BMW 740e – Plug-in hybrid luxury car debuts

BMW's flagship saloon joins an ever-growing list of luxury plug-in hybrids

BMW has revealed details on its plug-in hybrid 7-series, known as the 740e.

Using technology derived from that of the BMW i sub-brand cars – the i3 and i8 – the plug-in saloon is designed to mix high performance with minimal fuel consumption.

Subscribe to evo magazine

evo is 21 and to celebrate, we're returning to 1998 prices! Subscribe now to SAVE 39% on the shop price and get evo for its original cover price of £3.00 an issue, plus get a FREE gift worth £25!

The key figures here are 254bhp, which is the figure produced by a four-cylinder petrol engine sitting under the bonnet; 110bhp, developed by the electric components integrated into the eight-speed Steptronic automatic. The combined system output is 322bhp, which results in a 0-62mph time of 5.4sec.

> Read our BMW 7-series review

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

The other key figures – those of economy – are 29 miles and 134.5mpg. The former refers to the 740e’s all-electric range from its 9.2kWh battery pack, and the latter is the (almost certainly ambitious) official combined fuel economy figure.

That number will depend very much on where the car is used and how often its driver charges the battery pack (city-only drivers could potentially use very little fuel at all, long-distance owners won’t see much benefit from petrol-only running) but it finally gives BMW a competitor in the increasing plug-in luxury market: Porsche and Mercedes-Benz already sell short-range plug-in hybrid luxury saloons.

CO2 (or lack thereof) is the other benefit, at 49g/km. All these numbers change slightly for the 740Le xDrive, including the 0-62mph time which drops by a tenth thanks to the extra traction of the all-wheel drive system.

Emissions climb to 54g/km and the combined fuel consumption increases to 117.7mpg, while the same 9.2kWh battery pack will get owners two miles fewer on a charge.

Both models feature an eDrive button that allows the owner to cycle between different driving modes. Default running uses electric power alone at lower speeds and enrolls the petrol engine above 50mph, but the eDrive button allows for electric-only running in certain situations – up to 87mph – and also the ability to store battery charge on the move, ready for a zero-emission zone later in the journey.

Regular driving modes include BMW’s usual Eco Pro, Comfort and Sport settings, which vary the behaviour of the engine and transmission, the air suspension, and steering response.

Advertisement - Article continues below

Visually, differences to the standard 7-series are minimal: The keen-eyed will spot the battery charging port door in the left front wing, the eDrive badges and BMW i Blue elements in the kidney grille.

Standard kit includes LED headlights, BMW’s weighty and complicated ‘Display Key’ and a full suite of ConnectedDrive functions. Like all 7-series, both cars use the i-brand inspired Carbon Core technology, which has helped save 125kg on average compared to the previous car.

The BMW 740e starts at £68,330 in the UK and the long-wheelbase 740Le xDrive begins at £74,880. For comparison, Mercedes’ plug-in hybrid S-class, the S500e, costs £90,165, while a plug-in hybrid Porsche Panamera, the S E-Hybrid, starts at £82,439.

Advertisement

Recommended

Visit/bmw/7-series/22688/new-2019-bmw-7-series-review-can-a-revised-v8-breathe-life-into-the-750i-xdrive
BMW 7 Series saloon

New BMW 7-series 2019 review

23 May 2019
Visit/bmw/7-series/22150/new-bmw-7-series-facelift-unveils-a-bold-new-look-for-the-s-class-rival
BMW 7 Series saloon

New BMW 7-series facelift

16 Jan 2019
Advertisement

Most Popular

Visit/toyota/yaris/201932/toyota-yaris-gr-4-teased-in-new-video-true-wrc-homologation-special-on-the
Toyota Yaris

Toyota Yaris GR-4 teased in new video

Gazoo Racing to follow up its 2019 WRC championship with an all-new car based on the GR-4 hot hatch
4 Dec 2019
Visit/jaguar/f-type/22839/2020-jaguar-f-type-revealed
Jaguar F-Type

2020 Jaguar F-type revealed 

An updated Jaguar F-type has been revealed with a consolidated engine range and new front end
2 Dec 2019
Visit/nissan/gtr/21433/limited-run-nissan-gt-r50-to-enter-production-in-2020
Nissan GT-R coupe

Limited-run Nissan GT-R50 to enter production in 2020

First customer GT-R50s set to hit the road next year, with prices starting beyond the €1million mark
5 Dec 2019
Visit/hyundai/201819/hyundai-i30-fastback-n-versus-the-nurburgring
Hyundai i30 N

Hyundai i30 Fastback N versus the Nurburgring

We brought the Hyundai i30 Fastback back to its spiritual home in Germany's Eifel mountains, where there is a racing track you might well have heard o…
7 Oct 2019