BMW ActiveHybrid 7

BMW now has a competitor for the S400 BlueHybrid – the new BMW ActiveHybrid 7. The ActiveHybrid 7 (available in both F01 and F02 longwheelbase bodies, with the long wheelbase called the BMW ActiveHybrid 7L) uses a mild hybrid system, also sometimes called a motor assist system.

Basically the V8 engine and 8-speed ZF automatic transmission is assisted by a three-phase synchronous electric motor weighing 23kg to give a peak output of 465 horses and 700Nm of torque. The electric motor (20 horses and 210Nm of torque) is positioned between the V8 and the 8-speeder’s torque converter, and receives power from a 35 cell 400wH lithium ion battery, which can also be recharged by the motor via brake energy regeneration.

BMW ActiveHybrid 7

This lithium ion battery measures 370mm by 220mm by 230mm and weighs 27kg, and is housed in the luggage compartment between the wheel arches, protected by a high-strength casing. Basically BMW had to remove the air-conditioning compressor for the rear aircond vents to make space for the battery.

0 to 100km/h takes 4.9 seconds, while EU test cycle fuel consumption is rated at 9.4 litres per 100km. CO2 emissions have been measured at 219g/km. Not exactly figures that will make greenheads drool but being an enthusiast I’m quite interested in experiencing the kind of pulling power that a high torque turbocharged engine and an inherently torquey electric motor can give.

BMW ActiveHybrid 7

The ActiveHybrid 7 also features automatic start-stop, which is said to be a first on a BMW equipped with an automatic transmission. Auto start-stop has been available for quite sometime now as part of their EfficientDynamics program but have previously been available only on manual transmission models.

The air conditioning and other systems remain fully operational whenever the engine is off, however being a mild hybrid system the car will not move with the V8 engine turned off – it will only turn off when you come to a stop. The air conditioning system can also be activated remotely via the remote control to cool down the car sufficiently before you get into the car.

Look after the jump for a full hi-res gallery and a video of the new BMW ActiveHybrid 7.

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