BMW ActiveHybrid 5 Test Drive by

BMW's hybrid 5 Series is a rather peculiar car for the German automaker. Along with the ActiveHybrid 3 these 2 cars are pioneers for the brand's future ventures. The guys from took the ActiveHybrid 5 (AH5) for a test drive. This is what they found.
BMW ActiveHybrid 5 7 photos
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First of all, the AH5 is a bit expensive. Compared to the non-hybrid 535i it is based on, the electrical parts in the AH5 will cost you an extra $5,090 (€4,000). However, you will get slightly more options for this kind of money, things like navigation with voice recognition, Gracenote database, 10.3-inch display and 12-speaker audio.

The AH5 is slightly heavier than the normal 5er due to the 96-cell lithium-ion battery pack and you will also lose the option of folding the rear seats and some serious trunk space.

The conventional engine under the hood is the N55 3-liter 6-cylinder engine that boasts 300 HP and 300 lb-ft (406 Nm) of torque. Along with the internal combustion unit, you'll also get an electrical motor that puts out 54 HP and 155 lb-ft (210 Nm) of torque, placed somewhere between the N55 and the ZF 8-speed automatic gearbox.

While driving the car at speeds up to 60km/h (37,5 mph) and when keeping at a steady pace on the highway, the car goes into EV mode freaking you out when you take a look at the dashboard because the tach shows 0 RPM. Press the throttle and the dash comes alive.

The general feeling of the car is basically the same, still going like a "kerosened cat" while the handling remains true to the BMW DNA. The numbers are almost the same with the 535i xDrive version (acceleration and consumption wise) and the technology is fascinating.

There is a market for this kind of hybrids and most of them will probably go to the Chinese and US markets. The ActiveHybrid 5 is aimed at a certain eco-oriented segment of customers that will probably enjoy the fact that they have the word "Hybrid" written on the side of their car and at the same time, want to experience the "sheer driving experience" of traditional Bimmers.
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