2011 BMW 7 Series Hybrid

BMW continually pursues a strict strategy: to put hybrid technology into operation, while gaining maximum efficiency. The new 2011 BMW 7-Series Hybrid is the most efficient vehicle of its kind. It reduces emissions and fuel consumption by 15 percent compared to the same kind of car with a combustion engine. It does not compromise carmaker’s concept of superior performance, design, safety, and comfort.

Based on super luxury car standards, this BMW Hybrid is as agile as its gas-only 7-series sibling. Added to that, it is more fuel efficient compared to other 7-series models that use fossil fuel. Its regenerative braking system has also been favored by car enthusiasts. Hybrid cars are usually despised for their pedals’ lack of feel. This one however, seemed to get it right. Its handling is also good – having the same Driving Dynamics Control system like others of its kind. It allows its driver to adjust steering and suspension settings.

Performance

The 7-Series Hybrid, like other hybrids, does not give emphasis on performance; however, it is more fuel efficient and drives faster quicker than other fossil fuel-reliant 7-Series models. It has a 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 joined to a small electric motor. This engine produces a good 455 horsepower and 515 pound-feet of torque, compared to 55 less horsepower and 65 less pound-feet of torque in the V8-powered 7-Series. It also uses a special transmission for improved fuel economy. Its eight-speed transmission gives it 2 more gears over other gas-only 7-Series. Its city/highway fuel economy on the other hand, is 17/24 MPG.

Interior & exterior

This hybrid comes with standard equipment which includes leather upholstery, front and rear parking sensors, sunroof, adaptive xenon headlights, auto-dimming mirrors, fog lights, power front seats, automatic wipers, driver memory functions, four-zone climate control, power tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, and keyless ignition. Its electronic features on the other hand, include the iDrive multimedia system, navigation system, Assist emergency tele-matics, real-time traffic, Bluetooth and a sound system.

Safety

The 2011 7-Series Hybrid has not yet been tested for safety. However, it is loaded with standard safety features like anti-lock brakes, active front head restraints, and electronic stability control. It also has airbags in the front, front-knee, front-side, and side-curtain positions. Optional safety improvements include lane departure warning, rear and side-view cameras, blind spot monitoring systems, and infrared night vision system.

Reliability

Meanwhile, for reliability, this Hybrid garnered a score of 8 out of 10. BMW provides a four-year/50,000-mile all-inclusive warranty which comprises of scheduled maintenance and roadside assistance.

Competition

The 2011 BMW 7-Series Hybrid has been compared to the Lexus LS Hybrid (MSRP $108,800; 20 city / 22 hwy), the 2012 Porsche Panamera Hybrid (MSRP $95,000), and Mercedes Benz S-Class Hybrid (MSRP $91,000; 19 city / 26 hwy). The latter is less expensive and is said to deliver better at city/highway fuel economy of 19/25 MPG. It also has a more luxurious interior like the Lexus Hybrid which has a city/highway fuel economy of 19/23. However, they still cannot match the agile handling and forceful acceleration of the 7-Series.

Pros & Cons

The main area where the 7-Series Hybrid falters is design. It is as practical as ever. It won’t even stop traffic if it passed by. Other than that, its other weak point is in its cabin technology. Its screens looked like it was not designed by user interface experts, but rather by computer programmers.

On a last note, though with improved power and fuel efficiency, the 7-Series Hybrid shuts down the engine when it comes to a stop. This is normally acceptable for those who want to save fuel, but it also shuts off the power steering, making low-speed stop-and-go maneuvers tricky.

Overall Rating
70 out of 100

What others say:

“ActiveHybrid 7 has too much regen baked in at low speeds”Car Connection

“The hybrid system can shut off the gas engine at a stop, but the car is unable to accelerate solely on battery power.”Consumer Guide

“Brawny hybrid power plant, better fuel economy and more standard features than a regular 750, technology galore, sublime seats, no practical compromise despite hybrid technology.”Edmunds

Specifications

General Info
Vehicle Type: Hybrid Sedan Base Price: $97,000.00
Fuel Tank Capacity: 21.7 gallons (82 liters) Miles Per Gallon: 17 city / 26 hwy
Dimensions
Length: 199.8 in. (507 cm) Width: 74.9 in. (190 cm)
Height: 58.5 in. (148.5 cm) Wheel Base: 120.9 in. (307 cm)
Curb Weight: 4795 lbs (2175 kg) Wt. Distribution: 51.5/48.5
Luggage Capacity: 13 cu ft Maximum Seating: 5 people
Performance
Engine: 4.4L 32-valve TwinPower Turbo V8 w/ 120v lithium-ion battery Displacement: 4395 cc
Horsepower: 455 HP Max RPM: 6000 RPM
Torque: 515 lb-ft @ 3000 rpm Transmission: 8-Speed Shiftable Automatic
0-60 mph: 5.7 seconds Maximum Speed: 150 mph
Available Trims & Engine
Option:750Li Hybrid MSRP: $101,000; MPG: 17 city / 26 hwy