The second of two production-destined hybrids unveiled by BMW at the Frankfurt Auto Show, the ActiveHybrid 7 Series joins the X6 ActiveHybrid to expand the German automaker’s focus on electric-assisted engines.
The ActiveHybrid 7 uses the same twin-turbocharged V8 as found in the 750i, but pairs it with an electric motor and a lithium-ion battery pack to make 455hp and 516 ft-lbs of torque. And while the X6 ActiveHybrid may lay claim to being the world’s most powerful hybrid, the ActiveHybrid 7 is most likely the fastest with a 0-60 sprint in just 4.8 seconds.
Impressively, while BMW is using its ActiveHybrid system to improve performance on the 7 Series, it is also (as you might expect from a hybrid) improving fuel economy. Fuel-consumption is rated at 9.4 liters/100km (25 mpg) average, a 15 percent improvement over the 750i.
Due to the use of a state-of-the-art lithium-ion battery pack, the unit measures just 14.6 x 8.7 x 9.1 inches and only weights 59.5 lbs, making it just slightly heavier and larger than a conventional car battery. BMW has located the lithium-ion unit under the trunk floor, keeping an adequate amount of trunk space
The new ActiveHybrid 7 also features regenerative braking, as well as a start-stop system. Impressively, even when the engine is shut off at a stop light, the air conditioning continues to run as is it powered electronically, not by the gasoline engine.
BMW plans to offer the ActiveHybrid 7 in the Spring of 2010. Both a conventional wheelbase and an extended wheelbase hybrid 7 Series will be offered.
More: Frankfurt 2009: BMW 7 Series Hybrid Faster and More Fuel-Efficient