BMW 740e iPerformance plug-in hybrid luxury sedan debuts at 2016 Geneva Motor Show

Article by Andrew Christian, on March 8, 2016

BMW is presenting at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show its new BMW 7 Series plug-in hybrid luxury sedans – the new BMW 740e iPerformance, BMW 740Le iPerformance and BMW 740Le xDrive iPerformance. 

Fascinatingly, drivers are given the ability to configure how the plug-in hybrid drive system operates – through the so-called eDrive button on the center console. Drivers can choose between two drive modes: AUTO eDRIVE that works using the hybrid capability of the vehicle, and MAX eDRIVE that lets the car operate on pure-electric mode.

In the AUTO eDRIVE, intelligent energy management guarantees a harmonious teamwork between the combustion engine and the electric motor work to ensure maximum efficiency and optimized performance. However, when the vehicle is cruising at low and moderate speeds, the AUTO eDRIVE mode would shift to all-electric operation to benefit from locally emission-free mobility. Once the vehicle reaches speeds of around 80 km/h (50 mph) or operates under heavy throttle, the combustion engine will kick in.

In the MAX eDRIVE mode, the vehicle is powered only by the electric motor. However, drivers could anytime harness power from the combustion engine just by pressing the accelerator into kickdown. In this mode, the new BMW 740e iPerformance, BMW 740Le iPerformance and BMW 740Le xDrive iPerformance could travel as fast as 140 km/h (87 mph) in pure electric driving. Meanwhile, the Battery Control setting allows drivers to reserve between 30 and 100 percent of the battery’s maximum charge for the later part of a trip.

For instance, a driver could decrease the amount of electric power used during highway driving so more of it could be used later for locally emission-free driving. Both BMW eDrive and the carbon core body are a refined result of the development of BMW i cars.

After all, the customers for the BMW 740e iPerformance, BMW 740Le iPerformance and BMW 740Le xDrive iPerformance could take advantage of the products and services that were originally developed for BMW i. Moreover, customers could avail of the optional anti- dazzle BMW Laserlight that debuted in the BMW i8 plug-in hybrid sports car.

Powertrain

These plug-in hybrid luxury sedans are powered by a harmonious marriage between a BMW eDrive electric motor and a 2.0-liter four-cylinder combustion engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology.

This plug-in hybrid drive technology provides a total system output of up to 240 kW (326 hp) and total torque of up to 500 Newton meters (369 lb-ft). The combustion engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology used in these BMW 7 Series plug-in hybrid variants – a part of the carmaker’s Efficient Dynamics engine family – could provide 190 kW/258 hp of maximum output and 400 Nm (295 lb-ft) of peak torque available between 1,250 rpm and 4,800 rpm.

This effectively makes this engine the most powerful four-cylinder equipped in a BMW series vehicle so far. Add to that the fact that this new engine has been optimized to produce a characteristic sound. On the other hand, the electric motor of the BMW eDrive works on the principle of an always excited synchronous motor, thereby allowing it to deliver 83 kW (113 hp) in maximum output 250 Newton meters (184 lb-ft) of peak torque available instantly.

This greatly boosts the total output of the plug-in hybrid drive system while allowing for more instantaneous responses. Interestingly, the electric motor also functions as a generator. Depending on the selected hybrid function, electric motor-cum-generator is powered either by recovering braking energy or by raising the engine’s load points.

Then, it stores the generated energy into a high-voltage battery. Just like the combustion engine, the electric motor is fully integrated into the eight-speed Steptronic transmission, which guarantees the efficiency of pure-electric driving, the electric boost function and the braking energy recovery.

It is only logical to use the eight-speed Steptronic transmission for the plug-in hybrid drive system setup, since this gearbox boasts of not only being compact, but also of excellent internal efficiency, first-rate shift dynamics and shift comfort. Customers may avail of the optional gearshift paddles on the steering wheel that should allow drivers to manually shift gears easily and precisely.

This hybrid framework, of course, provides the new BMW 7 Series plug-in hybrid luxury sedans – the new BMW 740e iPerformance, BMW 740Le iPerformance and BMW 740Le xDrive iPerformance – with dynamic ability laden with enormous efficiency. In fact, the plug-in hybrid drive powertrain allows the BMW 740e iPerformance and the BMW 740Le iPerformance to accelerate from zero to 100 km/h (62 mph) in just 5.6 seconds and 5.7 seconds, respectively.

