Published May 29, 2012
By Philippe Crowe
BMW is in the midst of launching its new generation of 7 Series flagship sedan and the lineup will include the BMW ActiveHybrid 7. This new 2013 hybrid 7 series will combine an inline 6-cylinder engine with a hybrid powertrain.
The updated model sets itself apart with lower fuel consumption and emissions, as well as innovative auxiliary functions. This latest evolutionary step uses BMW’s 3.0-liter TwinPower Turbo inline 6-cylinder engine. It is the same 315-horsepower version as in the new 2013 BMW 740Li and replaces the V8 engine previously used in the ActiveHybrid 7.
Other hybrid components include a 55-horsepower synchronous electric motor, hybrid-spec 8-speed Steptronic automatic transmission, a lithium ion high-performance battery and power electronics which run the intelligent energy management.
BMW’s goal was to give the ActiveHybrid 7 an outstanding balance between performance and efficiency. With combined output of 349 horsepower and peak torque of
367 pound-feet, the new BMW ActiveHybrid 7 accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in about 5.5 seconds (preliminary).
At the same time, it delivers significantly improved fuel efficiency. U.S. EPA numbers are not yet available; however, in the EU test cycle the new ActiveHybrid 7 yields efficiency gains of 14 percent over the new 740Li which itself sees an improvement over its predecessor.
A host of innovative features enhance the car’s dynamics and ensure optimum efficiency of the hybrid drive system. For example, the electric motor provides an extra 155 lb-ft of torque through the boost function if the driver should need a quick sprint or to call on strong mid-range acceleration. ECO PRO mode, with coasting function and proactive analysis, prepares the drive system in advance for upcoming situations on the road. Brake Energy Regeneration and the Hybrid Start-Stop system also work together to maximize overall efficiency.
The 2013 BMW ActiveHybrid 7 can also run purely on electric power. If the hybrid battery has sufficient charge and the driver goes easy on the accelerator, the car can cover a distance of up to 2.5 miles almost silently and without producing any tailpipe emissions. The top speed on electric power alone is 37 mph.
The new ActiveHybrid 7 will be available in the U.S. as a long-wheelbase model only.
All new BMW 7 Series models come equipped with Auto Start-Stop which can cut fuel consumption by up to six percent as well as Brake Energy Regeneration. Generally the battery is only recharged when the driver is off the throttle, for example, when coasting or under braking. Driving Dynamics Control in the new 7 now includes ECO PRO mode which modifies the powertrain management as well as the programming of the heating and air conditioning, heated seats and exterior mirror heating to operate with optimum efficiency. It also offers tips for an efficient driving style. According to BMW, ECO PRO can reduce fuel consumption by as much as 20 percent.