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BMW ActiveHybrid 5: BMW has another crack at Hybrid

Sat, 01 Oct 2011

BMW ActiveHybrid 5 - arrives in the UK February 2012

BMW’s Hybrid efforts to date haven’t been exactly an unmitigated success, with the BMW ActiveHybrid X6 not even making it to the UK before it was dropped. But now they’re having another crack at eco-cars with the BMW ActiveHybrid 5, a hybrid version of the latest 5-Series.

The ActiveHybrid 5 gets a 302bhp twin-turbo six-cylinder in-line petrol – a good start – and throws in to the mix a 53bhp electric motor.

That all means decent acceleration – 0-62mph in 5.9 seconds – and a reasonable level of economy and emissions, with an average of 44.1mpg and emissions of 149g/km. That’s 10mpg better than the 535i SE and 36g/km less.

What all that means in the real world is that you’ll be paying around £8k more for the ActiveHybrid 5 than you would for the 535i SE, in exchange for CO2 emissions that are a touch lower and headline economy – thanks to the silly way official test are done – that promises an improvement in economy of pushing on 30 per cent.

In normal motoring where you’re pushing on whenever you have the chance – and  if you’re not then you shouldn’t be buying a 300bhp BMW – the difference in economy will be marginal.

Where you might win is with the ability to run for 2.4 miles on the electric motor only – although, again, in the real world that will never happen unless you never do more than tickle the throttle – and to cruise on motorways using just the electric motor too.

It just doesn’t add up at £46,860.

(13 photos – click any thumbnail for full gallery)

By Cars UK