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Monday, September 27, 2010

Best of Both Worlds?

We seem to be very evasive here at FPH regarding the subject of hybrids.  While I can't speak for Danny Choy on this one, I do indeed like hybrids.  Ligers and Grolar Bears are freaking badass!  In some instances, the sum of these animal hybrids are better than their equivalent parts.  They can run faster, jump higher, and rip off your face more!  Actually, they are a bit like their automotive counterparts...a bit.

BMW 7-series Hybrid courtesy of caranddriver.com
Ok, as you can see we're not exactly talking about the Toyota Prius here.  The brand new BMW ActiveHybrid 7 is a prime example of the kind of hybrid that appeals to myself as well as other enthusiasts.  It sports the same 4.4 liter twin-turbo V8 as the BMW 750i.  However, the hybrid 7 also has a 15 Kilowatt electric motor.  Now, I'm not an electrical engineer but I'm pretty sure that equates to about the power of the sun when applied to a BMW.  So, while the regular 750i can accelerate to sixty in 5.2 seconds.  The, arguably, greener luxobarge can make the sprint in about 4.7 seconds, which isn't bad for a 4800 lb behemoth of a car.  For the number conscious amongst you, the 750i has a nice round 400 hp and 450 lb-ft of torque.  The hybrid's stable contains 455 hp and 515 lb-ft.  The cost and weight difference between the hybrid and the 750 is $20,000 ($102,000 vs. $82,000) and 231 pounds.  The hybrid also gets 15% better fuel economy. 

2012 Infiniti M35 Hybrid courtesy of motortrend.com
If that's a bit too pricey, there's the Infiniti alternative, the M35 hybrid, which rings in at $53,900.  It's motive force is supplied by a 3.5 liter V6 which is supplemented by an electric motor for a cumulative 362 hp.  Compare this to the 330 hp M37 and we have a similar situation to the 7 series.

What's the point of all this?  In an economy such as today's, one car families are becoming more and more commonplace.  These vehicles are large, comfortable, and stylish.  The addition of the hybrid system adds some frugality to the equation and a driver can still get his kicks while behind the wheel.  The BMW and Infiniti hybrids have a sort of panache or aura that is much like those hybrids in the animal kingdom.  While the 7 and M35 resemble the strength and beauty of Ligers and Grolar Bears, the Prius just seems to be an ass.

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