BMW’s 2013 ActiveHybrid 7 EPA Numbers Released: Infringing on 3-series Territory
It’s counterintuitive, but even BMW 7-series shoppers worry about fuel economy. Dealers and company management alike have told us that sales of the six-cylinder 740i are driven by its gas consumption, not entry-level price. That’s good news, then, for BMW’s ActiveHybrid 7, which carries an all-new hybrid powertrain as of this summer and has just received an EPA rating of 22 mpg in the city and 30 on the highway. That gives the hybrid version of BMW’s largest sedan an EPA score that rivals the Bavarians’ 3-series offerings. Not too shabby at all.
The larger a hybrid car is, usually, the smaller its sales—you can call it the Rule of Disproportionate Futility—and the first generation of BMW’s ActiveHybrid 7 bore this out. BMW sold only 657 of them in in the U.S. in 2010, 2011, and the first nine months of 2012 combined, meaning that only two of every 100 7-series buyers bought a hybrid. The old car followed the (ill-calculated) Lexus LS model of V-12 power with V-8 fuel economy, pairing a big V-8 with an electric motor. It slammed buyers with a $98,000 price tag and an EPA rating of 17/24.
Updated for the 2013 model year, the new ActiveHybrid 7 dumps out the old hybrid setup completely, and now shares its motivation with the hybrid versions of the 5- and 3-series. Instead of the eight, these cars match a turbocharged inline-six with an electric motor; in the 7er, total system output is 349 hp and 367 lb-ft of torque.
- 2012 BMW 335i Sedan – Instrumented Test
- 2013 BMW Alpina B7 – First Drive Review
- 2013 BMW ActiveHybrid 3 – First Drive Review
This time around, the ActiveHybrid 7 also is significantly cheaper than it was before: Available only in long-wheelbase form, the 2013 starts at $84,895. That’s a cut of $17,000 from the price of last year’s long-wheelbase 7-series hybrid, and at least allows the ActiveHybrid 7 to make a case for itself. Unfortunately, the 740i and 740Li exist. The six-cylinder 7s start at $74,195 and are EPA-rated at 19/28. Even still, the new model should be improvement enough for sales to crack the 700 mark . . . over the next three years.