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Future models - BMW - 7 Series - 740e iPerformance

BMW introduces all-paw hybrid 7 Series

Sparked up: The 740e, 740Le and 740Le xDrive will use 190kW turbo four and a “permanently excited” electric motor for sub-3.0L/100km economy figures.

iPerformance hybrid trio to run most powerful production four-pot BMW engine yet

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BMW logo16 Jul 2016

By TIM ROBSON

BMW has announced details of its forthcoming hybrid 7 Series range that will include an all-wheel-drive variant for the first time.

It will be offered in a regular wheelbase 740e, a stretched 740Le and all-wheel drive 740Le xDrive guises and they join the i3 city car, i8 sportscar, 330e sedan and X5 xDrive40e SUV in BMW Australia’s plug-in range.

Another all-paw 7 Series – the fire-breathing 441kW V12 turbo M760Li xDrive limo – is also expected to arrive later this year.

While no Australian specifications or pricing have yet been confirmed, the car is set to debut locally later this year, according to BMW Australia officials.

Adding to BMW’s burgeoning plug-in hybrid fleet, the 740e will use a turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine that it claims is the most powerful ever fitted to a series-produced BMW, making 190kW and 450Nm of torque.

It is paired with an 83kW/250Nm electric motor that is nestled in with the eight-speed automatic transmission which, when combined with the petrol powerplant, gives the 7 Series a total output of 240kW and 500Nm.

It allows the 740e to sprint to 100km/h in 5.4 seconds, the 740Le in 5.5 seconds and the 740Le xDrive in 5.3.

The Le xDrive shares the same constant all-wheel-drive EV capability of the X5 xDrive40e that arrived in Australian showrooms in April.

The car’s 9.2kWh battery array is hidden under the rear seat, and gives the 740e and Le a theoretical electric-only range of 48km – 18km more than the Mercedes-Benz S500 plug-in. The Le xDrive can manage 45km.

Its top speed in full electric mode is as high as 140km/h, while the car will default to EV mode under 50km/h where possible.

Claimed fuel consumption figures for the 740e and Le are 2.2 litres per 100km, with CO2 emissions of 55g grams per kilometre. The Le xDrive is claimed to consume 2.5L/100km and 65g Co2/km.

A multiple driving mode button – now known as a Driving Experience Control switch – on the centre console offers four modes (Eco Pro, Comfort, Sport and Adaptive) that are, according to BMW, much more clearly defined.

The Adaptive mode reads the driver’s inputs and terrain travelled to optimise the 740’s consumption of fuel and battery power, which can be replenished by regenerative braking, petrol engine recharging or by plugging into the mains.

BMW claims the battery can be fully recharged from a regular wall socket in four hours, while a BMW i Wallbox will do the job in three hours.

There are no notable changes made to the exterior of the car, save for the addition of a charging port and badging.

The 7 Series is built around BMW’s Carbon Core – first seen in the i8 hybrid sportscar – that comprises a mixture of steel, aluminium and carbon-fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP) for the platform and chassis, netting a weight reduction of up to 130kg over the old model, according to BMW.

Standard equipment for all three variants will include LED headlights, a BMW Display Key, a ConnectedDrive navigation package, smartphone integration with inductive charging facility for the phone battery, a touchscreen-enabled iDrive system and gesture control.

A new remote heating and air conditioning system, which allows owners to prepare the car’s interior temperature in advance, will be offered, and is powered from the high-voltage battery. When the car’s battery is being charged, the auxiliary air-conditioning function is powered by the mains supply.

Driver assistance systems include a head-up display as well as the parking assistant, driving assistant, driving assistant plus and surround-view systems.

The iPerformance variants of the new BMW 7 Series can also be specced with an M Sport package, Pure Excellence exterior design and interior design packages and BMW’s Individual Design Composition.

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