BMW is about to debut a new diesel-hybrid version of the X5 SUV at next month’s Geneva Motor Show and previously it unveiled a hybrid version of its new X6 crossover, but both of these vehicles are strictly concept vehicles. The first BMW vehicle with a hybrid powertrain to on sale will actually be the next-generation 7-series limo, which is due to be revealed in the second half of this year.

The hybrid variant of the car, featuring BMW’s new ‘mild hybrid’ system, won’t arrive for another “two to three years,” a company spokesman confirmed to Germany’s DPA. The powertrain will feature a petrol powered engine mated to a compact generator-motor mounted directly onto the gearbox. This electric motor will be powered by an array of lithium-ion batteries in the boot, which can be topped using conventional Brake Energy Regeneration technology.

BMW’s new twin-turbo petrol V8, which debuted in the X6 crossover, will also make an appearance in the 7-series as well as a possible V8 turbodiesel. Other new technologies will be a new eight-speed ZF automatic transmission and a torque-splitting differential on the rear axle. Click here to see our preview story on the new 7-series for more details.

2009 BMW 7-series renderings

BMW Vision EfficientDynamics X5 Concept

BMW Concept X6 Active Hybrid