One Less Turbo, Two Less Cylinders, a Lot More Sense
Back when hybrids were confined to dorky design iterations of normal cars, we often wondered when this next level technology would be wrapped in desirable packages. We pondered if the Honda Insight
and Toyota Prius
might spawn more attractive mainstream designs and filter into other sectors like sport, luxury or both. The idea of driving some left-of-centre appearing hybrid
was a turn off for us, but the technology is now becoming commonplace under the sheet metal and now includes all of the accoutrements that discerning buyers expect – enter the 2013 BMW ActiveHybrid 7
While a car like the Lexus LS600hL
might have been ground breaking years ago, the fuel-miser luxury car niche is becoming a crowded one. All of the big German luxury sedans are looking to keep themselves relevant by going with the trend to trim fuel costs and reduce carbon footprint. The 7-series is no exception since it comes in diesel
form over in Europe and the spectacular V12 will likely be cut
only to add the turbo six to the bottom of the line. This, BMW hopes is going to add to their bottom line and the ActiveHybrid 7 aims to nail all of the touch points with today's affluent, yet environmentally conscious buyer, an individual that never existed before in decades past.
One of the hang-ups we have with hybrids are their campy attempts at attracting attention to the fact they are world-saving hybrids. Do we really need all of the badging, unusual wheels, fancy bodywork, electric blue everything and in the case of GM
Hybrid SUVs; nice pieces of hybrid flare on the exterior? We don't find it all that important to broadcast, and BMW has given the ActiveHybrids a relatively subtle approach. Yes, there are unique wheels (although we ran the winter tire package) but at least no ridiculous colours or windshield banners. Finished in Mineral White Metallic, the ActiveHybrid 7 blended in well since saving the planet doesn't always have to mean driving a rolling billboard.