For the past several years, BMW and Daimler have been working closely on the new two-mode hybrid system that was recently unveiled in the new ActiveHybrid 6. The partnership consisted of sharing costs and technologies that could help the two companies develop one of the best hybrids out there.
But last month, ahead of the BMW hybrids unveiling, the German magazine Auto Motor und Sport cited a BMW spokesperson who mentions a possible “break-up” between the two brands. One of the reasons mentioned, which we still classify it as a rumor, is that BMW is currently holding talks with other car makers as well who might yield a better solution for the Munich based automaker.
AMS states that Daimler has no interest in seeing this partnership dissolved and they would like to continue since the cost savings are significant. While the two-mode hybrid is only used, so far, by BMW in the X6, Mercedes-Benz will feature it in their S400 and ML450 models.
There is also another partnership between BMW, MB and Continental which involves the mild-hybrid technology seen in the 7 Hybrid and current S-Class models.
Same as BMW, Daimler is also working on a full-electric vehicle in the future, but at this moment, the “green” comes from the hybrid models.
The two-mode hybrid technology is quite remarkable. The system featured in the X6 runs either on its electric motors alone at low speeds, internal combustion or a combination of both. Compared to the 7 Hybrid, the X6 makes use of not one, but two electric motors which deliver 91 hp and 86 hp, respectively, with peak torque values of 192 lb-ft and 206 lb-ft. Top speed in the electric mode is 37 mph, maximum range is 1.6 miles.
The maximum output is 480 horsepower and 575 lb-ft of torque, enough to be crowned as the most powerful hybrid vehicle ever offered for sale. The ActiveHybrid X6 runs from 0 to 60 mph in only 5.4 seconds and still increases efficiency by 20%.
Will the two giant premium automakers part ways? Time will tell, but for now, we’re very anxious to drive the most powerful hybrid in the world.