cuts average fuel consumption to between 6.4 and 7.0 litres per 100 kilometres (40 – 44 mpg imp) and has CO2 emissions of just 149 – 163 g/km (figures according to EU test cycle, may vary according to the tyre format specified).
In order to fully exploit the potential of the BMW ActiveHybrid technology, the intelligent energy management of the power electronics uses a host of innovative functions to ensure the drive system runs efficiently. Charging of the high-performance battery primarily takes place during coasting or braking, the electric motor performing the role of a generator feeding energy into the high-voltage battery. By contrast, under acceleration the electric motor takes on a boost function. Here, it assists the petrol engine by generating an ultra-dynamic burst of power, lending the sedan’s sporty driving experience a sharper edge.
Moreover, while coasting at speeds of up to 160 km/h (100 mph) in ECO PRO mode, the combustion engine can be switched off and fully decoupled. This coasting mode combines comfortable driving with optimum utilisation of the kinetic energy already generated. To avoid periods with the engine running at idle – at junctions or in traffic tailbacks, for example – the BMW ActiveHybrid 5 is equipped with a hybrid start-stop function. Plus, the power electronics in the BMW ActiveHybrid 5 are linked up with the standard-fitted Navigation system Professional. This allows forward-looking analysis of the driving situation, enabling the drive components to be primed to deliver maximum efficiency.