BMW 7-Series and X6 ActiveHybrids

BMW has finally released specifications of its two hybrids -- the 7-series ActiveHybrid and the X6 ActiveHybrid -- seen running around testing.

The 7-series ActiveHybrid will join the Mercedes-Benz S400 BlueHybrid as newcomers to the hybrid luxo-barge segment where the Lexus LS600hL has been on sale since 2007.

BMW’s hybrid addition to the 7-series lineup provides a stepping-stone between the V-8 powered 750i (400 hp) and the V-12 powered 760i (536 hp), without the fuel economy reductions normally associated with higher-output models. The 7-series ActiveHybrid combines BMW’s new twin-turbo V-8 with a small electric motor packaged in the transmission to provide a total power output of 465 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. The 7-series, like the S400, uses lithium-ion batteries.

With all this power, BMW estimates a 0 to 60 time of 4.9 seconds, 0.3 seconds faster than the standard 750i. The ActiveHybrid also surpasses the standard 750’s fuel economy by 4 mpg (tested only on the Euro cycle so far, not the EPA cycle). All of this compares favorably with the car’s competition. The Lexus LS600hL will do 0 to 60 in 5.4 seconds and the Benz is estimated at around 7 seconds, and both are EPA rated at 21 mpg combined.

While the 7-series ActiveHybrid cannot propel itself using electric power alone, the X6 ActiveHybrid is capable of travelingsolely on electric power at speeds up to 37 mph. It uses the two-mode hybrid system co-developed with Daimler and GM along with a 7-speed transmission to achieve a Euro cycle fuel economy rating of 24 mpg.

With the X6, BMW is taking the horsepower war to the hybrid SUV -- we mean hybrid Sports Activity Coupe -- segment. BMW claims the X6 ActiveHybrid is the most powerful hybrid vehicle in the world, with its 485 hp and 575 lb-ft of torque. Unlike the 7-series ActiveHybrid, the added power doesn’t translate to a decrease in acceleration times. BMW estimates the X6 ActiveHybrid will do 0 to 62 in 5.6 seconds, compared to a 0 to 60 of 5.1 seconds for the xDrive50i version.

BMW has not released pricing, or an on-sale date for either of its ActiveHybrids, but expect a hefty premium over a standard model.

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