It also allows the BMW 740Le xDrive iPerformance to sprint from standstill to 100 km/h (62 mph) in merely 5.5 seconds. In terms of efficiency – measured by the amount of fuel or electricity consumed and the amount of carbon dioxide emissions – the all new BMW 7 Series plug-in hybrid luxury sedans impress. Both the BMW 740e iPerformance and BMW 740Le iPerformance consume 2.1 liters of petrol per 100 kilometers (134.5 mpg imp) on a combined cycle and use 12.5 kWh of electricity.

Moreover, both the BMW 740e iPerformance and BMW 740Le iPerformance emit as low as 49 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer (calculated in the EU test cycle for plug-in hybrid vehicles). On the other hand, the BMW 740Le xDrive iPerformance consumes just 2.3 liters of petrol per 100 kilometers (122.8 mpg imp) and 13 kWh of electricity. BMW 740Le xDrive iPerformance also emits as low as 53 grams of carbon dioxide per kilometer, as per EU test cycle for plug-in hybrid vehicles.

Interestingly, the new BMW 740e iPerformance, BMW 740Le iPerformance and BMW 740Le xDrive iPerformance allow drivers to travel over a long distance on pure electric power, while still providing first-rate comfort, pleasure and luxury. Thus, all three new members of the BMW 7 Series represent the most demanding implementation, so far, of Efficient Dynamics. In fact, the BMW 740e iPerformance and BMW 740Le iPerformance could travel up to 40 km (25 miles), as per the EU test cycle for plug-in hybrid vehicles, when driven on pure electric mode.

On the other hand, the BMW 740Le xDrive iPerformance could travel up to 37 km (23 miles) when driven on all electric power. Interestingly, the BMW 740Le xDrive iPerformance is BMW’s second model – next to the BMW X5 xDrive40e – that distributes its power permanently to all four wheels. Thus, no matter what situation the BMW 740Le xDrive iPerformance is operating in -- when in pure-electric mode, when the combustion engine kicks in and when both drive systems are in use – power is distributed to all four wheels.

Furthermore, the intelligent all-wheel-drive system guarantees optimized directional stability, improved agility and excellent traction in any weather and in any road condition.

Press Release

BMW Debuts New iPerformance Model Designation with BMW 740e iPerformance

The new BMW 7 Series plug-in hybrid luxury sedans source their power from the myriad talents of a four-cylinder petrol engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology and an electric motor. Together, they deliver a system output of 240 kW/326 hp. The new BMW 740e iPerformance with standard wheelbase and the new BMW 740Le iPerformance with long wheelbase capture the imagination with supreme dynamics, yet also record average fuel consumption of 2.1 litres per 100 kilometres (134.5 mpg imp) and CO2 emissions of 49 grams per kilometre (provisional figures)*. In the new BMW 740Le xDrive iPerformance (fuel consumption combined: 2.3 l/100 km / 122.8 mpg imp; CO2 emissions combined: 53 g/km; provisional figures)*, intelligent all-wheel drive distributes the combined power of the combustion engine and electric motor permanently and as required between the front and rear wheels.

The plug-in hybrid variants of the new BMW 7 Series allow top-level driving pleasure, long-distance comfort and luxury to be experienced in combination with all-electric, locally emission-free mobility as well. In so doing, they represent the most rigorous implementation yet of Efficient Dynamics in vehicles from the BMW brand. Both BMW eDrive and the body structure with Carbon Core are rooted in expertise refined in the development of BMW i cars. When it comes to charging the high-voltage battery, customers benefit from innovative products and services originally developed for BMW i.

The BMW 740e iPerformance, BMW 740Le iPerformance and BMW 740Le xDrive iPerformance can also be specified as an option with anti- dazzle BMW Laserlight, which celebrated its world premiere in the BMW i8 plug-in hybrid sports car. Intelligent energy management optimises the interplay of the combustion engine and electric motor. The electric boost function provides a noticeable increase in dynamic vigour – expressed most prominently by the powertrain’s instantaneous responses – and combines with enhanced efficiency courtesy of the electric assist function and the opportunity to drive through town and cross-country on electric power only to create a unique symbiosis of driving pleasure and sustainability.

The maximum electric range, as per the EU test cycle for plug-in hybrid vehicles, is 40 kilometres / 25 miles for the BMW 740e iPerformance and BMW 740Le iPerformance, or 37 kilometres / 23 miles for the BMW 740Le xDrive iPerformance (provisional figures) *. The best of two worlds: BMW eDrive and BMW TwinPower Turbo technology. The combustion engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology employed by the plug-in hybrid variants of the new BMW 7 Series is a member of the new Efficient Dynamics engine family. Developing maximum output of 190 kW/258 hp, it is the most powerful four-cylinder engine ever fitted in a series-produced BMW. Instantaneous power delivery and peak torque of 400 Newton metres (295 lb-ft) – on tap across a wide rev range (1,250 – 4,800 rpm) – imbue the 2.0-litre unit with vivaciously sporty yet also poised and authoritative performance.

