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BMW hybrid takes car tech to new levels

CNET Car Tech reviews the 2011 BMW ActiveHybrid 7.

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Engineering the 7-series hybrid, BMW found ways to drastically increase the overall power, compared to the 750i, which uses the same gasoline engine. At the same time, this 7 gets the best fuel economy among its 7-series siblings. Back to review.
Josh Miller/CNET
2011 BMW ActiveHybrid 7
Josh Miller/CNET

BMW established its 7-series as a tech powerhouse, so adding a hybrid system is like sprinkling a little extra crazy on top of Charlie Sheen. The 7-series already features a strong array of driver assistance features, such as a night vision system, a navigation system with lush topographic maps, and an audio system that produces superb sound and includes onboard music storage on the car's hard drive.

But with the ActiveHybrid 7, BMW also demonstrates that it can do a gas electric hybrid powertrain. Although the car gets the best fuel economy of the 7-series model line, it is hardly a fuel sipper. Rather, the hybrid powertrain makes it the second most powerful of BMW's 7-series models, right below the V-12 760i. More power and better fuel economy? That seems like a worthwhile addition.

Read our full review of the 2011 BMW ActiveHybrid 7.