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.