BMW has been spotted testing a prototype version of the new 2012 BMW 3 Series hybrid, which will be known as the ActiveHybrid 3. The prototype was spotted on the Nurburgring, proving the German company is looking to retain its sporty 'sheer driving pleasure' image, even with its new hybrid models.
From the exterior, it's almost impossible to tell this prototype 3 Series is a hybrid, apart from one small thing; the mandatory 'hybrid' sticker on the front door window sill.
These stickers have to be placed on all hybrid test cars by the manufacturer in case of a accident. Police and rescue workers need to be alerted to the potential danger when dealing with the car's electric operating system.
The new BMW ActiveHybrid 3 will be powered by a 3.0-litre six-cylinder petrol engine. The engine will be supported by an electric motor providing a combined output of around 250kW. If this is the case, the BMW ActiveHybrid 3 will be the most powerful 3 Series in the lineup, apart from the BMW M3.
The new BMW 3 Series range is set to go on sale during the second half of next year, while the new ActiveHybrid 3 variant will likely join the market some time after the initial model launch, possibly early in 2013. We'll keep you updated on official word and fuel consumption specifications in the meantime.