Paris Motor Show LIVE: BMW Active Hybrid 3 and i3 Concept image

Environmentally-friendly cars are well represented at the BMW booth in Paris, as the German carmaker displays the Active Hybrid 3 and the latest i3 Concept.

The first one is a production model powered by a six-cylinder engine mated to an electric motor and a lithium-ion battery. The six-cylinder in-line engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology develops 306 horsepower, while the electric motor develops 55 horsepower and gets its energy from a high-voltage lithium-ion battery integrated underneath the luggage area.

Power from the two drive systems is transferred to the rear wheels by the eight-speed automatic transmission. Charging of the high-performance battery primarily takes place during coasting or braking, the electric motor performing the role of a generator feeding energy into the high-voltage battery. By contrast, under acceleration the electric motor takes on a boost function. assisting the petrol engine by generating an ultra-dynamic burst of power.

The Active Hybrid 3 supports all-electric operation up to 75 km/h, while the driving range in all-electric mode is up to four kilometers. The car sprints from 0 to 100 km/h in 5.3 seconds and has an average fuel consumption of 5.9 liters per 100 km, while emitting 139 g of CO2/km.

The BMW i3 Concept is a purely electric drive vehicle which has a passenger cell made of carbon fiber reinforced plastic. Its interior design is also consistently geared towards sustainability. The new version of the BMW i3 Concept presented at the 2012 Paris Motor Show clearly reflects this.

For example, the eucalyptus wood used for the instrument panel comes from a sustainable cultivation source in Europe and is treated exclusively with natural substances. The high-quality leather of the seats has a fine surface consistency achieved by processing tanning agents gained from olive leaves. What is more, parts of the instrument cluster and door trim are made of natural wool fabric.