In addition, the new engine displays outstanding refinement and optimised acoustic properties. The electric drive system, based on the principle of a permanently excited synchronous motor, boasts exceptionally high power density with a maximum output of 83 kW/113 hp. As is characteristic for electric drive systems, it serves up its peak torque of 250 Newton metres (184 lb-ft) from the word go. This has the effect of boosting the engine’s output and greeting the driver with thrillingly instantaneous responses. Furthermore, the electric motor takes on the role of a generator which – depending on the hybrid function selected – is powered either by recuperating braking energy or by efficiently raising the engine’s load points. It then feeds the energy it generates into the high- voltage battery. The electric motor is fully integrated into the eight-speed Steptronic transmission.

This ensures that pure-electric driving, the dynamics-enhancing electric boost function and the recuperation of braking energy are all extremely efficient. The eight-speed Steptronic transmission has outstanding internal efficiency, top-class shift dynamics and shift comfort, and a compact construction. Gearshift paddles on the steering wheel are available as an option, enabling the driver to make manual gear selections with exceptional swiftness and the greatest of ease. Working together intelligently, the combustion engine and electric drive system bring a system output of 240 kW/326 hp and a combined peak torque of 500 Newton metres (369 lb-ft) to the table.

Immediate response to every movement of the accelerator and sustained delivery of dynamic power allow the BMW 740e iPerformance to dash from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 5.6 seconds and the BMW 740Le iPerformance to complete the same sprint in 5.7 seconds. The cars’ sporty driving characteristics are complemented by extraordinarily low fuel consumption and emissions. The BMW 740e iPerformance and BMW 740Le iPerformance both record combined petrol consumption of 2.1 litres per 100 kilometres (134.5 mpg imp) and electricity consumption of 12.5 kWh. CO2emissions are 49 grams per kilometre (provisional figures as calculated in the EU test cycle for plug-in hybrid vehicles, may vary depending on the tyre format specified). BMW 740Le xDrive iPerformance: permanent all-wheel drive also applies to all-electric driving.

The BMW 740Le xDrive iPerformance follows in the tyre tracks of the BMW X5 xDrive40e as the brand’s second model to distribute its power permanently to all four wheels in pure-electric driving, when the combustion engine cuts in and when both drive systems are in use at the same time. The intelligent all-wheel-drive system ensures supreme traction, optimised directional stability and enhanced agility through enthusiastically taken corners in all weather and road conditions. Perfectly executed power distribution gives the BMW 740Le xDrive iPerformance extremely dynamic accelerative ability, with the journey from rest to 100 km/h (62 mph) completed in 5.5 seconds. Yet the fuel consumption of the BMW 740Le xDrive iPerformance is just 2.3 litres per 100 kilometres (122.8 mpg imp) combined while electricity consumption comes in at 13 kWh.

CO2 emissions are 53 grams per kilometre (provisional figures as calculated in the EU test cycle for plug-in hybrid vehicles, may vary depending on the tyre format specified). The driver can use the eDrive button on the centre console to change how the plug-in hybrid drive system operates. In the AUTO eDRIVE hybrid function, intelligent energy management ensures the combustion engine and electric motor work together with maximum efficiency and to dynamically optimised effect. The operating strategy defaults to all-electric mode at low and moderate speeds to utilise the advantages of locally emission-free mobility as widely as possible.

The combustion engine only joins the fray at a speed of around 80 km/h (50 mph) or under heavy throttle applications. The driver can switch to the MAX eDRIVE pure-electric mode at the touch of a button. In this setting the car is powered exclusively by the electric motor, although the combustion engine can be brought into play at any time by pushing the accelerator into kickdown. In the MAX eDRIVE setting, the plug-in hybrid variants of the new BMW 7 Series have a pure-electric top speed of 140 km/h (87 mph).

The Battery Control setting allows the driver to make between 30 and 100 per cent of the high-voltage battery’s maximum charge available for pure-electric driving later in the journey. For example, electric power can be held back or even increased while on the motorway so it can be used subsequently for locally emission-free driving in town. Driving Experience Control switch with ADAPTIVE mode, clearly noticeable differentiation between SPORT, COMFORT and ECO PRO mode.

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