Spy images of the BMW 7 Series Hybrid have surfaced from a cold winter testing session. The car will be introduced to the market before the year is over.

Spy pictures of a group of BMW 7-Series Hybrids have been taken while the cars were parked outside in freezing weather. Stickers alluding to them being hybrids are pasted on the sides and rear bumper. BMW Group Sales and Marketing Director Ian Robertson was quoted as saying the 7-Series Hybrid should be available for sale by the end of 2009.

The car will use the ActiveHybrid system underlain by a lithium-ion battery in the boot, in conjunction with a 4.4-litre V8 twin turbo petrol engine. The electric motor makes 20hp (15kW) and 155 ft-lb of torque all by itself, which combined with the 400hp (298kW) V8 with its 450 ft-lb of torque makes for impressive total power. The system is said to cut fuel consumption by 15% thanks also to regenerative braking systems.

In addition to the 7-Series Hybrid BMW is also introducing an X6 Hybrid later this year. The two will share most powertrain parts but they won't be exactly the same. Expectations are that the 7-Series Hybrid will be unveiled officially at the Frankfurt Motor Show. However it could even break cover in Shanghai or New York.


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