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BMW Concept 7 Series ActiveHybrid
BMW hybrid uses a 400HP twin turbo gasoline engine

The typical hybrid vehicle is a car that would have been considered an economy car even before the hybrid technology was added. The Toyota Prius is the best example of a hybrid vehicle available today.

Some drivers want a hybrid, but don’t want to own a small and not-so-luxurious car like the Prius. For this type of more affluent buyer, many luxury carmakers are starting to add hybrid vehicles to the fleet of available vehicles.

BMW recently announced the world debut of its Concept 7 Series ActiveHybrid to appease these buyers. BMW says that its hybrid system offers the first use of BMW ActiveHybrid technology in the luxury saloon segment. BMW promises that its hybrid system reduces fuel consumption and emissions by 15% when compared to the same car without the hybrid system.

The hybrid drive train uses a V8 gasoline engine with twin turbos and high precision injection. Maximum power from the engine is 407-horsepower with peak torque of 442 lb-ft. The hybrid system utilizes an electric motor housed in the transmission that produces 20-horsepower and has 155 lb-ft of torque. The electric motor boosts the gasoline motor during acceleration.

BMW's hybrid system also uses Brake Energy Regeneration. The battery used in the system is a high-performance lithium-ion unit that is integrated into the luggage compartment. Unlike the hybrid system Mercedes uses on its luxury car, the BMW system does allow the engine to be stopped automatically during idle mode.

The BMW and Mercedes hybrid systems sound similar on paper, both boost fuel economy by aiding in acceleration. The Mercedes system uses a small battery that stores under the hood, whereas the BMW system uses a trunk mounted battery. That fact could make the Mercedes hybrid more appealing to some users who place a premium on trunk space.

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20hp electric motor?
By DLeRium on 9/22/08, Rating: 0
RE: 20hp electric motor?
By Jimbo1234 on 9/22/2008 1:46:30 PM , Rating: 5
Torque is what accelerates a vehicle. The electric motor produces 155 ft-lb which is more than the output of many 4 cylinder engines.

RE: 20hp electric motor?
By silversound on 9/22/2008 1:52:17 PM , Rating: 1
BMW cars are always somewhat cheaper than the MB in the same class but faster. But not for the 7 series and the S-class, although 7 provided more power in similar price range, but their exterior and interior styling still need lots of improvements, just look at Lexus's interior, like wow...

RE: 20hp electric motor?
By HinderedHindsight on 9/22/2008 2:50:44 PM , Rating: 2
I've never been a fan of Lexus, they've always seemed rather bland as far as exterior styling. I've always preferred BMW in the luxury segment for body styles.

I'm with you on the interiors, though, Lexus does a great job there.

RE: 20hp electric motor?
By mezman on 9/22/2008 2:53:42 PM , Rating: 5
BMW is a driver's car. MB and Lexus are passenger cars.

RE: 20hp electric motor?
By sxr7171 on 9/22/2008 7:01:39 PM , Rating: 1
Amen. The only people who mention the three in the same breath are the ones who only know the status associated with ownership of these vehicles. They are not drivers, they are poseurs.

What's the cheapest way to show the world I have a luxury car? I'd buy a 1-series BMW over any Lexus especially the LS even if both were offered for free (and resale is not permitted).

RE: 20hp electric motor?
By SiN on 9/23/2008 1:14:37 PM , Rating: 1
1-series are shit. lackluster. crap. a Golf is way better, it outperforms a 1-series anyday. with the 1-series your buying the badge, which was exactly the point of the car. (sorry if anyone has one and takes offence but it is true).

RE: 20hp electric motor?
By sxr7171 on 9/22/2008 7:02:34 PM , Rating: 2
Amen. The only people who mention the three in the same breath are the ones who only know the status associated with ownership of these vehicles. They are not drivers, they are poseurs.

I'd take a 1-series BMW over any Lexus especially the LS even if both were offered for free (and resale is not permitted).

RE: 20hp electric motor?
By Spuke on 9/22/2008 7:06:44 PM , Rating: 2
I'm a sports car guy so Lexus and Mercedes don't even register with me although I do appreciate them for what they are. You'll never see either in my garage (unless they start making sports cars).

RE: 20hp electric motor?
By Calin on 9/23/2008 10:19:13 AM , Rating: 2
RE: 20hp electric motor?
By foolsgambit11 on 9/23/2008 12:22:11 PM , Rating: 2
Really? The McLaren was obviously not the kind of 'sports car' he was talking about. Price and production quantities put it way out of the realm of somebody looking at BMWs. Waaaaayyyyy out.

