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by Tim Beissmann

Images of the BMW ActiveHybrid 5 concept have been leaked overnight in the lead up to its world premiere at next week’s Geneva Motor Show.

Although little is known about the inner workings of the concept, don’t be surprised if it surfaces again later this year almost unchanged as the production-version 5-Series hybrid saloon.

Late last year BMW said it would introduce its third hybrid – following the ActiveHybrid 7 and X6 – within 12 months, and that is now widely tipped to be a mild-hybrid version of the 5-Series.

The X6 and 7-Series hybrids are both powered by a 4.4-litre twin-turbo V8, but a similar engine in the latest concept seems unlikely.

Rumour suggests the ActiveHybrid 5 will utilise the 3.0-litre turbocharged straight-six and team it with a smaller electric motor.

As a mild-hybrid like the 7-Series, the electric motor in the 5-Series will most likely be used to restart the engine after it turns off when the vehicle comes to a stop and also add torque to assist the petrol engine. As a mild hybrid it would not be able to function in electric-only mode like the full-hybrid X6.

But this is all just speculation at the moment. For the real facts about the new BMW ActiveHybrid 5 we will have to wait until more news is leaked over the internet, or, in the highly unlikely circumstance, wait for the official unveiling at the Geneva Motor Show on March 2.