You want a BMW, you want to be green and therefore don’t you just want something that’s impossible? Not for much longer. As of the end of February next year, BMW is set to launch its brand new ActiveHybrid 5 in the UK. Based on the classic 5 Series but with lots more attention to drag and weight-saving detail, this is a vehicle that apparently has it all ahead of its debut at the Tokyo Motor Show at the end of November.
But just how green is it? The answer is a lot greener than a typical BMW, but then it’s never going to compete in the C02 reduction stakes with the likes of the new range of Prius vehicles coming out around the same time. That isn’t really the point though.
What this vehicle does is bring a strong level of performance to the new generation of green vehicles that are coming onto the market while helping a segment of the market that had more or less resisted the green move, in a much more eco-friendly direction.
Performance-wise this is very close to the ever-popular 535i. Green-wise it is obviously far superior with about 16% less fuel consumption which also delivers the equivalent reduction in CO2 emissions. For the UK car buyer, it therefore also delivers a sizeable reduction in cost given it does just under 45 miles per gallon when the combined engine is used to its full capacity.
At around 37mph, the ActiveHybrid 5 can travel a little under 2.5 miles on electric power generated without producing any further emissions. So not only does all this represent a saving at the petrol pump, it also means a reduction in money paid out to the taxman. This vehicle registers six bands lower in the benefits-in-kind tax scale than its petrol-guzzling standard 5 Series.
In terms of BHP, the new ActiveHybrid 5 will in fact beat the similar standard 535i at 340bhp compared to 306bhp, the clearest sign that there hasn’t been a compromise in power to deliver the saving in CO2. Max torque also reaches an impressive 332lb-ft. The ActiveHybrid 5 does 0-60 miles per hour in a bit under six seconds which is hardly slow off the mark.
With BMW having managed to get the emissions versus performance equation right for its loyal fan base, it is no surprise that in terms of interior and features everything is as you would expect from the luxury German automaker. Here the vehicle delivers exactly the same kit as a normal petrol or diesel model including multimedia satnav, 17-inch alloy wheels, four-zone climate control and wood interior trim. Tailpipes are standard matt chrome.
The forthcoming ActiveHybrid 5 should therefore certainly find a market among the many admirers of BMWs looking to save on emissions and running cost, both of which are significant compared to the standard 5 Series. The question true greenies will be asking themselves before buying one though will surely be this: Just how much more is this vehicle going to help cut down on emissions compared to an eco diesel?