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BMW today revealed its Hydrogen 7, the alternative-fuel model and outgrowth of the company's CleanEnergy project that was recently spotted (and photographed) amid road testing. As expected, it's a flex-fuel configuration, with modified version of the corporate 6.0-liter V12 that can swich from gasoline to liquid hydrogen fuel (liquid, cryogenic hydrogen, the company says, offers much higher energy density than the gaseous stuff).

This image was lost some time after publication.

According to BMW, the hydrogen-combustion powerplant spews virtually no harmful emissions and CO2 into the air, though only produces 256 horsepower (compared to 438 hp for the 760i) and goes from zero to 60 in 9.5 seconds (the same as the Fiat Panda). Plus, in hydrogen mode, the operating range is only 200 km (or 124 miles), so it would be entirely impractical were it not for the gasoline tank swich-on. Clearly this car's an early entrant in an as-yet-unproven genre, and while BMW's unclear about how the car will be marketed, is says the launch is directed to "the network partners involved in politics, science and the energy industry" as well as "an open-minded clientele highly sensitive to trendsetting innovations in the world of mobility." Good luck to the newbie car salesman stuck with that in his inbox.

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Spy Photos: Hydrogen BMW 7-Series [internal]