We've known for a while that BMW planned on outfitting its luxo-barge with a hydrogen fuel cell, but what we didn't expect was that it was already getting some drive time.

Some clever photogs under the employ of AutoExpress took a few shots of a 7-Series undergoing testing and through their keen sense of detection were able to identify it was running on the big "H." The tank, according to the spies, takes up most of the trunk and has a dual fuel system that will switch between gas (hydrogen) and gas (as in gasoline) when one or the other runs out. The engine is the same one we reported on back in March of this year, namely a six-liter V12, producing 231 hp.

We have to hand it to BMW on this one, they said back in 2004 that they'll have a hydrogen vehicle in four years, and according to AutoExpress, BMW is looking to launch its hydrogen-powered sedan by 2008. Maybe there is something to that whole "German efficiency" shtick.