More details are emerging about the upcoming U.S. version of the 2013 BMW ActiveHybrid3 that made its world debut in production form last January at the Detroit Auto Show. Based on the new 3 Series Sedan architecture, this fourth member of the automaker's ActiveHybrid family will arrive in showrooms this September and sticker at $50,195 - about $6,500 more than its traditionally-powered 335i counterpart. While official EPA numbers and final packaging elements for the ActiveHybrid 3 are still being worked out, BMW also has provided updated information regarding some of the car's specific performance capabilities and outlined several key standard and optional features.

As originally stated, the 2013 BMW ActiveHybrid3 will be fitted with a gas/electric powertrain that matches the firm's award-winning 300-horsepower/3.0-liter TwinPower Turbo inline-6 that makes 300 lb-ft of torque with a 55-horse electric motor that kicks in an additional 155 lb-ft of twist. The motor is fully integrated into the housing of the ActiveHybrid 3's 8-speed automatic transmission and gets fed by a compact 675Wh lithium-ion battery pack mounted between the wheel arches in the trunk.

Collectively, the system develops 335 horsepower and 330 lb-ft of torque compared to the 300/300 output figures for the baseline 335i. That's sufficient force to let the ActiveHybrid 3 sprint from 0-62 mph in 5.3 seconds and reach an electronically governed max velocity of 155 mph when fitted with optional performance tires. Capable of operating in pure EV mode at up to 45 mph, the car also can travel approximately 2.5 miles on its battery alone at an average speed of 20 mph.

Like other new 3 Series Sedans, the ActiveHybrid 3 is fitted with a fuel-saving Start-Stop function, although here, it's purpose-modified for this application. So to, is the ECO PRO mode that's part of the car's standard Driving Experience Control and also features Comfort/Sport/Sport+ settings. Unlike other 3 Series Sedans, ECO PRO on the ActiveHybrid 3 incorporates a special Coasting mode that can automatically engage at speeds up to 100 mph to shut down and fully decouple the gasoline engine to help increase fuel economy. In addition to highly efficient regenerative braking circuitry, the ActiveHybrid 3 also offers an intelligent energy management system. Designed to work with the optional navigation package, it effectively reads the terrain and conditions that lie ahead to further optimize the expenditure and replenishment of the battery pack.

In typical hybrid manner, standard kit in the BMW ActiveHybrid 3 complements its basic instrument cluster with unique display readouts that keep tabs on the use/recovery of electrical energy -- here via a 6.5-inch color screen -- and offers a dual-zone electric-powered climate control system. The car will be offered in base as well as Sport, Modern and Luxury trim grades, and features a number of distinctive cosmetic touches that include a special engine cover, more prominent rear-fender flares, matte-chrome exhaust tips, satin-finish window surrounds and BMW Individual High-gloss Shadow features in the side graphic along with ActiveHybrid 3 badging.

Like the standard 3 Series Sedan, this greener alternative will be available with a selection of BMW ConnectedDrive systems including the Driver Assistance Package that brings Park Distance Control, rear-view camera with Top/Side View and Active Blind Spot Detection as well as the Driver Assistance Plus package that adds Lane Departure Warning with Forward Collision Warning and Speed Limit Information, Adaptive Headlights and High Beam Assistant. A Technology Package steps things up another notch with Navigation, Head-up Display, Online Information Systems, Smartphone Integration, BMW Assist with enhanced Bluetooth and USB port, BMW Apps and Real Time Traffic. Those with more overt enthusiast leanings can opt for sport-tuned Adaptive M Suspension and ActiveHybrid 3-specific 18-inch aero-optimized lightweight alloy wheels.


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