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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883


BMW to unveil world’s most powerful hybrid

If all goes as planned at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September, the 2010 BMW ActiveHybrid X6 will make its world premier as BMW’s first full hybrid model, and the world’s most powerful hybrid vehicle. Oh yeah, and fuel economy is expected to improve 20 percent over the standard twin-turbo X6 to an estimated 18 mpg combined, or still low enough to qualify for the Cash For Clunkers program. 

The guys at Beamer took the standard X6’s 400 hp twin-turbocharged V8 gasoline engine and added two electric motors making 91 hp and 86 hp respectively to achieve a maximum power output of 480 hp and 575 lb-ft of torque. Compared to the mighty X6 M that produces 555hp and 501 lb ft of torque, the hybrid version actually produces more low-end grunt with help from the electric motors. Pushed through a seven-speed transmission and xDrive AWD system, that translates to a 0-60 time of 5.5 seconds, from a hybrid SUV.

From the press release: 

“ActiveHybrid technology provides a glimpse into the future, achieving outstanding driving dynamics with equally impressive efficiency. It melds both of these qualities to offer a truly unique driving experience.

The result is even greater driving pleasure combined with enhanced fuel economy and CO2 management providing the kind of progress to make the BMW ActiveHybrid X6 a genuine BMW in the hybrid market.”

Up to 37 mph, the ActiveHybrid can run solely on electric power for up to 1.6 miles. Under the 'power dome' hood that helps clear the power electronics module, there is no starter, alternator, or belt drive for the air-conditioning compressor and hydraulic pump, which is a good thing, I think. 

The official EPA numbers will not be released until later this year when the ActiveHybrid X6 begins to appear in US BMW showrooms. Until then it would be safe to assume it will still smoke the sh** out of a Prius. 




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