BMW ActiveHybrid 7

The new ActiveHybrid 7 is part of BMW‘s new line of hybrid cars. Unlike the more complex dual-mode system in the ActiveHybrid X6, the 7’s system is designed to get the most from hybrid technology’s ecological and fuel economy advantages while reducing the power, weight, and space penalties of more complex systems.

BMW ActiveHybrid 7

BMW ActiveHybrid 7

As a result, the car is only 165lbs heavier than a normally equipped 7, and the lithium ion battery takes up only 1.4 cubic feet of trunk space. However, this limits the system’s electric capabilities. While the X6 has two large motors that can push the car on electric power alone at low speeds, the 7 makes due with a single small motor and cannot move without using the gas engine.

The gas engine runs when the car is first started, allowing start-stop mode only once the car has moved. The switch between regenerative and friction braking is seamless, something rarely seen in even the best hybrids. When this happens, the tach turns blue, indicating power regeneration instead of revs.

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