Next-gen BMW 7-series likely to be a recipient of new mild-hybrid system

The mild-hybrid system that BMW is showing in the Vision EfficientDynamics concept at the Geneva Motor Show will find a home in a number of BMW models over the next few years with one probable candidtate being the 2009 7-series. The system, which uses a relatively small electric motor between the engine and transmission, can provide a power boost under hard acceleration. Perhaps the biggest benefit of the system is the ability to recapture kinetic energy during braking. When the energy stored in the lithium ion battery isn't needed for propulsion it can be used to drive electrical subsystems in the car, reducing the load on the alternator and, hence, parasitic losses. If the mild hybrid system is combined with BMW's 4.5L diesel V-8, it would likely provide even better overall efficiency than the strong hybrid in the Lexus LS600h with equal or better performance. The new 7-series may debut at the Paris Auto Show this September.

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