RE: 20hp electric motor?
By Spuke on 9/23/2008 1:06:23 PM , Rating: 2
Gambit is correct. I'm not talking about exotics but cars that regular people can own. Besides, the SLR is saddled with a traditional 5 speed auto. A 5 speed auto!!!! Not a DSG, PDK, or any other type of auto clutch or even a standard manual! Only people like Paris Hilton would consider a car like that.

RE: 20hp electric motor?
By chrnochime on 9/22/2008 7:24:59 PM , Rating: 2
Please. Anything larger than a 5 series cannot ever be defined as a drivers car. That's like saying a 760il is a drivers car. It's meant for chauffeuring people around.

RE: 20hp electric motor?
By chrnochime on 9/22/2008 7:33:57 PM , Rating: 2
760Li not 760il.

RE: 20hp electric motor?
By Totally on 9/23/2008 1:13:28 PM , Rating: 2
Ahem, the 6 series is definitely a drivers car.

RE: 20hp electric motor?
By SiN on 9/23/2008 1:20:16 PM , Rating: 2
I drive a BMW 3 series. It makes my balls tingle and i get silly with the accelorator pedal. But there are some areas where MB outstripp a BMW, and are way better than what BMW has on offer - driving pleasure, handling, agility, acceloration, response. Test drive an AMG or Brabus Bullet if thats what it takes to see the ignorance in your post.

problem is MB has a bad image rep with "old mans car". Mainly because its by the time you get old you can afford a good one.

RE: 20hp electric motor?
By Sulphademus on 9/22/2008 2:44:48 PM , Rating: 3
442 foot pounds (150+ from the electric) will move a 5000lb vehicle with no problems at all.

Should also add to the article that putting the battery in the rear probably helps maintain the F/R weight balance.

RE: 20hp electric motor?
By jabber on 9/22/2008 6:29:14 PM , Rating: 2
To put things into perspective to keep a standard car chugging along at 60mph you only need around 8HP.

RE: 20hp electric motor?
By mmcdonalataocdotgov on 9/23/2008 2:55:26 PM , Rating: 2
Honda tried this with the Accord, and it failed. I don't think people can think performance and hybrid at the same time, even now. Honda ended up pulling the Accord Hybrid off the market. The performance gains are a wash when compared with the same model without the weight of the hybrid system, plus they don't feel sporty with the extra 400 - 600 lbs.

RE: 20hp electric motor?
By Spuke on 9/23/2008 3:57:25 PM , Rating: 2
I guess this why the Lexus LS600h failed. <sarcasm>

By vapore0n on 9/22/2008 2:25:36 PM , Rating: 5
We need to redefine the term hybrid somehow.

something like: 50% gas, 50% electric, with 40% more gas economy vs its all gas counterpart.

Lots of companies throwing the hybrid term around when gas economy difference does not warrant the term.

This car should be called battery assisted

RE: meh
By ebakke on 9/22/2008 2:56:25 PM , Rating: 5
Or better yet, it should be called what it is:
A marketing gimmick for the uber-wealthy who want to pretend they care about the environment.

Seriously, it's a 7-series!

RE: meh
By FITCamaro on 9/22/2008 4:14:40 PM , Rating: 2
Exactly. The "hybrid" portion of the car here is more to improve performance than it is to increase fuel efficiency. Same with the high end Lexus hybrid.

RE: meh
By Suntan on 9/23/2008 12:03:36 PM , Rating: 2
What's wrong with that?


RE: meh
By Xavitar on 9/28/2008 2:19:50 AM , Rating: 2
It's called a hybrid because that's exactly what it is; a car with a hybrid drive train. If people buy it to feel good about themselves, so be it. That makes them idiots, but if I worry about all the idiots in this country, let alone the world... Well... I'd have less time for more prudent uses of my time, like commenting on this blog.

I am excited about the prospects of more performance-oriented hybrid models. The high torque of electric motors makes them ideal for pairing with a highly-tuned turbo ICE. I just wish that BMW had put this drive train or some variant in an M3 instead of that stupid boat of a 7-series. That would have been more compelling.

RE: meh
By pauldovi on 9/22/08, Rating: -1
RE: meh
By vapore0n on 9/22/2008 10:07:18 PM , Rating: 2
Here come the text book purists.

You know I made the comment about suggesting a redefinition of the word, for the automotive industry specifically(since that's what the topic is about). This word is being thrown around to state a fuel efficient car, something this car is not. Its more like a gimmick like mentioned before. Give you points for taking the dictionary out though.

