BMW’s gone full-steam ahead with its ActiveHybrid technology; just a few months after the company introduced the system on the 5 Series, it has now also fitted it to the smaller 3 Series, which will make its debut on local soil by the fourth quarter of the year.
The ActiveHybrid 3 shares its engine with its larger hybrid stablemate, the award-winning TwinPower turbocharged 3,0-litre inline six, which produces 225 kW at 5 800 r/min and 400 N.m of torque between 1 200 and 5 000 r/min. Powered by a lithium-ion battery, which is situated underneath the luggage area, the electric motor produces 40 kW to supplement the petrol powerplant or run in EV mode while coasting. The total power output is 250 kW and 450 N.m; the latter is available from just 1 000 r/min.
Power is sent to the rear wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission, and BMW claims a zero to 100 km/h sprint of just 5,3 seconds. Despite the performance at hand, the ActiveHybrid 3 sips just 5,9 litres/100 km and emits only 189 g/km CO2. The ActiveHybrid 3 can run on full electric mode up to 75 km/h, with a range of approximately 4 km.
The battery is charged during coasting or braking, with the electric motor acting as a generator that sends energy back to the source of its own power. In addition, for a truly miserly trip, the ActiveHybrid 3 also features an ECO PRO mode, whereby during coasting at speeds up to 160 km/h, the petrol motor can be deactivated and decoupled, as well as an automatic stop/start function.
On the outside, there are very few giveaways as to the ActiveHybrid 3’s environmentally friendly credentials, bar the C-pillar lettering. More subtle touches include matte-finish tailpipes, satin-finish window frames and the BMW Individual gloss black B-pillar.
The interior is of the usual classy standard we’ve come to expect from the Munich-based manufacturer. It includes door sill strips with ActiveHybrid 3 lettering and alloy gear surround. All three of the Sport, Modern and Luxury trim levels are available, as well as an M-Sport kit.