BMW 7 ActiveHybrid

As BMW continues the development of intelligent hybrid drive systems, the second generation of the BMW ActiveHybrid 7 is set to take a significant step forward for the 2013 model year. The updated model sets itself apart with lower fuel consumption and emissions, as well as innovative auxiliary functions. This latest evolutionary step uses BMW’s 3.0-liter TwinPower Turbo inline 6-cylinder engine. In this application it is the same 315 hp version as in the new BMW 740Li and replaces the V8 engine previously used in the ActiveHybrid 7. Other hybrid components include a 55 hp synchronous electric motor, hybrid-spec 8-speed Steptronic automatic transmission, a lithium ion high-performance battery and power electronics which run the intelligent energy management. The various components create a powerful and harmonious whole, giving the new BMW ActiveHybrid 7 an outstanding balance between performance and efficiency. With combined output of 349 horsepower and peak torque of 367 lb-ft, the new BMW ActiveHybrid 7 accelerates from 0 to 60 mph in about 5.5 seconds (preliminary). At the same time, it delivers significantly improved fuel efficiency. 

A host of innovative features enhance the car’s dynamics and ensure optimum efficiency of the hybrid drive system. For example, the electric motor provides an extra 155 lb-ft of torque through the boost function if the driver should need a quick sprint or to call on strong mid-range acceleration, when passing or merging for example. ECO PRO mode, with coasting function and proactive analysis, prepares the drive system in advance for upcoming situations on the road. Brake Energy Regeneration and the Hybrid Start-Stop system also work together to maximize overall efficiency.

The 2013 BMW ActiveHybrid 7 can also run purely on electric power. If the hybrid battery has sufficient charge and the driver goes easy on the accelerator, the car can cover a distance of up to 2.5 miles almost silently and without producing any tailpipe emissions. The top speed on electric power alone is 37 mph. The new ActiveHybrid 7 L will be available in the US as a long-wheelbase model only.

The ECO PRO mode in the new BMW 7 Series includes the new coasting mode, which is designed to decouple the engine when coasting at speeds between 30 – 100 mph. In coasting mode, the engine in the new 7 Series freewheels on deceleration with no engine braking effect thereby reducing fuel consumption. Through proactive driving, the kinetic energy built up by the vehicle can be harnessed to achieve fuel savings of as much as five percent. The coasting function is shown graphically in the information display and can be switched off if desired.

The BMW ActiveHybrid 7 features a coasting mode which completely shuts off the combustion engine when coasting, allowing the ActiveHybrid 7 to glide along emissions-free. Intelligent energy management allows the ActiveHybrid 7 to analyze the driving situation ahead in order to prime the hybrid drive components for maximum efficiency. This is accomplished by integrating the power electronics with the navigation system. Based on data, such as route topography, speed limits or traffic levels, the vehicle can be prepared in advance and the available energy deployed as efficiently as possible. For instance, a longer downhill stretch can be used to recharge the hybrid battery so that the ActiveHybrid 7 can be driven on purely electric power through a residential area on the “home stretch”.

Integral Active Steering is available for rear-wheel drive BMW 7 Series models, which combines the Active Steering system for the front wheels with rear wheel steering. The steering angle and power assistance are controlled at both the front and the rear with the help of electric motors. The optimized system control unit processes information on wheel rotation speeds, steering wheel movement, yaw rate and lateral acceleration to ensure optimum steering behavior for the driving situation at hand. Integral Active Steering also works with a variable steering ratio on the front wheels, which makes parking and maneuvering easier and enables impressive precision at higher speeds.

The front suspension of the BMW 7 Series is based on the familiar aluminum double-wishbone construction which combines maximum rigidity and minimum weight. The patent-protected integral-V rear suspension of the BMW 7 Series is also made from aluminum. Modified ball joints, firmer shock absorbers, new rubber bearings and carefully tuned elastokinematics have enabled the engineers to minimize vibrations and improve ride comfort.

All BMW 7 Series models are now equipped with self-leveling rear air suspension, which keeps the car riding at a constant height no matter what kind of driving conditions it encounters and regardless of the loads on board. This automatic self-leveling suspension responds to any change in load by adjusting the suspension at the relevant wheel. This means that only small interventions are required in response to spring movements caused by road imperfections and cornering lean. This feature was previously available only on long wheelbase models in the US.

