BMW ActiveHybrid 7: A New Performance-minded Hybrid

Lexus paved the way for premium hybrid sedans two years ago with its flagship LS600hL model, the Mercedes-Benz S400 Hybrid followed suit last year, and now BMW is jumping on the fuel-sipping bandwagon with the 2010 BMW ActiveHybrid 7. Based on the current 7 Series, the ActiveHybrid luxury sedan combines the power of a big V-8 engine, the smooth shifts of an all-new 8-speed automatic transmission, and the fuel-saving efficiency of a lithium-ion-battery-powered electric motor. But just because the car is BMW’s first mild hybrid offering does not mean it is sluggish. With a combined output (from the twin-turbo V-8 and three-phase electric motor) of 465 hp and 516 ft-lbs of torque, the ActiveHybrid 7 reaches 60 mph from a standstill in 4.7 seconds—that’s half a second quicker than the 750Li.

On the other side of the ActiveHybrid equation, this particular luxury sedan returns nearly 30 mpg on the highway and is BMW’s first car to feature an Auto Start Stop function to avoid losing fuel at idle on congested freeways and incessant red lights. Additionally, the car comes equipped with a special readout on the dash display, informing the occupants of the degree of efficiency and the current operating status of the hybrid components. The ActiveHybrid 7 ($102,300) is also offered as a long wheelbase version ($106,200), and both variants are available with the same options as the standard BMW 7 Series.

For those looking for something a bit smaller, the BMW’s ActiveHybrid variant will be available on the forthcoming 5 Series as a 2011 model. (www.bmwusa.com)

Gooding & Company auctions a vintage Lamborghini to fund mental-health-care initiative…
Photo by Gerald Farber Photography
The pebble beach Concours d’Elegance and the surrounding four days of automotive auctions (...
Photo by Patrick Ernzen/RM Sotheby's
RM Sotheby’s has assembled a special sale of approximately 30 postwar sports cars dubbed the...
Ferrari 488 Spider front quarter panel view
The $275,000 open-air roadster can lower its top in 14 seconds and hit 62 mph in 3 seconds…
Photo by Basem Wasef
The new edition features a striking monochromatic color scheme and carbon fiber accents…
A half-century after its historic victory in Europe, Shelby’s iconic racer returns to celebrate…
Today’s german auto museums are much more than vaults filled with old cars: They are structural...
Battery pack improvements give the car the ability to go from zero to 60 mph in 2.8 seconds…
Classic Ferraris and Porsches will be on display in all of their glory…
In addition to the Ferraris, rare cars from DuPont and Carrozzeria Touring will also be spotlighted…