BMW said in a statement that the 5-Series hybrid will break new ground in China. "It is the first vehicle in its segment in China to provide a fully fledged combination of exclusive style and environmental awareness.
The BMW Brilliance 5-Series Hybrid will be a full parallel hybrid, combining BMW's TwinPower Turbo technology with an electric motor. Specifics of the gas engine were not provided by BMW but the output was said to be about 215 horsepower with an electric motor capable of 95 horsepower. The battery, which "includes special battery technology", will be housed in the trunk.
BMW said the plug-in hybrid will be able to run completely on electric power about 45 miles at a constant 35 mph. The gasoline engine will extend range to about 255 miles. BMW said this "is in line with the driving profile of Chinese customers in the premium segment."
According to the statement, "The model-specific components for the plug-in hybrid drive, power electronics and high-volt battery were developed in close collaboration between the joint venture partners BMW Group and Brilliance China Automotive Holdings Ltd. The project drew intensively on the drive expertise of the BMW Group as well as the know-how built-up [sic] in China in the field of electromobility so as to take account of the latest technological innovations and also tap into scientific insights regarding the potential uses of a new energy vehicle."
In addition to the forthcoming BMW Brilliance 5-Series plug-in hybrid, BMW has begun testing in China the Mini E electric vehicle and will begin testing the BMW ActiveE, an will contribute to BMW's BMW i program, the electric vehicle equivalent to the BMW M high performance division.
BMW Brilliance will begin production of the 5-series plug-in hybid China in 2013.