The BMW 7 Series has traditionally set the highest standards for aesthetic appeal and innovative technology. In the luxury sedan segment, it represents the epitome of athletic elegance and sporty driving dynamics. The new BMW 7 Series reaffirms its stylish presence and sporting prowess through expressive new design features at the front and rear.

From the front, the long, broad hood of the BMW 7 Series gives it an elegant profile. The contour lines of the hood draw the eye to the upright new BMW kidney grille as they extend forward. The grille’s chrome surround is now larger, a change which – together with a new kidney grille design that includes nine slats in place of the previous 12 – gives it greater prominence and reinforces the car’s presence on the road.

A large, full-width air intake dominates the lower section of the revised front apron. It is now split into three sections, a pair of chrome bars marking its outer sections and adding further depth to the car’s sporty looks. Included is BMW’s innovative “air curtain” technology, which lowers fuel consumption at higher speeds by forcing the air to flow more aerodynamically around the front wheels.

The picture of stylish exclusivity and luxurious character is equally reflected inside the new
7 Series. A traditional feature of BMW interiors is the driver-oriented ergonomics. In the new 7, newly designed, more slender front seats offer the best possible ergonomics, optimum lateral support and long-distance comfort. Dakota leather and Nappa leather can now be ordered in Ivory White or Veneto Beige upholstery. Multifunction seats are also available in place of the standard seats.

The new BMW 7 Series offers individual rear comfort seats as standard equipment on the 760Li and optional on other models. They can be adjusted to suit individual requirements. The backrest angle and seat position can both be varied, as can the position of the head restraints. The long-wheelbase 7 Series provides the ideal platform for long-distance comfort. All of the 5.5 inches added to the wheelbase of the standard-length 7 Series is used to create a first-class environment for the rear passengers. Changes to the roofline of long-wheelbase models create nearly half an inch of extra headroom in the rear.

When it comes to delivering audio pleasure of the highest order, the Bang & Olufsen High-End Surround Sound System designed especially for the new BMW 7 Series hits all the right notes. Jointly developed by the Danish audio specialists and BMW, this system produces an exceptionally natural sound from 16 speakers distributed around the cabin. It is a fully active system featuring digital signal processing, which means the two bass speakers, seven mid-range speakers and seven tweeters all have individual amplifiers. This technology enables the targeted modification of any sound reflections inside the vehicle. The Bang & Olufsen High-End Surround Sound System uses Dirac Dimensions™ technology to recreate the acoustics of a reference listening room in the passenger compartment. All vehicle occupants therefore enjoy the same high-quality sound stage wherever they are sitting.

The latest-generation navigation system features a revised design and honed operating system. The menu-driven navigation system has been augmented by new functions. The user interface includes revised graphics and now comprises 3D elements, while the entire architecture of the individual menus is now presented in virtual, three dimensional spaces. Its 1.3 GHz processor and dedicated 3D graphics card, bring new levels of animation and dynamic transitions.

The BMW 7 Series now boasts an even more extensive Active Protection safety package thanks to the addition of the Attention Assistant. The system’s electronics analyze driving behavior on the basis of various signals such as steering angle, road speed and other engine parameters. If the system increasingly detects telltale signs of fatigue starting to build up, the central Control Display encourages the driver to take a break by displaying a coffee cup symbol.

The available BMW Parking Assistant uses ultrasonic sensors integrated into the sides of the vehicle to help search for suitable parking spots. The system then helps the driver to maneuver safely and comfortably into parallel parking spaces. With the Parking Assistant activated and the car travelling at a slow speed of no more than 22 mph, a notification appears in the Control Display to alert the driver to suitable spaces that are around 4 feet longer than the BMW 7 Series as it passes them. During the parking process, all the driver has to do is change gears, operate the accelerator and brake, and keep an eye on the area around the car. The Parking Assistant then takes care of all the steering movements required to execute a precise reverse parking maneuver. A new bird’s-eye view of the vehicle in the Control Display works in unison with the Park Distance Control to clearly visualize the distance to other objects and make it easier for the driver to monitor the parking process.

Source: BMW press

Gallery: BMW 7 ActiveHybrid