Well, that didn’t take long. After BMW announced last month it will ultimately build a hybrid 5 Series sedan, Motor Trend managed to spot an early prototype running around the streets of Munich.
This prototype doesn’t have the lowered front fascia and wild wheels used on the Concept ActiveHybrid 5 Series, but we’re fairly certain there’s a hybrid powertrain lurking under the skin. The prototype wears a sticker reading “RESCUE Remove in case of emergency.” The last time we saw such a sticker affixed to a BMW prototype was a test mule for the X6 ActiveHybrid crossover.
Unlike the X6’s hybrid system, the ActiveHybrid 5 will use BMW’s latest turbocharged 3.0-liter I-6 as its gasoline engine. A 40-kW (54 horsepower) electric motor is sandwiched between the six-cylinder and an eight-speed automatic, allowing it to propel the sedan on its own at low speeds, work in conjunction with the 300-horsepower engine, or serve as a generator to recover energy during braking. BMW claims the configuration will boost fuel economy by about 10 percent.
Although BMW has yet to specify precisely when the car will go on sale, it will join the 7 Series ActiveHybrid and X6 ActiveHybrid as the third hybrid in the automaker's North American portfolio.
Source: Motor Trend