BMW Press release (edited): BMW today announced the introduction of the new BMW Hydrogen 7, the world's first hydrogen-drive luxury performance automobile. The car will be built in a limited series in Europe and driven in the US and other countries by selected users in 2007. It is equipped with an internal combustion engine capable of either on hydrogen or on gasoline and based on the BMW 7 Series.
With all the comforts and amenities of a non-hydrogen 7 Series, the Hydrogen 7 is powered by a 260 hp twelve-cylinder engine and accelerates from 0-62.1 mph in 9.5 seconds. Top speed is limited electronically to 143 mph. The car also features a dual-mode power unit -- controlled at the touch of a button -- that can switch quickly and conveniently from hydrogen to conventional premium gasoline.
The car's dual-mode drive provides an overall cruising range of more than 400 miles and enables the driver to enjoy virtually unlimited mobility, even when far away from the nearest hydrogen filling station. This technology is a viable solution until the hydrogen infrastructure is fully developed.
BMW recognizes that cruising range is of critical importance in a hydrogen-powered vehicle, because there is not yet a full network of hydrogen filling stations in the United States.
For this reason, the Hydrogen 7 features dual-mode drive technology and a combustion engine capable of running on both hydrogen and gasoline. The cruising range in the hydrogen mode is more than 125 miles, with another 300 miles in the gasoline mode. By introducing the BMW Hydrogen 7, BMW establishes powerful momentum for the ongoing development of a supply infrastructure serving above all to set up additional hydrogen filling stations providing sustained mobility on a broad basis also in the future.
To offer the longest conceivable cruising range, the BMW Hydrogen 7 comes with both a conventional 74-litre (16.3 Imp gal) gasoline tank and an additional fuel tank taking up approximately 8 kilos or 17.6 lb of liquid hydrogen. Stored in a high tech tank, liquid hydrogen offers significant advantages in energy density enhancing the cruising range of the hydrogen car.
Because engine power and torque remain exactly the same regardless of the mode of operation, switching from one mode to another has no effect on the driving behavior and performance of the Hydrogen 7.
The control system in Hydrogen 7 gives priority to the use of hydrogen. And, should one of the two types of fuel be fully consumed, the system will automatically switch over to the other type of fuel in the interest of secure, ongoing supply.
In addition to the high level of equipment featured from the start in the BMW 760i, the BMW Hydrogen 7 comes inter alia with climate comfort composite glazing, BMW's high-end automatic air conditioning, auxiliary heating, electric seat heating for the driver, front passenger and rear seats, lumbar supports, electric seat adjustment with memory function on the front seats, ISOFIX child seat fastenings, Park Distance Control, a rain sensor, exterior and interior mirrors with automatic anti-dazzle, Soft Close Automatic for the doors and a headlight assistant. A complete entertainment and communication package adds to the comfort a BMW 7 Series can provide.
The Hydrogen 7 will be based on the BMW 760Li, BMW's largest and most expensive sedan. The 12-cylinder BMW 760Li has a base sticker price of $118,900. No price has been announced for the Hydrogen 7.