BMW ActiveHybrid 3: Fall 2012 Debut, $50,000 + Price Tag

BMW is adding a new hybrid ride to its mix of its “Ultimate Driving Machine” cars, dubbed the ActiveHybrid 3. It is the second such hybrid in BMW’s line up, following the recent ActiveHybrid 5 that was showcased at this year’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit.

Priced at around $50,195 and set to debut in US BMW dealerships this fall, the ActiveHybrid 3 comes in at over $10,000 less than the ActiveHybrid 5. The 3, which we first got wind of last October, marries a 3.0-liter, inline 6-cylinder engine and eight-speed automatic transmission with an electric motor delivering a maximum output of 55 hp. One gets from this hybrid combination 335 horsepower and 332 lb-ft of torque.

BMW ActiveHybrid 3

image via BMW

The ActiveHybrid 3, on the electric motor alone, can drive up to 2.5 miles at speeds of up to 45 MPH. This is around the same specifications as the ActiveHybrid 5, and in general is not that impressive for a hybrid. The car doesn’t slack in performance though when the internal combustion engine and electric motor are working together, going 0 to 62 MPH in 5.3 seconds and topping out at a top speed of 155 MPH when equipped with performance tires.

BMW has included in the ActiveHybrid 3 an “Eco Pro” driving mode, designed to support what is termed “a particularly fuel-efficient driving style.” It makes more use of all-electric driving and also “modifies the characteristics of the powertrain, including the transmission, while the electrically powered convenience functions are programmed for optimal energy efficiency.”

Also of note for those wanting a more green driving experience is the coasting function. This offering, a new feature in BMW ActiveHybrid models, shuts the gas engine down not only when the vehicle is stationary, or when driving in town. This results in the vehicle moving along with zero emissions and no engine braking effect, with safety and comfort functions still active.

For those wanting to ditch the eco-driving in favor of performance, the ActiveHybrid 3 has the usual mix of other driving modes that alter such things as engine response, power steering characteristics and DSC settings.

BMW ActiveHybrid 3

image via BMW

The interior of BMW’s newest green car has all the usual luxury touches one expects this auto manufacturer to offer in its vehicles. These include a driver-focused cockpit design, an instrument cluster that also comes as standard with a 6.5-inch screen for extended display capability and a wide array of other vehicle, entertainment and communications functions integrated into the car’s iDrive system.

There’s no word yet on MPG information, but in European testing, the ActiveHybrid 3 scored a 36.7 MPG rating.

I am the editor-in-chief and founder for EarthTechling. This site is my desire to bring the world of green technology to consumers in a timely and informative matter. Prior to this my previous ventures have included a strong freelance writing career and time spent at Silicon Valley start ups.