The potent yet frugal BMW is 5 Series quick but hybrid clean
selected low-emission, higheconomy vehicles from Audi, BMW, Honda, Renault, Toyota and Volvo.
Both ActiveHybrid cars will be powered by the 3.0-litre straight-six turbo from the 535i with a 40kW electric motor between the petrol engine and eight-speed automatic transmission. Combined output is a considerable 250kW, which gets it from standing to highway speed in just under 6.0 seconds.
BMWquotes the combined fuel economy figure as low as 6.4L/100km if the standard aerodynamic wheels are fitted. The diesel 535d manages 5.6L/100km. However, the hybrid emits as little as 149g/km.
The electric motor takes current from a lithium-ion battery under the cargo floor and you can drive the car purely on electric power at low speeds. Select the Eco Pro mode and it can take you up to 160km/h. Under hard acceleration the electric motor also adds a burst of power.
The sub-7.0L/100km economy figure extends the Luxury Car Tax threshold from $59,133 to $75,375 so you pay less to the government.
That’s music to the ears of BMWGroup Australia boss Phil Horton, who describes the LCT as ‘‘ double punishment’’ for owners of fuel-efficient cars.
‘‘ Instead of any incentives there is the disincentive of the Luxury Car Tax,’’ he says.
‘‘ It’smy belief that Australia is the only market in the world that has electric vehicles available but no government subsidies.’’
BMWplans to follow up its hybrid models with a fullelectric i3 in 2014 and an i8 plug-in hybrid, as well as a range-extender option.