Around the world, there’s been a bit of a drive – in more than one sense – towards being less dependent on fossil fuels. We’ve seen more and more cars that have been built to take biofuels (something that we’re quite good at doing in Australia) and we’ve also seen more and more marques coming out with hybrid models. The latest manufacturer to add hybrid vehicles that can run on both electric power and on petrol is BMW, and the vehicle in question is the BMW ActiveHybrid 7.
The BMW ActiveHybrid 7 looks like every other BMW seven-series, i.e. it looks very nice and very classy. You’ve got the crisp, tailored lines of the overall shape; you’ve got the round twin headlights up the front (adaptive LED lights that don’t suck as much power to run, too); you’ve got the 18-inch star-design alloy wheels and, of course, you’ve got the famous double-kidney BMW grille sitting proudly up the front. All in all, this is a very smooth-looking sedan and it’s all BMW. There’s no doubt about it: if you pick the BMW Active Hybrid 7, you won’t be cutting down on style even though you will be cutting your petrol bill.
The BMW Active Hybrid 7 is all BMW on the inside, too. Of course, you’ve got all the safety bits like active headrests, all the airbags you can think of hidden around the place (and let’s hope that they stay there), and three-point pretensioned and force-limited seatbelts for all five occupants. The back seat looks positively palatial, Dakota leather and all, while the front seats in the BMW Active Hybrid 7 have heating and adjustment with a memory function and lumbar support for the front passenger and for the driver, too. The driver of the BMW Active Hybrid 7 also gets to play with the sport leather multifunction steering wheel. Naturally, the BMW Active Hybrid 7′s sound system is pretty darn decent, with a 6-disk CD system with auxiliary input, Bluetooth preparation and 12 strategically positioned speakers.
The BMW Active Hybrid 7 is all BMW on the inside, with the back seat looking positively palatial, Dakota leather and all, while the front seats in the BMW Active Hybrid 7 have heating and adjustment with a memory function and lumbar support for the front passenger and for the driver, too.
But it’s under the stately-looking bonnet behind the grille that the difference begins to show. When the electric part of the hybrid motor isn’t in operation, the BMW Active Hybrid 7 is powered by BMW’s Twin Turbo petrol engine – more or less the same unit you’ll find in the latest BMW 740 models, which delivers (in the BMW ActiveHybrid 7) 260 kW of power when it’s at its peak and reaches the top of the torque curve at 500 Nm. Couple that unit up to eight gears via an automatic transmission and you’ve got plenty of oomph to play with. But it’s when you’re going slowly and want something other than oomph that the BMW Active Hybrid 7 steps up and does what sets it apart from all the other current seven-series Beemers. Any time you want to, you can press the ECO Pro button and everything will set itself for maximum fuel efficiency. Select the Sport or Sport Plus function, and oomph is the main name of the game again. Studies carried out by BMW have found that using the ECO PRO settings reduces fuel consumption by 20%.
Any other bells and whistles on the BMW Active Hybrid 7 or have they cut down on these so they don’t drain the battery too much? The answer is yes – yes, the BMW Active Hybrid 7 does have a few more buttons to press apart from what was mentioned in the description of the interior. Some of the heating and sound functions will step back a bit in ECO PRO mode, but seeing as you’re probably going to be using this function when you’re in heavy traffic, this probably isn’t a bad thing. You can, however, see what’s going on and when the brake energy regeneration is doing its thing to recharge the battery. You get to see this on the Control Display. This isn’t the only thing you get to see on the Control Display screen – all 10.2 inches of it. You also can access the navigation system and (if your mobile phone is set up for this and you want it) the internet. You can also play around with the four-zone automatic air conditioning or pop stuff into the temperature-controlled storage compartment into the front arm rests. You can also play around with the automatic tailgate opening function, although you might want to do this once the BMW Active Hybrid 7 has stopped, as it’s done by remote control. Other things that come in handy are the rear camera, the rain sensor wipers, the park distance control function and the cruise control (or the speed limiter so that speedy engine under the bonnet of the BMW Active Hybrid 7 doesn’t collect a ticket for you!).
If you’ve believe up to now that hybrid vehicles aren’t for serious professionals who take luxury seriously, think again. The BMW Active Hybrid 7 proves that environmentally and economically sound thinking doesn’t have to mean that driving fun and opulence are compromised.
Current model series include:
For any more information on the BMW ActiveHybrid 7, or for that matter any other new car, contact one of our friendly consultants on 1300 303 181. If you’d like some fleet discount pricing (yes even for private buyers!), we can submit vehicle quotes requests out to our national network of BMW dealers and come back with pricing within 24 hours. Private Fleet – car buying made easy!
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