BMW shows a pair of 7s (photos)

At the 2010 Detroit auto show, BMW introduced two variants of its 7-series, each intended to save fuel in its own way. The 740i uses a smaller engine than its sibling models, and the ActiveHybrid 7 complements its gas engine with an electric motor.

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Wayne Cunningham

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2011 BMW 740i

BMW takes a retro spin to the original launch of the 7-series by fitting it with an inline six-cylinder engine. Dubbed the 740i, this latest version of BMW's flagship sedan uses the same body and chassis as the previously launched 750i and 760i.
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2011 BMW 740i

Recognizing the need for greener alternatives even at the luxury sedan level, BMW fits the 7-series with its twin-turbocharged 3-liter inline six-cylinder engine, similar to the engine used in the 135i, 335i, and 535i.
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2011 BMW 740i

This engine uses two low-pressure turbochargers, each forcing air into a set of three cylinders, boosting horsepower up to 315. BMW says that's good enough to get the 740i to 60 mph in a respectable 5.8 seconds.
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2011 BMW 740i

A six-speed automatic is the only transmission for the 740i, but BMW includes all the options available on the 750i and 760i. That includes cabin tech and driver aids, such as adaptive cruise control.
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2011 BMW ActiveHybrid 7

BMW's other green 7, a mild hybrid, complements its twin turbocharged 4.4-liter V-8 with an electric motor getting power from a lithium ion battery pack. This hybrid system allows start-stop capabilities, shutting off the engine when stopped in traffic. An eight-speed automatic transmission puts the power to the rear wheels.
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2011 BMW ActiveHybrid 7

BMW puts the total output of the gas engine and electric motor at 455 horsepower and 515 pound-feet of torque, big numbers that propel the ActiveHybrid 7 to 60 mph in 4.7 seconds, a time that BMW says makes it the fastest hybrid in the world.
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2011 BMW ActiveHybrid 7

Similar to the 740i, the ActiveHybrid 7 gets the full complement of 7-series options.
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2011 BMW ActiveHybrid 7

BMW uses a number of displays to show the driver the efficiencies of the hybrid system, including graphic information on the center LCD and a blue power gauge set in the tachometer.

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