Although the 740e iPerformance was the first model in the new iPerformance range to be revealed, it was beaten to market by the 330e and X5 xDrive40e models. But, just as the 7 Series is BMW's overall flagship, this new variant will likewise enjoy a similar position in the iPerformance family.
The plug-in hybrid sedan will be sold in three formats: the regular wheelbase 740e iPerformance, the long wheelbase 740Le iPerformance, and the 740Le xDrive iPerformance that gains all-wheel-drive.
Under the bonnet, the 740e has a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine with 190kW of power, and 400Nm of torque between 1550 and 4400rpm.
The four-pot is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission that incorporates an 83kW/250Nm electric motor. Total system output is rated at 240kW of power and 500Nm of torque.
The electric motor is powered by a 9.2kWh lithium-ion battery pack. Located underneath the rear seats, the battery is topped up through regenerative braking and can be fully recharged within four hours from a 240V mains power outlet.
BMW says that the 740e iPerformance can complete the 0-100km/h dash in 5.4 seconds, while the long wheelbase model can do the same run in 5.5 seconds.
Using the European cycle, the 740e iPerformance has a fuel economy rating of between 2.0 and 2.2L/100km depending on the wheel and tyre combination. BMW claims that the 740e iPerformance has a pure EV range of 48 kilometres with a fully charged battery.
An eDrive button on the centre console allows the driver to select from three drivetrain modes. In Auto eDrive, the petrol engine is typically only engaged under heavy acceleration or when the car's speed exceeds 80km/h.
In Max eDrive, the car's electronic brain prioritises pure electric operation. Although the petrol engine may be called upon during pedal-to-the-metal driving, the car will attempt to stay in electric-only mode below 140km/h.
In Battery Control mode, the driver sets a target battery charge, which will then preserved for later EV driving.
There's also a Driving Experience Control switch, which allows the driver to choose between Adaptive, Eco Pro, Comfort and Sport modes.
Standard features on the 740e, 740Le and 740Le xDrive include LED headlights, a display key, the Connected Drive navigation system, and an iDrive infotainment system with touchscreen and gesture control interfaces.
The various 740e models also feature an air conditioning system that can be powered by mains electricity when the car is plugged in.
The 740e's options list includes Lasterlight headlamp technology, a panoramic glass roof, lounge-like rear seats, heads-up display, parking and driving assistance systems, surround view cameras, and an M Sport package.
Visually, the 740e, 740Le and 740Le xDrive are differentiated from their petrol and diesel brethren by subtle blue highlights for grille, headlights and BMW badges. There's also a smattering of i and eDrive badges on the inside and outside of the car.
We're waiting to hear back from BMW Australia about whether the 740e, 740Le and 740Le xDrive iPerformance models will be coming down under.