You should read my post again, maybe some reading comprehension will help you out before making "retarded comments"

RE: meh
By Spuke on 9/23/2008 1:24:15 PM , Rating: 2
Only on DT can you get rated down for being right. Hybrid is already defined properly. Why confuse it with some BS PR marketing name? Since you suggest some reading comprehension, I invite you to do the same by doing some research BEFORE you buy a vehicle to make sure it meets your needs.

RE: meh
By fibreoptik on 9/23/2008 9:11:17 AM , Rating: 2
Precisely what I was thinking. Not only is BMW going to ride the hybrid pony to the bank on this, the rich bastards that couldn't give less of a fck about the environment or the future in general will get to blah blah blah about their "hybrid" vehicle to all their a-hole friends at the country club/marina/supper club.

I also find it very amusing that so many people keep rattling off the BMW marketing BS of "built for driving/cars for drivers" etc. when the majority of them (including the 7-series) are simply gas guzzling, luxury/salon tanks. The Roadsters and the M series are the only ones that genuinely seem to have "driving" in mind.

And every single last one of them are OVERPRICED. "Hybrid" or not.

RE: meh
By Spuke on 9/23/2008 2:03:03 PM , Rating: 2
They're ALL too heavy with the exception of the roadster. They're more GT cars than sports cars which is what their owners seem to prefer nowadays. And at 3700 lbs, the new M3 is NOT impressive at all. I'd rather have a 135i, a Vishnu Stage 1 kit, a set of Moton coilovers, and some sticky tires.

Renerative braking.....
By pauldovi on 9/22/2008 2:03:36 PM , Rating: 2
This car braking at normal rates will generate hundreds of HP. How does BMW plan on capture any significant amount of that with a 20HP motor?

This concept will save the most energy when idling at a red light, where it can run the AC / accessories without the ICE.

RE: Renerative braking.....
By Nik00117 on 9/22/2008 3:04:14 PM , Rating: 2
BMW wasn't trying to add a lot more HP but torque. Torque is what get those cars going. This would I imagine decrease the 0-60 times. 7 series aren't exactly fast acclearting cars. So this torpue is prob meant to help it out. Also it seems like this is only really meant for stopping and going. Which is where the 15% better gas mileage comes into play. YOu have to understand the 20 HP is prob just a side affect of a torquey engine. When poeple talk about 0-60 times most important factor engine wise is torque not HP is for top speed.

RE: Renerative braking.....
By pauldovi on 9/22/2008 4:16:56 PM , Rating: 2
Torque * RPM is acceleration.... not just torque. Torque at low RPM (i.e. an electric motor) is not as useless as torque at high rpm.

Regardless... your comments have nothing to do with mine. I was specifically referring to the capturing of energy during braking by the electric motor. This vehicle will generate hundreds of HP during braking... how do you plan to capture it with a 20HP motor?

RE: Renerative braking.....
By Jimbo1234 on 9/22/2008 11:58:08 PM , Rating: 3
No car will capture all the power in regenerative braking. It would not be feasible in such a small vehicle. That's why they still have friction bakes. If you look at acceleration numbers, 60-0 times / distances are much much shorter than 0-60 (substitute 60 with whatever number you want). If I recall correctly, a 911 Turbo has near 500 HP to propel it, but dissipates somewhere between 1000-1500 HP when braking at full capacity.

I used to work for a mining truck OEM. Our 170-330 ton (payload) models were essentially series hybrids, like a railroad locomotive. A 2700HP diesel engine was connected to a traction alternator. This then provided power to the electric wheel motors.

The beauty of the system was that the electronics could handle 7000HP. Therefore the electric motor could easily bring the 1+ million pound vehicle to a complete stop but still had friction brakes in case of an emergency. Some mines took it one step further and used a trolley system to recover power. Fully loaded trucks going downhill put power into the grid when braking to send energy to empty trucks going uphill.

RE: Renerative braking.....
By randomly on 9/23/2008 9:58:43 AM , Rating: 2
The electric motor is probably rated 20HP continuous duty. It will probably be able to handle 5x-8x that power on an intermittent basis such as braking.

RE: Renerative braking.....
By Calin on 9/23/2008 10:23:19 AM , Rating: 2
They also have a small battery, to keep weight down (as the battery will only be used when accelerating with the main engine at low rpm). As such, there's no need for a big generator.

By Oregonian2 on 9/22/2008 1:37:20 PM , Rating: 4
BMW promises that its hybrid system reduces fuel economy and emissions by 15% when compared to the same car without the hybrid system.

Why add all that expense just to reduce fuel economy? Just put a small hole in the fuel tank to drip the 15% while one drives (in a safe way somehow).

