InsideLine drives the 2011 BMW ActiveHybrid 750i

7 Series | May 30th, 2010 by 5
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The folks over at InsideLine brings us a drive review of the new 2011 BMW ActiveHybrid 7. The 2011 BMW ActiveHybrid 7 follows the X6 Hybrid which became available recently at dealerships across the country. BMW’s first hybrid performance/luxury sedans will arrive in showrooms next month with a base MSRP of $103,125 including destination and handling for the ActiveHybrid 7 and $107,025 for the long wheelbase ActiveHybrid 7L.

The first production ready BMW hybrid 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.

Read on for a detailed review of the new 7 Hybrid.

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“Instead, the 2011 BMW ActiveHybrid 750i is kind of the ultimate version of the 7 Series. While it is true that the electrified 7 is still the big-boned kid in the 7 Series family, it carries its weight well.

The car packs 231 pounds extra compared to a 750i, but it’s also got 20 hp extra from the electric motor, not to mention an extra 155 pound-feet of torque in all the right places. On top of that, the twin-turbocharged V8 is another 40-hp healthier in hybrid trim. No matter how hard we push this behemoth down the road, we just can’t feel those extra pounds that come with the hybrid badges. There is, at times, just the faintest bob in the rear end over undulations, but then again, that might have simply been our stomachs trying to keep up with 4,795 pounds of Bavarian engineering.

German Cooking
The recipe we’re talking about here isn’t exactly as complicated as 11 herbs and spices. Unlike the BMW ActiveHybrid X6, with its two electric motors and complicated transmission, the ActiveHybrid 750i is a mild hybrid — a straightforward powertrain that simply stops and starts when the car comes to a rest. And there’s none of that silent running across the intersection on battery power (which is the thing that Prius owners love so much). The technology at work is no more mysterious than what General Motors has been doing with the Chevrolet Malibu hybrid and Saturn Vue hybrid.

Though, as you may expect, BMW’s execution on the 7 Series is different. And by that we mean, if this were a bake-off, the 2011 BMW ActiveHybrid 750i would be German chocolate cake made from scratch, while the Chevrolet Malibu hybrid comes out looking more like Betty Crocker from the box.”

Continued here