Making its world premiere appearance in production form, the 2013 BMW ActiveHybrid3 will join the 3 Series lineup here in America starting this fall. Based on the latest Gen VI platform architecture, the automaker's fourth ActiveHybrid model features a gas/electric powertrain that teams a 300-horse version of the firm's TwinPower 3.0-liter turbocharged inline six with an electric motor/generator energized by a small lithium-ion battery pack located beneath the trunk floor. Total system output is a solid 335 horsepower and 330 lb-ft of torque, all of which gets sent to the rear wheels via a specially modified version of BMW's eight-speed Shiftronic automatic. Despite that extra muscle, BMW claims the new ActiveHybrid3 will use 12.5 percent less fuel than one of its equally potent but conventionally powered sport sedans.

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Capable of traveling up to 2.5 miles on electric power, the 2013 BMW ActiveHybrid3 also can reach speeds of 37 mph under load and up to 100 mph when coasting in pure EV mode. To maintain its proper 3 Series character, the suspension tuning has been tweaked to keep it "on par" with a standard 335i sedan. BMW is equally quick to point out that planning for the ActiveHybrid3 was done concurrently with the new 3 Series Sedan, a decision that led to far greater overall packaging efficiencies including no compromises with respect to its comfort/convenience/cargo-carrying capabilities. No word yet on pricing and packaging/option availability for the 2013 BMW ActiveHybrid3.


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