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First look: BMW shows 7 Series mild hybrid

Power-assisted: Petrol-electric 7 Series concept produces 810Nm of torque.

Bavarian blokes reveal their first 7 Series mild hybrid, the ActiveHybrid concept

23 Sep 2008

BMW’S redesigned 7 Series was revealed for the first time in early July ahead of its official world debut at the Paris motor show on October 2 – and now we’ve been given a sneak preview of the first ever hybrid version of BMW’s flagship model.

The 7 Series ActiveHybrid will be revealed as part of BMW’s all-new limousine range, including the 750i sedan upon which it is based, at the same show Mercedes-Benz will unveil its first S-class mild hybrid - the S400 BlueHybrid, which was developed under a joint-venture program with BMW and goes on sale in Europe in mid-2009.

BMW is expected to produce a second-generation version of the hydrogen-powered Hydrogen 7, but the 7 Series mild hybrid is expected to enter production for the US before it in late 2009 – though it may not be offered in right-hand drive guise for markets like Australia.

It differs from the Concept X6 ActiveHybrid revealed last year in that the X6 hybrid concept is a full parallel or dual-mode hybrid that, unlike the 7 Series ActiveHybrid, can be driven in electric-only mode and is the product of a joint-venture hybrid program between Daimler and General Motors.

Both the BMW and Mercedes-Benz mild hybrid limousines employ a boot-mounted lithium-ion battery pack (in what Benz claims is the first series-production application of such technology), as well as regenerative braking and idle-stop technology.

But the 7 Series ActiveHybrid differs from the 3.5-litre V6-powered petrol-electric S400 via its use of the new twin-turbocharged direct-injection 4.4-litre V8, which BMW says delivers the same 300kW and 600Nm of torque as offered by the X6 50i.

Combined with the 15kW and 210Nm of peak torque produced by an electric motor integrated into the transmission housing, replacing the alternator and starter, the 7 Series hybrid produces a total of 315kW and 810Nm.

But while the S400 is claimed to deliver combined performance outputs of 220kW and 385Nm with an average fuel consumption of 7.9L/100km, BMW says only that the 7 Series hybrid reduces fuel consumption by 15 per cent compared to the 750i.

“In typical BMW style, this new concept car combines a significant reduction in fuel consumption and emissions with a standard of driving dynamics never seen before even in this class of hybrid cars,” said the managing director of BMW Australia Guenther Seemann.

Read more:

First look: BMW's potent new 7 Series flagship

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