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2013 BMW 3-Series ActiveHybrid

News  /   /  By Bradley Berman

When you think of hybrid cars, BMW is probably not the first automotive brand that comes to mind. So, you might be surprised to learn that BMW started selling its first hybrid nearly three years ago. The makers of the ultimate driving machine can now point to four different hybrid vehicles, including the X6 SUV, 7-Series, 5-Series—and as of last month—the first hybrid version of its 3-Series model.

The 2013 BMW 3-Series ActiveHybrid is now available through select dealerships on eBay Motors. Don’t expect Prius-levels of efficiency on any BMW hybrids. The gas-electric technology is intended to offer only slightly better fuel economy than its pure gasoline models — but without an iota of compromise when it comes to performance. In other words, the ActiveHybrid 3 is fast, offering the same acceleration as a 335i, but with the mpg of the less powerful BMW 328i.

The EPA estimates city mileage on the 3-series hybrid at 25 mpg, compared to the 335i’s 23 mpg. The highway mileage for both vehicles is 33 mpg.

BMW describes the core philosophy of its technology as “EfficientDynamics.” That’s marketing lingo for maximizing efficiency, while making the car as dynamic (see: sporty) as possible.

2013 BMW 3-series activehybrid interior

We can also translate that to what’s happening under the hood of the ActiveHybrid 3. The 3-Series hybrid powertrain employs a twin-scroll turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six with a 55-horsepower electric motor, a lithium-ion battery pack, and an eight-speed automatic transmission. Total horsepower is 335 ponies. The hybrid can travel on electric power for about two-and-a-half miles at an average speed of 22 mph. The electric motor can power the sedan at speeds of up to 37 mph alone.

Pricing for the BMW 3-Series ActiveHybrid starts just past $50,000 — nearly $7,000 more than the 335i. This model on eBay is listed at $60,770.00 That price premium, which has also been applied to other BMW hybrids, helps explain why hybrid-electric Bimmers have not been big sellers. BMW has developed a line of hybrids, but has been cautious to produce or sell very many of them. The company appears to be keener on cars that use bigger jolts of electricity — like the all-electric futuristic i3 expected in 2013, and the outrageously cool i8 plug-in hybrid sports car due the following year.

Then again, BMW is leaving no stone unturned. In June 2012, the German automaker signed an agreement to collaborate with the hybrid leader, Toyota. The two companies will work on fuel cells, lightweight materials and powertrain electrification. “Toyota and the BMW Group share the same strategic vision of sustainable individual future mobility,” said Norbert Reithofer, chairman of the board of BMW. “Together we have a great opportunity to continue leading our industry through this transformation.”

The 3-Series ActiveHybrid gives you a chance to directly experience the power of BMW’s vision of a sustainable mobility today.

For more information about fuel efficient cars, visit eBay’s Green Driving Center.

About the Author

Bradley Berman is a leading writer and researcher about electric cars and green transportation. He regularly contributes driving reviews and technology articles to The New York Times, Fortune, MIT Technology Review, Popular Mechanics, and other publications.

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