2017 BMW 740e: A Hybrid-Electric Luxury Sedan for Eco-Friendly Executives

Mar 15, 2017 08:40 AM EDT | BC Tabotabo

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2017 BMW 740e: A Hybrid-Electric Luxury Sedan for Eco-Friendly Executives

The 2017 BMW 740e is the German automobile manufacturer's attempt to embrace plug-in-hybrid technology. While BMW has seen many disappointments in the past, they continue to persevere. The new 740e xDrive is their latest attempt at appealing to the eco-friendly elite.

(Photo : MotoManTV/YouTube)

The 2017 BMW 740e is the German automobile manufacturer's attempt to embrace plug-in-hybrid technology. While BMW has seen many disappointments in the past, they continue to persevere. The new 740e xDrive is their latest attempt at appealing to the eco-friendly elite.

Powertrain. According to a report by Car and Driver, the 740e has the same 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline engine that is standard in most Beemers. However, it will get help from an electric motor. As such, this will be the first 7 Series in America to come with a four-cylinder engine. Although putting such a tiny engine on such a large sedan would put many off, it actually offers surprisingly decent performance.

This is thanks to both turbocharging and electrification. The gas engine alone produces a measly 255 horsepower on its own, but the electric motor adds a significant 111 horsepower. All in all, the hybrid-electric BMW 7 Series sedan has a total system output of 322 horsepower with a maximum torque of 369 pound-feet.

This kind of power is capable of a 0 to 60 mph sprint in only 5.2 seconds. It also has a terminal velocity of 155 mph. Not bad at all for a four-cylinder engine powering a large sedan. In addition, the power comes slowly and quietly via xDrive all-wheel drive with a ZF-sourced eight-speed AT.

In another report by Top Gear, the different driving modes were explained. For all-electric it runs pretty silently and up to only 28 miles only. This is great for quiet drives around town.

In hybrid mode, the engine-on and engine-off switches are pretty smoothy. While the engine runs at low revs, there is a bit of a tinkly vibration due to the four-cylinder engine.

Fuel Economy. The BMW 740e xDrive iPerformance is unfortunately not particularly fuel-efficient. In fact, it doesn't come anywhere close to its promised fuel-economy ratings.

Fuel economy also depends a lot on how often the hybrid-electric sedan is plugged in. For those that are never plugged in, the economy will only be slightly better than a pure gas 740i, but it will not be able to compare to the diesel 740d.

When plugged in, things do get better. With a fully charged vehicle, the battery slowly depleted during slow acceleration while gas is mostly consumed when acceleration increases. This strategy helps fuel economy since gas is frequently wasted when on a slower, lower gear.

The added weight doesn't help much either. In addition, apart from this affecting the fuel economy, the extra weight proves difficult to maneuver around twisty roads.

Interior. The inside of the car is another story. It is beautifully finished, as expected of a flagship from the 7 Series. It has its fair share of wood and leather all throughout the interior. Additionally, the rear seats offer plenty of extra space and is very comfortable. However, the downside is the battery pack eats into the trunk space and reduces it by around three cubic feet.

The BMW 740e iPerformance starts at around $90,095 and goes up to around $98,595 for the 750i xDrive. While it is not a particular joy to drive, it is competent, comfortable, and fast. It has a well-designed powertrain and shows high hopes for the future.

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