World’s Most Powerful Hybrids: the X6 and 7 Series from BMW

August 13th, 2009

2010_bmw_activehybrid_x6-smAnd the ugliest (X6). Well, the idea is to give the well-heeled, socially conscious hot shoes some bragging rights. “Look, Mary, if you don’t like it, you can take the Escalade. This car gets 8 mpg better than last year’s V8 model, even if it looks like a warthog.” warthog2I’m guessing the price (not yet announced) will be in the upper $80s, and folks who want to pay for this unique blend of performance, tech, and modest efficiency will be few and far between.

After all, the present X6 M, with all-wheel drive and 555 hp, uses the same twin-turbo V8, performs even better, and gets 17 mpg. I wonder how many of those have been sold.

The ActiveHybrids have so much new and complicated technology that the company saw fit to issue a 4,000-word press release on the X6 alone. We cut to the chase (per AutoSpies):

The X6 uses two electric motors which combined with the turbo V8 results in 480 total horsepower and a huge amount of torque, 575 lb-ft to be exact. The 7 series uses a simpler hybrid system that places a smaller 20 horsepower electric motor between the V8 and a new 8 speed automatic transmission.

2010_bmw_activehybrid_7_press_mainBoth cars can really step out, despite the fact that the X6 weighs over 5,300 pounds. Still, the 6 will hit 60 mph in 5.4 seconds (4.8 seconds for the 7 Series). The looks of the ActiveHybrid 7 Series remain similar to the present 750il, it appears.

Sales of the hybrid 7 Series will begin in Spring 2010; the U.S. version of the hybrid X6 will be available late this year. Both can be seen at the Frankfurt show in September. Look for long lines of interested nonbuyers.

Does all this heavy-duty technology appeal to you? Is moving 5,300 pounds around the test track fun?

—jgoods

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