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Click above for the Autoblog Podcast in iTunes, RSS or listen now!

Click above for the Autoblog Podcast in iTunes, RSS or listen now!

BMW ActiveHybrid X6 - Click above for high-res image gallery

BMW X6 ActiveHybrid Concept - Click above for high-res image gallery

BMW 760Li High Security - Click above for high-res image gallery

BMW 7 Series M Sport - Click above for high-res image gallery

BMW is expected to roll out the production version of its new 755ih hybrid luxury sedan later this year at the Frankfurt Motor Show. With little to differentiate the new gas-saving 7 Series from the rest of the German automaker's thirstier 7s, it's not surprising that the vehicle has been spotted out an about on European roadways with absolutely zero camouflage. The only way to tell it's a hybrid are small HYBRID Erprobungsfahrzeug (HYBRID Vehicle Testing) badges.

BMW ActiveHybrids - Click above for an image gallery

2009 BMW 750i – Click above for high-res image gallery

BMW 7-Series ActiveHybrid - click above for a high-res gallery

BMW 760 – Click above for high-res image gallery

Both Mercedes-Benz and BMW have seen recent design-chief departures, and now there's been a defection. Karim Habib, who had a hand in the F01 7 Series while at BMW, has left the Roundel for the three-pointed star. Habib's move to Mercedes has him overseeing Mercedes' advanced design studio in Stuttgart, working with MBZ design chief Gorden Wagener.

Although BMW's flagship 7 Series sedan has traditionally been available with twelve cylinders under the hood, the latest F01 chassis has so far been headlined by the company's twin-turbo V8. If these spy shots are anything to go by, however, the eight-cylinder turbo is about to get some company,

Don't get us wrong; we've got no beef with enormously powerful luxury vehicles. In fact, we love 'em. But while Mercedes' AMG division has shoehorned their bestial power plants into all manner of vehicles big and small, BMW's Motorsport division has always drawn a line in the Bavarian sand. They'd tune the 3 Series and the 5 Series along with a handful of coupes and convertibles, but that's where it ended. But that line seems to be eroding, as spy shots of what could be an M7 sedan have been sna

Click above for high-res image gallery of the 2009 BMW 7 Series

Click above for high-res image gallery of the 2009 BMW 7 Series

Click the 7-series ActiveHybrid for a high res gallery

Click above for a high-res gallery of the 2009 BMW 750i

BMW's upcoming 7 Series ActiveHybrid (where do they come up with these names, anyway?) will use a 120 volt lithium ion battery pack that will be supplied by Johnson Controls-Saft. That battery will be assembled at the Johnson Controls-Saft production facility in Nersac, France. BMW will place the lithium ion battery in the trunk, while a BMW standard-fare 12 volt Absorbent Glass Mat battery will reside under its hood. This is the same heavy duty battery already used in BMWs with brake energy reg

Click above for high-res shots of the BMW 7 Series ActiveHybrid

You would think a car company with BMW's brand recognition could roll out its redesigned flagship 7 Series covered in burlap at a mid-December reveal in Siberia with no concerns over public perception, but BMW apparently feels the up-and-coming Russian market needs to be romanced with a glitzy intro right in the middle of Red Square. That's where the carmaker held the official unveiling (though we already got the official photos earlier this month) July 8th.

When BMW launches a hybrid version of the new 7-series sedan next year it looks like it will probably use the same Two-Mode hybrid system going into the X6 crossover. That configuration mates the hybrid transmission with the twin-turbocharged 4.4L V-8 that also debuted this spring in the X6. If Britain's CAR magazine is right, this may also be the first of the Two-Mode hybrids to use a lithium ion battery. All the existing Two-Modes from GM and Chrysler are still using nickel metal hydride. One

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