BMW Hybrid Spotted in the Wild

There are numerous reports coming out of a BMW 7-Series hybrid having been spotted on German roadways with no camouflage to hide itself. Aesthetically, the only real difference between the gas-electric version and the standard production 7-Series is the presence of “Hybrid Vehicle” badging located just below the hood line. The car is being labeled as the 755ih, but this is purely an internet-generated model name at this stage.

“Though the model name has not been officially announced, this is a very real car,” BMW spokesperson, Matthew Russell, told Hybridcars.com. “As of right now, it is internally referred to as just the 7-Series Active Hybrid, and it’s due out some time early next year in the US.” The car will make its world debut at the Frankfurt International Auto Show later this fall.

A BMW Active Hybrid Concept was shown at last year’s Los Angeles Auto Show. That technology, though still under development, is being integrated into a chassis specific to the 7-series hybrid. The car’s powertrain will be comprised of a 407–horsepower 4.4-liter V8 engine and an AC electric motor that adds another 20 horses. Pricing and fuel economy are not yet available.

The preliminary specs make it clear that the 7-Series hybrid iteration will compete directly with the Mercedes Benz S400 Hybrid and other luxury hybrids from Lexus.

BMW will also be launching a hybrid X6 Sports Activity Coupe in late 2009. The X6 and 7-Series hybrids will provide BMW an entry into the premium hybrid market.


  • Charles

    What a great car. I can hardly wait to buy one. I hope BMW sells tens of these.

  • Samie

    Now that’s funny Charles :)

    Why is it that some of the luxury brands sell hybrid jokes. I see everyone yelling at GM but not as much w/ BMW or some other high-end car companies. The profit margins are through the roof on those brands despite the extra amenities you get. I would think with the padding coming from higher end pricing, some like BMW could take the chance with a pure EV or a Volt type vehicle. I hope new CAFE standards will not allow the BMW’s of the world to get away with the irresponsible behavior they enjoyed having for so many years. 407–horsepower 4.4-liter V8 engine is there something I’m missing here… Oh ya this is not the 1990′s. Please try harder….

  • sean t

    Not impressed.

  • simon@aus

    BMW believes in deisel, hydrogen – but not hybrid, that was my understanding.

  • qqRockyBeans

    Although I share Charles’ and Samie’s sentiments, I’m gonna hold out and wait to see what the actual fuel economy is

    Why couldn’t BMW, Toyota, and MBZ use six-cylinder engine with the electric motor instead of V8? Same with GM and their Tahoe hybrid: They should use the V6 and then electric motor, and the Escalade could keep the V8 (and also another way to differentiate the two)

    But yeah though, the Germans like their diesels, and for the price they’re probably going to charge, it should be a diesel hybrid

    They need to bring back their four-cylinder models in the US!!!!!!!! Less than five years ago you could get a four-cylinder Benz that could top 30 MPG!!!!!!!!!!

    Cars that are sold elsewhere that NEED to br brought over here ASAFP:
    Mercedes-Benz B-Class
    Mercedes-Benz C-Class four cylinder models, wagon, and diesel
    Mercedes-Benz S350

    BMW 1-series 4-cylinder, 4-door hatch, including the 120d
    BMW 3-series four-cylinder models,330d, and diesel wagons
    BMW 7-series six-cylinder models

    Acura CSX

    and shame shame SHAME on Toyota!!!!!!!!!
    The company that brought us the Prius has also the distinction of being the only premium brand (Lexus) that has NEVER EVER EVER offered a four-cylinder model over here!!!!!!! I’d like a Yaris- or Corolla-sized luxury car priced in the 20′s; it could compete with the CSX (The upcoming HS250h doesn’t count as it will likely be priced higher than this and will only be a hybrid)

  • Charles

    Simon I think you are correct that BMW does not believe in hybrids and this car is a prime example. 407 HP for the ICE and only 20 HP for the electric motor does not a full hybrid make. The Fusion Hybrid has 156 HP for the ICE and 106 HP for the electric motor. Even the mildly hybrid Honda Insight is 88 HP for the ICE and 13 for the electric motor. The BMW’s electric motor is < 5% the HP of the ICE. The Fusion is about 68% and the Insight is almost 15%. I guess BMW like GM with its cars wants to stick "Hybrid" decals on their cars.

    By the way this is another example of the “Two Mode” partners not using the system in a car.

  • usd777

    like, 30?

  • Robcares

    Charles, Your so right, what a sham! I think the BMW is what could be referred to as an electric turbo at best and an attempt to green the brand, what a joke! GM just doesn’t get it, and sadly may never get it. Ford seems to be the only American manufacturer that might make it out of this jam alive.

  • Shines

    400+hp ice with a 20hp electric – what is that? I guess you can call stop-start technology hybrid technology, but it didn’t work for GM. If Chevy had marketed the Malibu “hybrid” as a conventional sedan with stop-start technology it might have survived. Maybe they need to come up with a better name (intersection fuel reduction system? fuel halt technology?) instead of stop-start technology but hybrid isn’t it. Most folks understand hybrid to mean that an alternate form of propulsion is moving the vehicle (as opposed to keeping the flywheel moving while the car is stopped).
    Maybe “efficient dynamics” is a better term for this non-hybrid beemer.

  • DC

    It is pretty clear(allready) that a number of car companies are marketing vehicles that purport to be hybrids, but it reality, are not. Allready we see terms like ‘mild hybrid’ , ‘series hybrid’ and all its various permuations. Like shine says, a hybrid is a vehicle that is capable of operateing free and clear of its ICE. I can allready predict that goverment may have to compel car-makers to fully disclose exactly what that particular manufacturer thinks there [insert model] hybrid actually is and then disclose that information to prospective buyers. Otherwise, its quite possible you will see a flood of quasi-hybrids on the market that are more about greening car-makers image than anything else. Naturally consumers could be fooled into thinking there buying something they are really not. While most people like to think they consider there car-purchases carefully, with hybrids, the lack of clear, concise definitions will make things more muddled. I allready have mixed feelings about hybrids in general, cars like these make me even more skeptical. This is why I like PEVs so much, there is absolutely no ambiguity about what a PEV is. This BMW , is a wonderful expample of a HINO, Hybrid-In-Name-Only.

  • mpower830

    The only reason this car exists is so that movie stars can continue going around acting smug and pretending like they’re really doing something worthwhile. Barf.

    As someone else said, just bring me the 130D. Thank you.