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BMW ActiveHybrid 3 (2012 / 2013): New 3 Series Hybrid details revealed

Tue, 18 Oct 2011

2012 BMW ActiveHybrid 3 - on sale late 2012

BMW hasn’t had the most astonishing success with its hybrid offerings to date, but despite that, and following the reveal of the 2012 3 Series last week, they have announced details of the 3 Series hybrid – the BMW ActiveHybrid 3.

Just like the recently revealed ActiveHybrid 5, the BMW Active Hybrid 3 will get a 302bhp twin-turbo six-pot (the same engine as the 335i) together with an electric motor which throws an additional 53bhp in to the mix.

That should mean a 0-60mph of around 5.5 seconds (although BMW has given us no performance figures) and it will give 44mpg, exactly the same as the bigger ActiveHybrid 5 – and not exactly spectacular.

What you will also get in the ActiveHybrid 3 – just as you do in the ActiveHybrid 5 – is the ability to run for up to 2.4 miles as an EV, a dubious benefit and one, if experience with other hybrids is anything to go by, just won’t happen in the real world unless you have a gossamer light touch on the throttle.

But the ActiveHybrid 3 isn’t just any old hybrid, it’s a BMW hybrid. So you’ll get the same decent 8-speed ‘box you’d get on a normal 3 Series and, BMW say, the same dynamic driving characteristics of other BMW models. Which is a big plus.

Despite that, we don’t really see the point of BMW’s hybrid direction. The fuel economy in the real world is likely to be little different to a 335i – unless all your driving is in heavy traffic – and the performance, despite the extra 53bhp from the electric motor, is no better than the 335i.

Still, if you need a green halo but still want a decent car, the BMW ActiveHybrid 3 may float your boat.

Expect to see the 2012 BMW ActiveHybrid 3 in showrooms by the end of 2012. Which probably makes it a 2013 BMW 3 Series.

(7 photos – click any thumbnail for full gallery)

(81 photos – click any thumbnail for full gallery)

By Cars UK