BMW has added yet another plug-in hybrid model to its stable of efficient-focused vehicles. However, this time it’s a big, luxurious 7 Series and not a little sedan or hatchback — the BMW 740e xDrive iPerformance. The BMW 740e xDrive iPerformance is just another addition to BMW’s mission in adding a plug-in hybrid variant to each model line. But it may just be the best yet, according to CAR Magazine, who’s recently had a go in it.
On paper, the BMW 740e seems promising. With a similar powertrain setup to the brilliant BMW X5 xDrive40e (which is brilliant by the way), the 740e packs a 2.0 liter turbocharged engine mated to an electric motor that sends power through and eight-speed ZF automatic. Total system power output is 322 hp (255 hp from the engine and 111 hp from electric motor) and 369 lb-ft of torque. With that much power, even though it’s a hybrid and quite heavy, the BMW 740e can get from 0-60 mph in an impressive 5.3 seconds. But if you want to take it into a crowded European city center, it will do 29 miles of pure EV driving, saving you from any congestion charges that might be enforced.
What impresses more though, is how the big girl drives. We all know that the new BMW 7 Series is extremely luxurious, highly technologically advanced and sublime to drive. However, it’s still shocking to have a four-cylinder, plug-in hybrid luxury car drive with the sort of verve that the 740e does. CAR claims that the 740e is probably the most fun-to-drive luxury sedan in its class and that when you take it out of the city limits and onto some back roads, it’s actually a good time.
One thing that helps the 740e feel so nimble is its xDrive system, which features BMW’s Active Steering (BMW speak for rear-wheel steering). Rear-steering helps to seemingly shorten the wheelbase, giving the 740e the feeling of being a much smaller car. And this is on top of being the superb luxury car that it already is.
CAR Magazine’s final verdict on the BMW 740e iPerformance is a positive one. It’s a car that blends wonderful luxury, playful handling and impressive efficiency. It’s an expensive package, admittedly, starting at £76,380 ($101,043). However, if you can afford it, it’s well worth it as it’s one of the best all-around luxury packages on the market.[Source: CAR]