The BMW ActiveHybrid 7 is a gasoline-electric hybrid drivetrain version of the BMW 7-Series executive car lineup. The German luxury and performance auto manufacturer has been producing the 7-Series lineup of flagship sedans since 1977. BMW first built the ActiveHybrid 7 as a concept vehicle, which was shown at the Paris Motor Show in the fall of 2008, with the beginning of production slated for 2009. The BMW ActiveHybrid 7 first arrived in the United States as a 2011 model year vehicle. The BMW ActiveHybrid 7 went through a minor interior and exterior refresh for 2013, and it is still available as of the 2014 model year.
The BMW ActiveHybrid 7’s drivetrain was updated for the 2013 model year. Formerly powered by a V8 gasoline engine, the hybrid system is now primarily powered by a turbocharged inline-6 gasoline engine, which is paired to both an electric motor and a lithium-ion battery pack, for combined horsepower of 350 horsepower. An EcoPro drive setting helps maximize fuel efficiency, as well as other common hybrid vehicle technology such as regenerative braking, which captures kinetic energy that would otherwise be lost from the vehicle’s deceleration, and sends it back to the battery or electric motors for storage or use. The ActiveHybrid 7’s drivetrain puts power to the rear wheels through an eight-speed automatic transmission. The Environmental Protection Agency rated the ActiveHybrid 7 for fuel efficiency of 22 miles per gallon city, 30 highway, and 25 combined. The EPA rating for combined driving is just 3 miles per gallon better than a comparably equipped traditional gasoline BMW 740.
The ActiveHybrid 7 is available in a single trim level that is comparable to the BMW 740i. Standard features include 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic adaptive xenon headlights, LED fog lamps, keyless ignition and entry, front parking sensors, rear parking sensors, cruise control, quad-zone automatic climate control, heated and power front seats, driver’s seat memory functions, leather upholstery, a power tilting and telescoping steering wheel, a rearview camera, wood veneer trim throughout the cabin, navigation, and Bluetooth wireless integration. A premium audio system from Bang & Olufsen offers HD radio, satellite radio, and USB and iPod integration. Optional upgrades, generally grouped into packages, include ventilation and massage functions for the seats, heated rear seats, a heated steering wheel, a power trunk lid, a head-up display, an upgraded 16-speaker audio system, LED headlights with automatic high beams, an exterior aerodynamic trim kit, a sport steering wheel that features paddle shifters, a lane departure warning system, blind spot assistance, a luxury rear seating package that upgrades the rear seats to have the same heat, ventilated, adjustment and massaging functionality as the front seats, and a rear entertainment package with monitors and a six-DVD changer. Buyers of the BMW ActiveHybrid 7 can check off stand-alone upgrades such as 19-inch wheels, adaptive cruise control, an audio system upgrade, and interior customization options. Standard safety equipment on the ActiveHybrid 7 includes anti-lock disc brakes, traction control, stability control, front side and knee airbags, full side curtain airbags, and the BMW Assist communications system for automatic crash notification and emergency aid.