Car and Driver: 2011 BMW ActiveHybrid 750Li Short Road Test

7 Series | March 29th, 2011 by 1
2010 bmw activehybrid 7 12 cd gallery zoomed 750x500

In 2009, BMW broke the stereotype and launched an upscale variant of the new 7 Series. The first 7 Series Hybrid was labeled ActiveHybrid 750 and is considered a full size luxury performance vehicle with green aura around it.

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 4.5 seconds, while delivering fuel economy approximately 15% better than the 750i.

2010 bmw activehybrid 7 12 cd gallery zoomed 655x400The 7 Series Hybrid has the drive power transmitted via an 8-Speed automatic transmission and has a top speed electronically limited to 150 mph.The ActiveHybrid 7 uses a lithium-ion battery pack supplying 120 volts.

The folks over at Car and Driver decided to refresh our memory of the 7er Hybrid with a short road test. Let’s have a look.

“In our testing, the 750Li ActiveHybrid went from 0 to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds and through the quarter-mile in 12.8 at 112 mph. That’s 0.7 second quicker to 60 and 0.9 quicker through the quarter than the last non-hybrid 750Li to wear our test gear. More (un)importantly, it’s 0.9 second quicker to 60 than the last LS600hL we tested. A brief blast around the high-speed oval confirms that the hybrid 7 rockets to its 147-mph governor without any of the lethargy commonly associated with hybrids. Later on, driving more like downtrodden suburban Americans, we saw 21 mpg.

So It’s Fast. Now Drive It Like a Hybrid

Okay, so you really care about the hybrid bits? This hybrid won’t glide about on electric power and smugness alone. You want motion, you’re going to have to choke the planet with the internal-combustion engine. There’s an electric motor sandwiched between the gas engine and the torque converter in the eight-speed automatic transmission. It contributes an additional 20 hp and 155 lb-ft—combined powertrain output is 455 hp and 515 lb-ft—and allows the engine to sit quiet at stops, as it powers the accessories. Although it isn’t a completely seamless stop and start, the transition doesn’t call attention to itself.

Our larger complaint is that, although the engine fires up as soon as you lift your foot from the brake, if you snooze at a light or are inching through a left-turn lane waiting for a break in traffic, a quick leap from brake to gas beats the re-ignition process and results in a herky jerk forward. However, if you plan on a quick dive for the gas, you can disable the stop/start feature by putting the shifter into Sport mode.”

Full review at Car and Driver