2009 BMW 7-series leaks, possible hybrid coming in a year

BMW is certainly no fan of the new corporate average fuel economy regulations and for the most part the new fifth generation 7-series debuting this fall is a big middle finger salute to the whole premise. Nonetheless, BMW is incorporating some technology to help the fuel efficiency of its flagship. The Munich carmaker is using aluminum for much of the suspension to help reign in the mass. The 7 is also expected to eventually get either the Two-Mode or mild hybrid systems that it has in development. So far the only vehicle that BMW has committed to equipping with the Two-Mode is the X6. The 7's main competitor, the Mercedes S-class, is getting the mild hybrid system that the two companies have co-developed.

At launch however, American customers are likely to only have one engine choice, the 4.4L twin-turbo V-8 that recently debuted in the X6. Elsewhere, drivers will also have the option of six cylinder gas and diesel engines. BMW has yet to announce any diesel plans beyond the 335d and X5 that are coming this fall. Both sixes are already used in other U.S. BMW models so they could easily be added to the 7. Given the new CAFE rules, it seems likely that the hybrid and six cylinder models will come to the U.S. sooner rather than later.

[Source: Automotive News - sub. req'd]

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