Wednesday, August 12, 2009

BMW 7 Series and X6 Hybrids Focus on Performance rather than Fuel Economy

BMW has released the full scoop on its long anticipated pair of ActiveHybrids. Both the X6 and 7 Series hybrids use the 4.4 liter twin-turbo V8 as the basis of the hybrid system. The X6 is a dual mode hybrid using technology developed with GM, Chrysler and Mercedes-Benz, used on vehicles such as the Chevy Tahoe Hybrid. The X6 uses two electric motors which combined with the turbo V8 results in 480 total horsepower and a huge amount of torque, 575 lb-ft to be exact. The 7 series uses a simpler hybrid system that places a smaller 20 horsepower electric motor between the V8 and a new 8 speed automatic transmission. Of note is the fact that the turbo V8 is good for 440 horsepower in ActiveHybrid 7, which is more than in the regular 750i. The combined maximum horsepower of the Active Hybrid 7 is 455 hp and 516 lb-ft of torque. BMW quotes a 0-60 time of 4.8 seconds for the Active 7 and 5.4 seconds for the X6 hybrid, this makes the Active 7 3/10th quicker than the 750i while the ActiveHybrid X6 trails the X6 xdrive50i by a tenth. On the other hand, BMW expect the ActiveHybrid X6 to get 20% better fuel economy than the 50i while the ActiveHybrid 7 only manages 15% better than 750i. Using simple arithmetic one would expect that the Active 7 might get an EPA rating of 17/25 compared to the 750i's 15/22. Same type of math results in the ActiveHybrid X6 possibly being rated @ 16/22 compared to 13/18 of the regular version. Official EPA numbers and prices are expected to be released later in the year.

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