Last fall we had a quick jaunt in the two-mode BMW X6 Active Hybrid. We have discussed the system at great length with Dave Buchko from BMWNA when he visited with us during a BimmerCast. Thanks to Dave we were left with a great understanding of the system and how BMW created a hybrid that provided both better fuel economy and performance than the V8 X6.
We have not discussed the vehicle much lately but Herr Spira over at The Diesel Driver recently had a week in the X6 Active Hybrid and has cued us back to the NiMH based hybrid. In his review he breaks down the vehicle systems and explains some of the plusses and minuses of BMW ‘s first production hybrid.
The secret sauce behind the performance is the two-mode active transmission that supports enhanced efficiency or greater performance, as desired by the driver.When the driver accelerates, the V-8 is joined by the two electric motors to provide additional power without increasing fuel consumption.The motors also supply power in most driving conditions (such as highway driving), reducing the power output required of the V-8.
For more of his take on things (including an unexpected conclusion) check out the complete review at The Diesel Driver.