BMW unveils high-power hybrids

* X6 and 7 Series hybrids * V8 petrol engines * Not UK-bound...

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What Car? Staff
13 August 2009

BMW unveils high-power hybrids

BMW has built the world's most powerful hybrid car.

The all-new BMW ActiveHybrid X6 and ActiveHybrid 7 have the kind of power and acceleration that you'd normally associate with performance cars.

Each has a turbocharged V8 petrol engine, combined with an electric motor to provide over 450bhp and a 0-62mph time of less than six seconds.

Active Hybrid X6
The ActiveHybrid X6 has a 4.4-litre V8 twin-turbo petrol with 401bhp, that works in tandem with two electric motors, producing 91bhp and 85bhp.

BMW says the ActiveHybrid X6 is the most powerful hybrid vehicle in the world, with all three motors producing a combined maximum of 478bhp.

A brake energy regeneration system helps the engine work as efficiently as possible, while the ActiveHybrid X6 can run using electric power alone at up to 37mph.

BMW ActiveHybrid X6 vital statistics
• Acceleration: 0-100mph - 5.6 seconds
• CO2 emissions: 231g/km
• Average fuel consumption: 28.5mpg

Bespoke badges, alloy wheels and a 'powerdome' bulge on the bonnet distinguish the ActiveHybrid from other X6 models and dashboard displays indicate the status of the hybrid system.

ActiveHybrid 7
Dubbed a 'light hybrid' by BMW, The 7 Series-based ActiveHybrid 7 uses some of the same technology as the ActiveHybrid X6. It too has a twin-turbo 4.4-litre V8 petrol, but with a maximum of 443bhp and just one electric motor, which produces up to 27bhp for a combined total of 459bhp.

The ActiveHybrid 7 uses a conventional eight-speed automatic gearbox, whereas the ActiveHybrid X6 has a continuously variable transmission. The ActiveHybrid 7 also has an engine stop/start system.

BMW ActiveHybrid 7 vital statistics
• Acceleration: 0-100mph - 4.9 seconds
• CO2 emissions: 219g/km
• Average fuel consumption: 29.1mpg

As with the ActiveHybrid X6, special badges, alloy wheels and instrument displays set the ActiveHybrid 7 apart from other 7 Series models. Standard and long-wheelbase models will be available.

There are no plans to bring either model to the UK, because BMW says there's no compelling business case for converting the models to right-hand drive while the market for such cars is dominated by high-powered diesels.

Both cars will be displayed at the Frankfurt motor show in September.