After announcing the launch of their iPerformance sub-brand lineup back in February, BMW has finally revealed a trio of plug-in hybrid luxury sedans, sourcing their power from a new-gen four-cylinder petrol unit and an electric motor.
Deep down, it’s all one car, split three ways in terms of comfort and traction. There’s the 740e iPerformance with a regular wheelbase, the 740Le iPerformance with a long wheelbase and the 740Le xDrive iPerformance, where the latter offers a more confident approach to slippery roads of any kind.
These plug-in hybrid versions of BMW’s new 7-Series can of course brag about more than just their driving dynamics, long-distance comfort and overall luxury, thanks to their excellent average petrol consumption. With a total system output of 326 PS (321 HP), the 740e & 740Le iPerformance can average between 2.2 and 2.0l/100 km (128.4 – 141.2 mpg UK) with CO2 emissions of just 50 to 45 grams per km (51-45 for the long wheelbase model). The flagship 740Le xDrive iPerformance can do 2.5 – 2.1 liters/100 km (113 – 134.5 mpg UK), with combined CO2 emissions of 56-49g/km.
As for what’s new on the 740e iPerformance variants, well, aside from the fact that customers can benefit from innovative products and services developed specifically for BMW i (Wallbox, ChargeNow), all three models can be specified with the optional anti-dazzle BMW Laserlight technology, first seen on the BMW i8.
Other optional extras include the active seat ventilation feature, massage function, Heat Comfort pack, Executive Lounge option, Sky Lounge Panorama glass roof plus a multitude of driver assistance systems such as the Head-Up Display, Parking Assistant, Driving Assistant, Driving Assistant Plus and Surround View systems. Exterior-wise, all three versions can be ordered with either the M Sport package, the Pure Excellence exterior & interior package as well as the BMW Individual Design Composition.
In terms of standard specs, you get LED headlights, BMW Display Key, ConnectedDrive sat-nav package, smartphone integration and a touchscreen-operated iDrive system, featuring the well-known and globally unique BMW gesture control tech.
As with any BMW, the way in which the car performs when pushed is key, which is why all plug-in hybrid versions of the new 7-Series come equipped with a newly designed Driving Experience Control switch for different driving styles and an eDrive button for intelligent energy management (AUTO eDRIVE & MAX eDRIVE). Switching to MAX eDRIVE puts the car into a pure-electric mode where its pure-electric top speed becomes 140 km/h (87 mph) – not tremendously quick, but sufficient for most of the world’s motorways.
In a straight line, you’ll be doing 100 km/h (62 mph) in 5.4 seconds (740e), 5.5 seconds (540Le) and 5.3 seconds (740Le xDrive), where the latter also follows in the footsteps of the X5 xDrive40e iPerformance as BMW’s second model to distribute its power permanently to all four of its wheels while in pure-electric mode.