Revealed at the Geneva motor show earlier this year, the 740e iPerformance succeeds the old ActiveHybrid 7 and debuts as BMW's assault on the Mercedes-Benz S500e.
But, while the ActiveHybrid 7 was a relatively conventional example of the petrol-electric partnership, the 740e lobs as a more advanced plug-in hybrid electric vehicle.
No surprise, then, that the 740e is pricier than its predecessor, but only by about $6000. And, at $229,000 plus on-road costs, the 740e is notably more affordable - if less spacious - than the long-wheelbase $319,715 Mercedes-Benz S500e that launched here in July.
The 740e's pricing places it above the entry-level $217,455 730d inline-six diesel, but well below the $289,315 750i V8 petrol. Other models include the $224,155 740i and the stretched $237,955 740Li and $312,415 750Li variants.
Driving the rear-wheel-drive 740e is a 190kW/400Nm 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine matched to an 83kW/250Nm electric motor integrated into the eight-speed automatic transmission.
Total system output is rated at 240kW of power and 500Nm of torque, and BMW claims fuel consumption figures of just 2.2L/100km on the combined cycle, with CO2 emissions listed at 50g/km.
Energy to the electric drive system is provided by a 9.2kWh lithium-ion battery pack mounted beneath the rear seat, cutting rear storage space from 515 to 420 litres. 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, "depending on vehicle load, battery charge and prevailing conditions", the 740e iPerformance can be driven in electric-only mode at speeds up to 140km/h, for up to 48 kilometres.
The 740e iPerformance offers three drive 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 system prioritises pure electric operation. Although the petrol engine may still be called upon in more intensive situations, the car will otherwise work to stay in electric-only mode at up to 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 for the 740e are mostly in-line with the 740i, including:
- 19-inch light-alloy Wheels
- BMW Display Key
- BMW Touch Command
- Lane Change Warning with Steering Assist
- Exterior Design Pure Excellence
- 16-speaker harman/kardon surround sound system
- Heat comfort package, front (heated seats for driver and front passenger, heated armrests for centre console, driver and front passenger doors
- and steering wheel heating)
- Instrument panel finished in leather
- Interior Design Pure Excellence
- Nappa leather upholstery
- Professional Navigation with Gesture Control
- Side Blinds, electric
- M Sport package (no-cost option)
- Further standard specification
- Adaptive 2-axle air suspension
- Adaptive LED Headlights with BMW Selective Beam
- Eight-speed Sports automatic transmission with Steptronic
- Driving Experience Control with ECO PRO mode (including ADAPTIVE mode)
- Servotronic steering
- Intelligent Emergency Call
- Remote Services
- Real Time Traffic Information
- Concierge Services
- Active seat ventilation, front
- Active Park Distance Control, front and rear
- Comfort Access System, including contactless opening/closing of rear tailgate
- Comfort seats for driver and front passenger including lumbar support
- Digital Radio DAB+
- Driving Assistant Plus (Lane Change and Lane Departure Warning, Steering and Lane Control Assistant, Forward Collision Warning and Pedestrian Warning with light city braking function, Crossing-traffic Warning (front and rear), Rear Collision prevention and Active Cruise Control with Stop and Go function)
- Head Up Display
- Parking Assistant
- Rear View Camera
- Soft-close function for doors
- Sport leather steering wheel with Gearshift Paddles
- Sunblinds, rear and rear side electric
- Surround View with 360 degree function and panorama view
- Voice control
- Glass Sunroof
Hybrid-specific features include:
- Eight-speed Steptronic automatic transmission (replacing sports automatic transmission)
- Acoustic Protection for Pedestrians
- BMW ConnectedDrive eDrive Services
- Six-year/100,000km High Voltage Battery warranty
- Charging cable
Local deliveries of the 740e iPerformance will begin later this year.