Here is a look at the new BMW 740e iPerformance – the fifth, and latest plug-in hybrid model from the German car maker. Three versions of the 7 Series plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHEV) are available, being the standard 740e, long wheelbase 740Le, and the all-wheel drive LWB 740Le xDrive.
Notably, the variant also introduces a new model designation, known as “iPerformance.” BMW says that the iPerformance badging is a “visible indicator of the transfer of technology from BMW i to the BMW core brand.”
All BMW PHEVs will feature iPerformance badging from July 2016, beginning with this, the 740e iPerformance. The exterior of these cars will specifically feature blue BMW i-style elements on the kidney grille and wheel hubs, an “i” logo just above the air breather, and an eDrive logo on their C-pillars.
Power-wise, the BMW 740e iPerformance models get a 2.0 litre BMW TwinPower Turbo four-cylinder engine which produces 258 hp and 400 Nm of torque. A supplementary 113 hp/250 Nm electric motor is integrated into the ZF-sourced eight-speed torque converter automatic transmission.
The electric components are similar to the BMW X5 xDrive40e, but the 7er’s petrol engine is instead taken from the base BMW 7 Series, the 730i. Total system output for the 740e is rated at 326 hp and 500 Nm.
Unsurprisingly, the 740Le xDrive variant is the quickest one off the line, capable of performing the century sprint in 5.5 seconds. The 740e completes the same feat in 5.6 seconds, while the 740Le gets from zero to 100 km/h it in 5.7 seconds.
Based on the NEDC test cycle for hybrids, BMW says that the BMW 740e will return a fuel consumption figure of 2.1 litres per 100 km, emitting just 49 grammes per km of CO2 in the process. The long wheelbase versions manage 2.3 litres per 100 km and emit 53 grammes per km of CO2.
The BMW 740e features a 9.2 kWh lithium-ion battery positioned under the rear seats. The boot floor area remains level, but has been reduced to 420 litres of space from the originally available 515 litres.
The energy flow between the high-voltage battery, electric motor and charger is controlled by power electronics that were developed specifically for the brand’s PHEVs. The system also regulates the supply of energy from the high-voltage battery to the 12V onboard electrical system via a voltage transformer.
To make the most out of the hybrid system, the 740e features three special drive modes that are accessible via the eDrive button. As in the X5 PHEV, AUTO eDrive mode automatically manages energy and power distribution. The mode defaults drive to pure electric under speeds of 80 km/h, but will fire up the petrol engine under heavy throttle inputs.
In MAX eDrive mode, the 7er maintains pure electric driving, offering a top speed of 140 km/h. Exceeding this speed or fully depressing the throttle pedal sees the petrol engine fire up. Drivers may choose to reserve anything between 30 to 100% of electric power with the Battery Control feature – reserving energy for later.
The BMW 740e will feature LED headlights (BMW Laserlight is optional), the BMW Display Key, the ConnectedDrive navigation package, smartphone integration with inductive charging facility for the phone battery, and an iDrive operating system expanded to include a touchscreen function for the Control Display and the globally unique BMW gesture control feature. The availability of these items may vary according to individual markets.
Customers may also look forward to auxiliary heating and air conditioning, which allow you to prepare the car’s cabin temperature prior to getting in the vehicle. The heating and air conditioning system of the plug-in hybrid models is supplied with energy from the 9.2 kWh lithium-ion battery.
GALLERY: BMW 740e iPerformance
GALLERY: BMW 740Le (Pre-Production 2015 car)