If there ever was a perfect case for the argument of forced competition, this is it. Just a few days after Mercedes-Benz announced that it was putting hybrid versions of its S-Class for sale, BMW retaliated by announcing it too had a hybrid version of its new flagship sedan en route to dealer showrooms.
Dubbed the 7-Series ActiveHybrid, this new version of BMW’s uber-sedan will be housed in an all-new genaration body, which debuted not too long ago. Powering the new 7-Series ActiveHybrid is a newly-developed drivetrain that combines BMW’s twin-turbocharged 4.4-liter V8 engine, delivering 407 horsepower and 442 pound-feet of torque, with an AC electric motor capable of serving up 20-hp and 155 lb-ft. BMW officials also say it returns 15 percent better fuel consumption than the new 750i.
As on the standard model, the 7-Series ActiveHybrid gets brake regeneration and stop/start systems which help take advantage of every last resource to improve economy. While this does leave a huge question mark on the future of the Hydrogen 7-Series, it serves as a reminder that sometimes companies are forced into competition, even when their original strategy calls for something different. A hybrid 7-Series only sees the gasoline engine being dragged on that much further.
Where have we seen this before? Oh yeah, it used to say "hydrogen" on the side of it. What happened to that?