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Tuesday, January 05, 2010
BMW 7 Series Hybrid Sedan
Image: © 2010 theirEarth.com

BMW's New Hybrid 7-Series Sedan Is Fast!

MUNICH, GERMANY - On a recent trip through Munich's International Airport in Germany, which is the headquarters city for BMW, we photographed BMW's new ActiveHybrid 7 car, which they had on display at the airport. theirEarth Motoring's first view of the BMW ActiveHybrid 7 sedan was at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show in the Fall of last year. BMW is also marketing a second hybrid drive vehicle called the ActiveHybrid X6, which is a luxury 4-wheel drive sports utility that incorporates a dual-electric motor hybrid powertrain.

The BMW ActiveHybrid 7 (as shown in the photograph) is BMW's first production hybrid saloon car, and BMW has chosen to deliver a high powered hybrid car as their entry vehicle into this market. The BMW ActiveHybrid 7 delivers an incredible maximum torque output of 700 Nm, with a maximum combined hybrid power of 342 kW / 465 hp. The available torque/power capability allows the ActiveHybrid 7 to accelerate from zero to 100 km/h (62.5 mph) in just 4.9 seconds, however CO2 output remains relatively high at 225 g/km.

Fuel consumption on the ActiveHybrid 7 is a combined rating of 9.4 L/100 km, with 12.6 L/100 km delivered in city driving conditions. On the highway, however, the ActiveHybrid 7's engine management system manages to deliver a respectable 7.6 L/100 km. If you factor in that this 7-series sedan will take on the likes of a Porsche Carrera with its acceleration, then at least you can be pleased that the BMW engineered hybrid system is delivering some economy to the equation as you accelerate. The top speed of this 7-Series hybrid is electronically governed at 250 km/h.

BMW's hybrid drive electric motor in the ActiveHybrid 7 is mounted between the engine and the transmission and in-line with the drive shaft. The sequential automatic transmission is an 8-speed type and the electric drive motor draws its power off of a lithium-ion battery pack, which also can fully power the climate control system when the engine is switched off. During deceleration, the electric drive motor reverses polarity and acts to charge the lithium-ion battery during each braking cycle.

What BMW is demonstrating in the design of the ActiveHybrid 7 is the overall efficiency gain achieved by using a hybrid powertrain to store braking kinetic in a battery pack configuration. This BMW 7-series is actually a high powered sports sedan with exceptional performance capability, and a hybrid show car for the company. Hopefully BMW will soon transfer this same hybrid technology into other new models whereby hybrid systems will help to gain exceptional fuel efficiency and minimised CO2 emissions output in their vehicle design.

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