BMW Group Malaysia officially launched the BMW ActiveHybrid 3 and ActiveHybrid 5 sedans at Pavilion KL this morning. The company is having its BMW Innovations Showcase at the shopping mall, which also features the BMW Vision Connected Drive concept car. All the action is happening on Level 3, if you want to check it out.
On to the main news, the hybrid sedans. Regular readers of this site will know that BMW’s ActiveHybrids aren’t the biggest fuel misers around (they already have the ED models for that), but are instead high performance cars with big engines. We’ve driven the ActiveHybrid 3 and ActiveHybrid 7 before, click to read the reports.
In the case of the AH3 and AH5, they are powered by a 3.0 litre TwinPower Turbo six-cylinder engine, so the government tax exemption for hybrid cars isn’t applicable here, as the limit for that is 2.0 litres. It shows in the price – the ActiveHybrid 3 is priced at RM538,800 and the ActiveHybrid 5 will set you back RM648,800. Prices are on-the-road without insurance, with BMW Service + Repair Inclusive.
The N55B30 3.0 six-pot is the same engine used in the 335i and 535i, and it puts out 306 hp and 400 Nm of torque. That’s a lot of juice to squeeze, but the ActiveHybrid duo adds on a 40 kW (55 hp/210 Nm) motor to help both performance and efficiency. Combined output is 340 hp and 540 Nm of torque.
If you’re wondering how that feels like, 0-100 km/h is done in just 5.3 seconds in the AH3 and 5.9 seconds in the AH5, so no hot hatch will be able to trouble you at the traffic lights. Claimed combined fuel consumption stands at 5.9 litres per 100 km for the AH3 and 6.8 litres per 100 km for the bigger and heavier brother.
The battery is a lithium-ion unit that is recharged by brake energy regeneration. The pack is situated below the boot floor in the 3er and between the boot and rear seats in the 5er.
There’s an all electric mode that can be used up to 60 km/h. In this engineless mode, one has a total uninterrupted range of 4 km, so those short hops to 7-Eleven can be done without any tailpipe emissions. Besides that, battery power is used for the eBOOST system to make full throttle acceleration stronger, so it helps at both ends of the scale.
Like the ICE powered regular sedans, the AH3 and AH5 come with an eight-speed gearbox, Eco Pro and auto start/stop, but the latter works slightly differently here.
Not just during idle, the engine can be shut off even when approaching a stop, and start again either when you start to move, or when the car reaches 60 km/h. This means that the engine is turned off for longer periods compared to regular BMWs with auto start/stop.
Also, with Eco Pro on, the ActiveHybrid cars can “glide” along with the engine off at speeds of up to 160 km/h. It all depends on battery charge level and conditions, of course.
From the outside, the hybrid cars stand out with exclusive colours and special wheel designs. ActiveHybrid emblems are found on the boot, the base of the C pillars, side sills and forward of the gear lever in the cabin. AH3 buyers can choose from Sport, Luxury or Modern lines – the car pictured here is Modern line.
We were in Munich recently to drive the ActiveHybrid 3 – click here to read both the driving experience, and a full technical explaination of what goes on underneath. Prettier pics under the sun, too. Live gallery from the launch is after the jump.
BMW ActiveHybrid 3 Specifications Sheet
BMW ActiveHybrid 5 Specifications Sheet