China: BMW to begin production of 5 series electric hybrid image

BMW Brilliance Automotive announced that it will begin Chinese production of a 5 series electric hybrid car later this year, reported today. Additionally, it was confirmed that Brilliance will be responsible for research and development of the program.

BMW had unveiled the prototype 5 ActiveHybrid concept car (pictured) at last year’s Geneva Motor Show to much acclaim. The concept was powered by a turbocharged straight-6 gasoline engine linked to a 40-kw electric motor, paired with 8-speed automatic transmission.

Although BMW has yet to officially confirm any specific vehicle specifications, it is speculated that the new vehicle will also be built on the 535i foundation. Sales may begin as early as this year, with a possible price tag of over 900,000 yuan ($136,705).
In 2010, 168,998 BMWs and Minis were sold in China, a sales increase of over 87% from the previous year. In addition to the proposed 5 series electric, BMW also plans to bring over 3 series vehicles, including the X3, as well as the brand new 6 series and Mini Countryman, to the Chinese marketplace later this year.

By: By Carmen Lee From