First revealed in concept form at the 2011 Detroit Auto Show, the limited-production version of the upcoming 2012 BMW Active E rolled onto the scene in Geneva. Based on the BMW 1 Series coupe, 1,000 of these electric-powered offerings will be available for lease in select international markets, including parts of the U.S., starting this fall. Following on in the tire tracks of the Mini E, the BMW ActiveE represents a further extension of the automaker's move to develop sustainable mobility solutions for the years ahead. As it has and will continue to do with the Mini E, information compiled from the BMW ActiveE evaluation fleets will be filtered to help fine tune the formula for its upcoming Megacity Vehicle that will launch under the new BMW i sub-brand in 2013.

The BMW ActiveE is powered by an electric motor integrated into the rear axle that develops 170 horses and 184 lb-ft of torque. Energized by a new strain of liquid-cooled lithium-ion (Li-ion) battery packs supplied by SB LiMotive and located where the driveshaft and fuel tank normally would be, the motor has the muscle to take the BMW ActiveE from 0-60 mph in less than nine seconds and reach an electronically limited top speed of 90 mph.

BMW now estimates that the ActiveE will be able to travel about 100 miles on a single charge, helped by items like its low-rolling resistance tires, regenerative braking system, "gliding" capabilities on coast downs and BMW's ECO PRO Mode that offers driver-selectable remapping of throttle response and heat/air functions to further optimize range. Replenishing the battery pack can be accomplished using any of several plug-in choices, the quickest being a five-hour fill-up via a 32-amp hard-wired charger. The new ActiveE also is fitted with BMW Connected Drive, BMW My Remote and eCommand which allow the driver to track and command numerous functions, in-car and remotely -- including preconditioning the batteries and the interior, two capabilities not currently available on the Mini E.

The BMW ActiveE will make its first American public appearance next month at the New York Auto Show and subsequently will be offered for lease in Boston, Los Angeles, New York City, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco and the sate of Connecticut.

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