The BMW 7-Series ActiveHybrid will debut along with the 2009 7-Series lineup at the 2008 Paris motor show.
The hybrid pairs the 2009 750i’s turbocharged 4.4-liter V-8 with a lithium-ion battery powered motor. BMW calls the concept a mild hybrid, and claims a 15 percent improvement in fuel economy compared with a conventional 750i. The electric motor also adds 20 hp and 155 lb-ft of torque to the V-8’s already potent output of 407 hp and 442 lb-ft. The hybrid regenerates electricity during braking, and has a stop/start function to further conserve fuel.
If this all sounds very similar to the Mercedes-Benz S400 BlueHybrid we told you about last week, it’s because BMW co-developed the hybrid technology with Daimler. The only apparent difference in the setup is the location of the lithium-ion battery: Mercedes fit it in the engine compartment while BMW placed it in the trunk.
The ActiveHybrid distinguishes itself from other 2009 7-Series models thanks to an aluminum band on the lower front fascia that improves airflow. The band resurfaces around the exhaust pipes in the back in order to tie together the unique look.
Paris will also see the X6 ActiveHybrid and the face-lifted 3-Series. The X6 will use the two-mode hybrid system developed with General Motors, Daimler and Chrysler. Both hybrids will launch in 2009, although likely not in the United States at the start.