Hybrid 7-series within the next 3 years?
DaimlerChrysler and BMW will be extending their hybrid drive system collaboration, developing a unique hybrid drive module for rear wheel drive cars, with commercialization of the module expected within the next three years. This joint venture is in the interest of saving costs in R&D as well as manufacturing.
Lexus has gone the mild hybrid way for quite some time now, with offerings like the Lexus RX450h luxury SUV, Lexus GS450h mid-sized luxury saloon and the flagship Lexus LS600h. Now when I say mild hybrid, that refers to hybrid powertrains that focus more on helping acceleration, and save a bit of fuel especially in stop and go traffic. Large displacement engines usually prove to be guzzlers in stop and go situations. It is not meant to focus on massive fuel savings like the Toyota Prius and Honda Insight.
Now most of you who have been observing hybrid/electric car specs should have noticed most of them have crazy acceleration times thanks to the electric motor’s perpetually maxed out torque at all RPMs. Imagine a BMW 3-series coupled with a hybrid drivetrain system accelerating out of a corner, now that has got me licking my lips, though this technology will most likely first be used on both Mercedes Benz and BMW’s larger vehicles like the 7-Series (shown above) and S-class, as well as SUVs, as the relatively larger displacement engines in these two classes of vehicles would benefit the most from the fuel savings of an electric motor in stop and go traffic.