For months, we were lead to believe that the hybrid technology used in the BMW ActiveHybrid 7 and X6 Hybrid are identical. To our surprise, based on the press releases issued  yesterday, we learned that the two bimmer hybrids are actually using different technologies.

BMW ActiveHybrid 7

The ActiveHybrid 7 uses a different electric drive setup from the X6 Hybrid and it’s being considered a mild hybrid. The system was developed in collaboration with Mercedes Benz. The upgraded V8 twin-turbo with High Precision Direct Injection runs together, at the same time, with a 3-phase synchronous electric motor which is positioned between the engine and the torque converter. The electric motor generates approximately 20 hp and peak torque of 155 lb-ft.

The “pumped up” V8 twin-turbo engine produces 40 horsepower more than the engine found in the 750i/Li models to a total of 400 horsepower. The overall combined output is being advertised at 455 horsepower and 516 lb-ft of torque. The BMW ActiveHybrid 7 accelerates to 60 mph in 4.8 seconds (preliminary), while delivering fuel economy approximately 15% better than the 750i.


Top speed of BMW ActiveHybrid 7 is electronically limited to 150 mph.

BMW ActiveHybrid X6

BMW ActiveHybrid X6 features a two-mode hybrid system which allows the X6 to run 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%.

Top speed of X6 Hybrid is electronically limited to 130 mph.

Another difference between these two hybrids lies in the batteries used to accomplish the tasks. The ActiveHybrid 7 uses a lithium-ion battery pack supplying 120 volts.  A nickel-metal hydrid technology (NiMH) battery pack is featured in the BMW ActiveHybrid X6 with a total capacity of 2.4 kWh. Liquid cooling is used for even greater performance on the NiMH battery.

Liquid cooling for even greater performance on the high-performance battery pack.
The high-voltage, nickel-metal hydrid technology (NiMH) battery pack featured in the BMW ActiveHybrid X6 has a total capacity of 2.4 kWh, with 1.4 kWh available nominally. Maximum output is 57 kW, with the battery’s control unit constantly determining the output level currently available as well as the charge status of the battery.

The 7 Series Hybrid has the drive power transmitted via an 8-Speed automatic transmission, while the X6 Hybrid uses a 7-Speed automatic transmission.

Several key differences between the two cars and it will be interesting to see which one of the two hybrids will the BMW fans prefer.