2007 BMW Hydrogen 7

Sam Smith
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2007 BMW Hydrogen 7

You're looking at what BMW calls the "world's first hydrogen-drive luxury performance automobile."

No...wait! Come back! It's not that boring. We promise.

Seriously: this is pretty cool. It's essentially a BMW 7-series converted to run on both liquid hydrogen and regular gasoline. BMW claims the car has undergone a full product development process (just like any other regular production car); this is partly because the Hydrogen 7 will be built in a limited series for use in the U.S. and elsewhere, and it's partly because the Bavarians just wanted to prove it could be done. Establishing the feasibility of a hydrogen-powered vehicle has been on BMW's plate for some time, and while they've waffled around a bit as to whether or not hydrogen is the way of the future, they've nevertheless continued to develop the technology.

Power is provided by a 260-hp V-12 that can be actively (on the fly) switched back and forth between hydrogen and conventional premium gas. This dual-mode drive provides a cruising range of more than 400 miles. Granted, it'll supposedly take around 125 miles until the hydrogen tank runs dry--gasoline power accounts for the other 300 miles--but it's a neat idea, nonetheless. Priority is given to the use of hydrogen, although manual switches can be made by the driver through a button on the steering wheel.

Performance? 0-62 mph comes in 9.5 seconds, and top speed is limited electronically to 143 mph.

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