Need some editing perhaps?

RE: Why?
By Jimbo1234 on 9/22/2008 1:44:12 PM , Rating: 2
Yeah, I took a second look at that too.

Also if you are writing an article for U.S. readers, you need to write "sedan." A saloon is where you go to drink. Now do we really want a saloon on wheels?

RE: Why?
By Digimonkey on 9/22/2008 2:26:46 PM , Rating: 4
A bar that comes and picks you up, then drops you off at home again when you're done drinking...brilliant!

If you can afford this car...
By fibreoptik on 9/23/2008 9:16:44 AM , Rating: 2
Please do us ALL a favor and just buy one of these instead:

It will be cheaper, just as fun and the ladies will find it sexier looking. And it's ALL electric.

Eat it BMW. You suck!

By Runiteshark on 9/23/2008 11:01:56 AM , Rating: 2

RE: If you can afford this car...
By Spuke on 9/23/2008 2:11:06 PM , Rating: 2
And while you're tethered to your house (range of 220 miles and good luck getting it...ask the owners), I'll be driving to Phoenix and back in the Bimmer.

RE: If you can afford this car...
By FITCamaro on 9/23/2008 4:03:39 PM , Rating: 2
I'd rather buy a Vette, spend half as much, and be faster than both. Can drive it far farther and longer as well.

RE: If you can afford this car...
By Spuke on 9/23/2008 6:48:27 PM , Rating: 2
You're comparing a sports car with a sedan in two different price ranges with two different customers. Hell, if you're going to do that, I say buy a Solstice, install the compressor wheel from an Audi RS6 into the Solstice's factory turbo and have 400 OEM hp in a 2900 lb car. Swap to a set of stickier tires and you have a vette killer (300 lb weight advantage with the same hp) for $15,000 (mods included) less than a vette. If we're going to be silly here.

By thesid on 9/22/2008 2:23:40 PM , Rating: 2
I can save 15% by just driving with an egg between the pedals and my legs
and omg.. on a V8 twin turbo whats the point

RE: 15%
By ernhamDjinn on 9/22/2008 4:10:24 PM , Rating: 2
I'm with you on this point. We need full-electric vehicles or at least cars that drastically reduce fuel consumption. 15% reduction is a nice effort but in this day and age it feels like too little, too late. Not sure whoever buys this car actually cares about fuel economy in the first place, would be nice to see 3-series hybrids instead.

RE: 15%
By Spuke on 9/22/2008 4:50:57 PM , Rating: 2
15% reduction is a nice effort but in this day and age it feels like too little, too late.
In order to get to Phoenix, you have to go through Blythe.

RE: 15%
By Jimbo1234 on 9/22/2008 11:45:02 PM , Rating: 2
Another way to look at it is like compound interest. I wouldn't mind making 15% gains each time I invested.

Uhhhh... V8 Hybrid???
By rudolphna on 9/23/2008 12:09:12 AM , Rating: 2
Really doesnt make sense to have V8 engine... and Hybrid mentioned in the same sentence. Seems kinda dumb, to have a 400HP or something V8, in a hybrid, with a 20HP motor. Just seems dumb to me.... /shrug buuuut what do I know?

RE: Uhhhh... V8 Hybrid???
By Choppedliver on 9/23/2008 12:50:16 AM , Rating: 4
I'll have a diet drink with my super sized meal whopper. Im on a diet.

diet coke = electric motor
double whopper and fries = big ass car with a big ass v8.

RE: Uhhhh... V8 Hybrid???
By Spuke on 9/23/2008 2:06:30 PM , Rating: 2
I'll have a diet drink with my super sized meal whopper. Im on a diet.
Except this car isn't on a diet and using the electric powertrain to boost power as well as fuel efficiency. If you can have V12 power at V8 gas mileage, I say do it.

Why go petrol at all when you can go alternative
By fcx56 on 9/23/2008 1:56:49 AM , Rating: 2
Who really believes that hybrid electric/petrol combinations are the future anyway? It will take some time for the current infrastructure to be replaced, unfortunately no one has even started yet so it'll take even longer! Nice diversion from the real goal with government subsidized E85 (what a joke), and don't get me started with the environmental impact of ANY hybrid in production (I'd rather just drive the supercar than make the same carbon footprint at a blistering 10.5s 0-60..) Let's all give a hand to the Hydrogen7, truly a forward-looking car. Even though there are few hydrogen stations, cars like this that burn both petrol and hydrogen on the same engine at the push of a button would allow us ample opportunity to upgrade infrastructure instead of maintaining the status-quo. If I want 50+ MPG from conventional fuel I'll ask for clean diesel.. wait, botched another one there...

