The sleek and luxurious new 2011 BMW Active Hybrid 7 is one of the newest examples of what BMW calls Efficient Dynamics.
The Active Hybrid system blends an upgraded version of BMW’s 4.4-liter twinturbo direct-injection V-8 gasoline engine and the latest eight-speed automatic transmission with an electric motor powered by the new lithium-ion battery technology. The combination results in a 0-60 mph clocking in an eye-popping 4.7 seconds, making it the fastest hybrid-powered automobile in the world. It also delivers 17/24 mpg in fuel economy, which is not bad for a big luxury sedan.
The upgraded twin-turbo, High Precision Direct Injection V-8 engine with a threephase synchronous electric motor gives the Active Hybrid 7 a combined output of 455 hp and a maximum of 515 pounds-feet of torque. Power is transmitted through an eight-speed automatic transmission, with the electric motor positioned between the engine and the torque converter. This electric motor receives its supply of energy from a lithium-ion battery developed specifically for the vehicle. Both power sources are precisely controlled in their interaction and maximize the efficiency and performance of the car. It is an exhilarating driving experience.
The Active Hybrid 7 is the first BMW to come with an automatic transmission that has the Auto-Start-Stop technology that shuts down the gas engine when the car is stopped (at a red light, for example). It also has an air conditioning and ventilation system that remains fully operational even when the vehicle is stopped and the engine is shut down, the power supplied directly through the 120-volt, on-board network powered by the lithium-ion battery.
On the inside, special displays in the instrument cluster and the Central Display inform the driver and passengers of the degree of efficiency and the current operating status of the hybrid components.
The sleek and stylish Active Hybrid 7 is distinguished from the BMW 750i by aerodynamic 10-spoke 19-inch light-alloy Aero wheels and badging on the trunk lid, C-pillars and on the door cutouts. The Active Hybrid 7 also is available in a special Bluewater Metallic exterior color.
Like other BMW 7 Series models, the Active Hybrid model is available in two body variations — standard wheelbase and long wheelbase. The extended version has a 5.5-inch longer wheelbase, all devoted to more legroom and comfort for rear-seat passengers. Both models are equipped with a high level of standard equipment, and a wide range of options also is available.
Pricing on the 2011 BMWActive Hybrid 7 starts at $103,175 for standard wheelbase model and $107,075 for long wheelbase version, both including an $875 destination and handling charge.
Ron Beasley is the automotive editor for Miami’s Community Newspapers. He may be contacted by calling 305-662-2277, ext. 261, or by addressing email correspondence to LetsTalkCars@aol.com.