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2012-07-06 12:46

CAN YOU SPOT THE DIFFERENCE? BMW's ActiveHybrid 3 looks no different to the regular 3 Series, but it packs some serious fuel savings.

Hot on the heels of the launch of its ActiveHybrid 5 in South Africa, BMW has now revealed its ActiveHybrid 3 that's based on the recently launched F30.

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But don’t be put off by the idea that this might be a boring economobile – this hybrid 3 Series is powered by a BMW straight six using TwinPower Turbo technology, supplemented by an electric motor and a lithium-ion battery.

The 225kW internal combustion engine (the same one used in the 335i model in the 3 Series range) is backed up by a 40kW electric motor, powered by a lithium-ion battery housed beneath the luggage space.


Power is channelled to the rear wheels through an eight-speed auto transmission.

BMW says the ActiveHybrid 3 is good for an all-electric driving range up to four km and at speeds as high as 75km/h while also claiming fuel consumption savings in the “double digits” compared to the conventional 335i – fuel consumption for this model is claimed at 5.9 litres/100km with CO2 emissions at 139g/km.

It might sprint from zero to 100 in 5.3 seconds but its efficiency is boosted by an Eco Pro mode that includes a coasting function, hybrid start-stop and heightened energy management profiles.

In hybrid fashion, the supplementary battery is charged during coasting or braking and supplies boost power under acceleration to bolster the petrol engine’s performance. While coasting at up to 160km/h in Eco Pro mode, BMW says, the petrol engine can be switched off and decoupled, harnessing the kinetic energy already available.


Visually, the ActiveHybrid 3 is distinguished by its individual badging on the C pillars, matte chromed exhaust tail pipes and satin-finish window surrounds, while 18” light alloy rims are a stylish option.

The cabin also stands out with “ActiveHybrid 3” lettering on the door sills and on an aluminium plate on the gearshifter knob.

The F30’s Sport, Modern and Luxury lines, as well as the M Sport package are available for the 3 Series. 


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