Since the first hybrid models arrived on the market over a decade ago, we’ve become accustomed to most hybrids placing a large emphasis on fuel efficiency at the cost of sheer power and fun. The new 2013 BMW ActiveHybrid 3 is not one of those “typical” hybrids. The ActiveHybrid 3 is powered by a turbocharged six-cylinder engine that is mated to an electric motor and an eight-speed automatic transmission. The new vehicle is a hybrid version of the popular BMW 3 Series, and it’s the third model in BMW’s lineup that will be available with a hybrid electric powertrain. BMW has announced that the 2013 ActiveHybrid 3 will arrive in U.S. showrooms this fall with a starting price of $50,195.
The ActiveHybrid 3′s drivetrain generates a total of 335 horsepower, which is an increase of 13 percent over the less fuel-efficient six-cylinder BMW 335i. The electric motor also has a maximum output of 55 horsepower, which is enough power to provide electric-only emissions-free driving at speeds up to 45 mph. Fully charged, the car’s lithium-ion battery provides an all-electric driving range of up to 2.5 miles at an average speed of about 20 mph.
The 3.0L six-cylinder engine kicks in automatically when the driver requires more power, and its performance can be boosted by the electric motor to provide extra power when accelerating. The BMW ActiveHybrid 3 can reach 0-62 mph in 5.3 seconds and has a governed top speed of 155 mph, which is easily more power than you get with a Toyota Prius. BMW hasn’t announced the official fuel economy specs for the US-spec version of the ActiveHybrid 3, but BMW does expect it to get around 36 mpg on the European cycle.