BMW’s stand at the 2012 Detroit Auto Show was opened and features the hybrid version of the 2012 BMW 3-Series as well as the other models in the 3-Series range, the new M5 and the i EV concepts. The global debut of the 3 Series took place at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show last September but the gas-electric version wasn’t shown then.
BMW will again display the four-cylinder engines in the 3-Series cars for the U.S. at the Detroit Auto Show.
In addition, BMW will present the highest gas mileage that has ever been offered in a 3-Series. It indicates a rating of 36 mpg on the European test cycles.
It is equipped with a 40-kw (55-hp) electric motor that’s slotted between the standard eight-speed auto box and the ActiveHybrid 3's 300-hp twin-scroll turbocharged 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine.
When being driven in electric-only mode, the vehicle may accelerate to 37 mph and could go as fast as 100 mph. It comes with the same engine but it has a 12.5% higher efficiency than the 335i. The ActiveHybrid 3 will go on sale worldwide on February 11.
With the BMW 3 ActiveHybrid, you get advanced power electronics that have been improved further. On top of managing the electric motor and the internal combustion engine, the electronics also makes way for proactive assessment of the driving situation for more fuel savings. To do this, the power electronics may be linked to the Professional navigation system.
By switching on the destination guidance function, the electronics can gain access to the data and analyze it to determine changes in outside conditions or driver inputs. Using this analysis and if you have good quality navigational data, the car is prepared in advance and all systems on the powertrain as well as the electronics are managed in such a way that you save more on fuel.
The changes in powertrain operations may be brought about by several factors including speed limits and the route topography. For instance, the system will know that you are headed for a downhill drive, it will then switch all the battery’s electrical energy to give the car additional driving power. The battery will be recharged on the downhill stretch without consuming fuel from the ICE.
When navigating through longer downhill stretches, the electric motor can be used so that it can recharge the battery without slowing down. This can also be used to give more driving range by optimally charging the battery near the end of the trip.
The powertrain system’s operating status is shown in the instrument cluster as well as on the Control Display. The energy recuperation and energy flow are shown on another gauge located next to the rev counter. This also shows the boost effect that the electric motor gives when accelerating.
Depending on the model you choose, you can get a menu on the iDrive that gives you a range of information, including the charge level of the battery and the power provided by the engine and the electric motor. You can also access a log of the fuel consumption, and how long the electric motor was in use.