The Active Hybrid 7
By Jody McCutcheon
Historically, BMW has conjured dramatic descriptors like sporty elegance and refined
power. Now add one more: the company that Forbes recently deemed ‘the world’s most
reputable’ has gone green.
Initiating the sleek, classy 7 Series into eco-friendliness, the 2013 BMW ActiveHybrid 7
runs on a delicate interplay of combustion engine, electric motor and lithium-ion battery.
It does 0 to 100 km/h in 5.7 seconds, and maxes out at a robust 250 km/h, with an average
fuel consumption of 6.8 litres/100km.
The car interior combines spacious, leather-cushioned comfort, perfect for families, and comes with gadgetry galore. Of
note is the multifunctional instrument display, which offers the driver, via colours and easy-to-read
graphs, a variety of driving options related to hybrid functions, like electric driving and
battery-charging status. Which is where things get really interesting. Or rather, smart.
ECO PRO mode coordinates the delicate interplay of combustion engine, electric motor and lithium-ion battery, allowing the vehicle to reduce fuel consumption by as much as twenty percent.
The car analyzes your route profile from the navigation system, and based on variables
like speed limits, traffic conditions and road gradients, determines how best to conserve or
deploy its energy. On highways, for example, the car harvests energy on gradients which
later allows it to coast at up to 160km/h. Once you take your foot off the accelerator, the
combustion engine disengages, putting an immediate stop to fuel consumption. And local,
or “Home Zone,” mode uses systematically stored energy for electric, emission-free driving.
So, not only can you actually save energy, and therefore, sweet money, driving this car, but it’s even smart enough to let you work and organise your life while you drive, thanks to its hands-free dictation system.
Sleek and smart. Green and good.