By fibreoptik on 9/23/2008 9:13:16 AM , Rating: 2
Hehe... he said "petrol" :)

By randomly on 9/23/2008 9:54:08 AM , Rating: 2
Because petrol has some overwhelming advantages over any alternative energy systems currently available. It has a very high energy density, it's easily contained with in a cheap tank, can be refilled in minutes, and the vast infrastructure for distributed refueling is already in place and available everywhere.

Hydrogen will almost certainly never replace petrol as a passenger car fuel. Even projecting advances in hydrogen fuel cell vehicles for the next 15 years it will still be less efficient well to wheels than a diesel hybrid. This is with both fuel sources derived from petroleum.

If you use any other production process than reforming natural gas to hydrogen the overall efficiency of hydrogen gets much worse, dropping to something like 25%-30% of an electric vehicle.

Hydrogen storage and transportation are inefficient and relatively expensive (it takes 20 hydrogen tanker trucks to transport the equivalent fuel capacity as one tanker truck of gasoline). There is also ZERO hydrogen refueling infrastructure which would be very expensive to build.

Petrol is here to stay for a long time.

I agree with you that E85 is a joke, a very expensive joke. Corn derived ethanol fuel takes as much or more petroleum to produce as it replaces so there is no advantage at all. It just greatly increases food prices, degrades the farm land for no benefit, adds to the fertilizer/insecticide runoffs in the water sheds, and costs the tax payers billions.

But it does provide 45% of the yearly profits to the Archer-Daniels Midland corporation in the form of corn ethanol subsidies, something in excess of $4 Billion dollars a year. They have to be able to pay their lobbyists somehow I guess.

By FITCamaro on 9/23/2008 4:01:57 PM , Rating: 2
I'm in favor of using algae to "grow" ourselves diesel. Zero net emissions. Fun to drive diesels forever. And no change to our existing infrastructure. Mileage can still be improved over time as well.

By Dribble on 9/23/2008 5:05:42 AM , Rating: 2
Always amuses me that they are putting these fuel efficiency improvements into such expensive cars. Surely no one who spends that much money on a car is really that worried about petrol costs? Saving a few dollars on petrol won't even register against the money you are loosing due to depreciation on a car like that.

It's normal people that need this sort of money saving tech not the uber rich.

By Jimbo1234 on 9/23/2008 2:11:14 PM , Rating: 2
Three words: Development cost recovery. People who buy this car do not care about depreciation. The latest and greatest technology gets purchased by early adopters on expensive toys before it trickles down to average Joe items.

By Spuke on 9/23/2008 2:23:54 PM , Rating: 2
Surely no one who spends that much money on a car is really that worried about petrol costs?
Those people expect cutting edge tech in these cars. That's what they're paying for. They are interested in driving $100k Camry's. They want the best car tech available. It only makes sense that hybrid drivetrains end up in these cars. I'm surprised it didn't start there first.

By Spuke on 9/23/2008 2:24:39 PM , Rating: 2
They AREN'T interested in $100k Camry's. <Sigh>

By ezinner on 9/23/2008 1:35:27 AM , Rating: 2
This is a great concept. The Prius never made much sense because you are taking an economy sub-compact and charging a premium for a car with old battery technology that gets worse mileage than cars used to before stricter emission and safety standards.

This 7 series is for people who can afford luxury and performance. Even if you can afford paying for gas, what is wrong with efficiency? Nobody wants a gas guzzler, just great performance.

Think of this as a transition period. The future is in transportation that uses no fossil fuels, period. Not even in production, delivery or in harnessing energy!
Weren't you excited about your newer chipset that supported DDR2 or DDR3? A cpu with a faster FSB? Sometimes the gains are only 10%-15%, but at lower wattage consumption!

By FITCamaro on 9/23/2008 7:38:16 AM , Rating: 3
There's nothing great about this car. It's just an attempt to look like BMW cares about the environment. Same as with their car that will run on hydrogen. No ones ever going to run it on hydrogen because you can't get it anywhere.

It's mileage still probably sucks.

By Spuke on 9/23/2008 2:20:54 PM , Rating: 2
There's nothing great about this car.
It'll definitely help their overall fuel economy with CAFE but that's about it. Gas mileage will improve to about 15/23 but you're losing 31 hp and 2 lb-ft compared to the current V12 (which I assume they're replacing). Honestly, they could've achieved the same mileage improvement and saved some weight by adding Direct Injection instead. Look at the new Lamborghini Gallardo LP560-4 as an example. It matches this cars mileage but with 552hp.

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