With the all-new BMW 5 Series sedan range set to go on sale in June, the German manufacturer has taken this chance to show its future petrol-electric hybrid model, due to go on sale next year, at the Geneva Motor Show.
Sharing the stage with conventionally powered six- and eight-cylinder petrol and diesel models, the new ActiveHybrid 5 Concept will use a sophisticated hybrid system comprising a 224kW twin-scroll turbo, direct injection petrol six-cylinder engine (as found in the 535i), an eight-speed automatic transmission and an electric motor running on lithium-ion batteries (stored in the boot).
The electric motor develops 40kW and is connected to the engine via a special clutch arrangement that allows the motor to become a generator when the vehicle is coasting or braking. The ActiveHybrid 5 Concept will also use BMW's automatic engine stop-start system and an electric air-conditioning compressor to save even more fuel.
The hybrid system can operate as a full two-mode hybrid meaning the ActiveHybrid 5 Concept can operate on electric power, petrol power or a combination of both.
Official fuel economy and performance details have not yet been released, though BMW is saying we can expect a fuel saving of around 10 per cent compared to the standard 535i - albeit with a little more oomph.