BMW Malaysia has officially launched the new G12 7 Series LCI (or facelift in normal human speak), just a few months after the facelifted limousine made its global debut back in January this year.

For our market, the only offering is a sole plug-in hybrid variant– the 745Le xDrive – but, and this is specific to Malaysia it will continue to be badged as the 740Le for our market. Arriving as a locally-assembled (CKD) model, pricing starts from RM594,800 on-the-road without insurance.

For those who are keeping track, the government-approved pricing of the new 7er is actually identical to the pre-LCI model, despite the new car costing more than before. So, while the nett selling price (RM907,144.87) is about RM50k more, customers benefit from the higher excise duty reduction with EEV incentive.

Included in the price is a five-year/unlimited mileage warranty with free scheduled service programme, a two-year tyre warranty programme, BMW Roadside Assistance, BMW Service Online and BMW White Card with Loyalty+ Mobile App access.

Under the bonnet, a B58B30 3.0 litre turbocharged straight-six engine forms the base of the new 740Le’s powertrain, replacing the previous B48B20 2.0 litre turbo four-pot used.

The inline-six serves up 286 PS (282 hp) from 5000-6,000 rpm and 450 Nm of torque from 1,500-3,500 rpm, which exceeds the B48’s 258 PS (255 hp) and 400 Nm. There’s also a slightly more powerful electric motor in play here, which is rated at 113 PS at 3,170 rpm and 265 Nm from 0-2,700 rpm, the latter being a 15 Nm improvement from before.

This is integrated into the eight-speed Steptronic gearbox, providing not only direct drive but also doubling as a generator to recuperate energy during braking and coasting phases.

Together with the standard xDrive all-wheel drive, the overall system output is rated at 394 PS (389 hp) and 600 Nm, which is again, a step up from the 740Le’s 326 PS (322 hp) and 500 Nm. In terms of performance, the 740Le will hit 100 km/h from a standstill in 5.1 seconds and hit 250 km/h.

The e-motor is now powered by a 12 kWh lithium-ion battery, which has a higher capacity over the previous 9.2 kWh unit. Still positioned underneath the rear seats, the 355-volt battery is used to run the car’s onboard network as well as auxiliary systems like air-conditioning.

Recharging the battery can be done by plugging the supplied single-phase AC charging cable into a household socket – the car features a Type 2 connecting point. A quicker method is with a three-phase AC connection by using the BMW Public Charging Cable and public charging stations.

Alternatively, there’s the optional BMW i Wallbox/Wallbox Plus, which is capable of outputting 22 kW provided your home features three-phase electric power. Given the 740Le comes with a 3.7 kW onboard charger, the fastest possible time to fully recharge the battery is 4.4 hours.

Drivers will get to choose from five drive modes – Sport, Adaptive, Hybrid, Electric and Battery Control. The first sets up the powertrain to deliver maximum performance, while Adaptive automatically adjusts the car to suit the current driving style and situation.

Hybrid is the standard setting upon vehicle start-up, balancing the interaction between the combustion engine and electric motor. In Hybrid, and to a further extent, Hybrid Eco Pro, the car prioritises minimising fuel consumption, promoting the use of a coasting function and providing an electrical boost only during kickdown manoeuvres.

The next mode, Battery Control allows drivers to maintain a certain charge state of the battery for use later on. Finally, Electric mode is pretty self-explanatory, whereby the car runs on electric power alone until the battery is exhausted, with acoustic pedestrian protection being active.

On a full charge, you can get up to 46 km of range running on just electricity, with the top speed capped at 140 km/h. Efficiency-wise, the 740Le’s claimed fuel consumption is 2.8 litres per 100 km based on the WLTP test cycle, while CO2 emissions is 65 g/km.

The standard suspension on the 740Le uses double wishbones at the front axle, while the rear adopts a five-link setup, both with self-levelling air suspension; there’s also an electronic power steering system with Servotronic function.

With the facelift also comes the much talked about kidney grille, which is 40% larger than before for more visual presence and to aid in cooling. The new nose also requires the bonnet to be redesigned, and it’s now 50 mm higher at its foremost point.

Joining the grille at the front are slimmer headlamps, which feature BMW Laserlight technology, as well as a larger BMW badge. For our market, the 740Le comes with the Design Pure Excellence package, with a revised lower apron that guides air more efficiently to the brake air ducts and the Air Curtains.

Along the sides, you’ll find 19-inch light alloy double-spoke Style 630 Bicolour wheels with mixed profile tyres (245/45 front and 275/40 rear), and upright Air Breathers in place of the previous slanted ones. The overall profile remains familiar as before, and the “L” in the variant name denotes a long wheelbase that spans 3,210 mm.

At the rear, the 3D-effect taillights now 35 mm slimmer to complement the headlamps, and they feature the company’s L-shaped lighting signature. A chrome bridge links the two clusters, and there’s a discreet full-width light bar just below it. Dual exhausts remain present as before, with moulded surrounds to help frame them neatly.

Stepping into the new 7 Series, the biggest update is undoubtedly the addition of the Live Cockpit Professional system, which is something that is already present in the new X5, 3 Series and Z4. Consisting of two displays – one 10.25-inch unit acting as a digital instrument cluster and a 12.3-inch primary touchscreen.

This setup is linked to the BMW Operating System 7.0, with supporting systems here being BMW Connected Package Professional and BMW Navigation system Professional.

Interacting with the system can be done via several methods, including the recoloured iDrive controller on the centre console, by way of touchscreen, using the buttons on the new steering wheel, calling up the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant and hand gestures. The last method now comes with added functionality, as you can now wave your hand in a “hitchhiker” fashion in addition to what was available before.

The list of equipment that comes with the 740Le includes four-zone climate control, Nappa leather upholstery, fine-wood trim Poplar Grain Grey, a Sky Lounge panoramic glass roof, ambient lighting, electrically powered sunshades, rear-seat massage, a BMW Display Key, a 16-speaker, 600 watt Harman Kardon sound system and a rear entertainment system with two 10-inch display screens and tablet. There’s only a rear bench here, with a centre armrest that has controls and the aforementioned tablet for certain car functions.

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As for safety, you get six airbags (front, side, head/curtain for the front and rear seats) and the Driving Assistant Professional package, where the latter consists of active cruise control with stop and go function, Collision and Pedestrian Warning with City Braking, Speed Limit Info, Rear Collision Prevention and Cross Traffic Alert.

Other systems here include Lane Departure Warning (operational from 70-210 km/h), Lane Change Warning (operational from 20 km/h to top speed), Lane Keeping Assistant with active side collision protection. The 740Le also comes with a head-up display and Parking Assistant with Reversing Assistant.

The feature makes it easier to get out of parking spots, as the vehicle’s last forward manoeuvre when travelling at speeds up to 36 km/h is recorded, and is then able to reverse the vehicle for distances of up to 50 metres.

Four colours are offered – Mineral White, Black Sapphire, Bernina Grey and Imperial Blue, all pairable to either Black or Cognac Nappa leather upholstery. With the Balloon Financing Plan from BMW Group Financial Services Malaysia, the 740Le can be had with monthly instalment plans starting from RM 6,788.00 (based on estimates of an 80% loan on a five-year tenure).

We’ve already driven the new 7 Series in Portugal, and you can read our thoughts about it here. You can find full specifications of the new BMW 740Le on CarBase.my.