BMW to introduce first hydrogen powered luxury car

bmw.jpgGerman automaker BMW AG said Tuesday it will introduce the world’s first hydrogen-powered luxury performance car.Know as the Hydrogen 7, the car will be built in a limited edition in Europe and will be sold to the U.S. market, the company said in a statement. It’s equipped with an internal combustion engine capable of running on either hydrogen or gasoline and is based on BMW’s 7 Series.

Hydrogen technology minimizes emissions of carbon dioxide. Running in the hydrogen mode, the Hydrogen 7 essentially emits nothing but vapor, BMW said.

The car’s engine is powered by a 260-horsepower, 12-cylinder engine and accelerates from zero to 100 kilometers per hour in 9.5 seconds. The top speed is limited electronically to 143 mph.

Other automakers, such as Volkswagen AG, Audi AG and Porsche AG have previously said they plan to develop hybrid engines.

French automaker PSA Peugeot-Citroen also wants to develop hybrid technology and may join forces with another company to share costs, Chairman and Chief Executive Jean-Martin Folz said last year.

Last year, Audi unveiled the first gas-electric hybrid vehicle from a European automaker at the Frankfurt Motor Show, a version of its Q7 sport-utility vehicle that will go on sale in 2008.

Toyota Motor Corp. remains the runaway leader in the field. The Japanese company was the first to begin mass-producing hybrids with its Prius in 1997.