The ultra-luxurious and sophisticated BMW 7 Series executive sedan is now being offered with a new plug-in hybrid powertrain.
Motivating the all-new 2017 BMW 740e xDrive are a 255-horsepower, 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline engine and a 111-horsepower electric motor. These provide for a combined 322 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque.
Fuel economy ratings are 64 MPGe (combined city/highway for electricity plus gasoline) and 27 mpg (combined city/highway) when operated with gasoline only.
The new 740e plug-in hybrid is only being offered with all-wheel drive, hence the xDrive designation.
Acceleration is swifter than you might think. The 740e xDrive goes from 0-60 mph in just 5.1 seconds. Unfortunately, though, you miss out on the throaty exhaust notes found in other 7 Series models.
The 740e xDrive tips the scales at 4,740 pounds. While it is less agile than others in this segment, the 740e xDrive delivers an ultra-smooth and confident ride.
When its high-voltage battery is fully charged, you can operate the 740e xDrive in full electric mode for about 15 miles at speeds up to 87 mph. Above 87 mph, its gasoline engine provides assistance.
That 15-mile full-electric driving range is very limited, but unlike full-electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid vehicles like the 740e xDrive allow you to continue driving after the high-voltage battery level has become fully discharged, provided there is adequate fuel in the tank.
Because of its high-voltage battery pack, the 740e xDrive’s fuel tank (12.1 gallons) holds about 8.5 gallons less than the non-hybrid 7 Series sedans.
When not operating the 740e xDrive in full-electric mode, its engine-on and -off transitions are very smooth, quiet, and fairly transparent.
The 740e xDrive probably makes the most sense for someone who has relatively short commutes and also enjoys touring, but doesn’t want the restrictions of plugging into a charger.
I was able to plug in my tester at work and at home, and its fully depleted high-voltage battery reached a full charge in about six hours at 110 volts.
I drove my 740e xDrive tester along I-294 from 95th Street to Lincolnshire and back. Once the high-voltage battery level dropped off, it automatically transitioned to the gasoline engine, but fuel consumption was considerably less than you would expect from a car this size.
Like other 7 Series offerings, the 740e xDrive features an extremely spacious cabin with an abundance of front and rear leg room. Its cabin is plush and luxurious and features excellent craftsmanship and finely made materials.
As expected, the 740e xDrive includes a long list of standard and available amenities, safety technologies and infotainment equipment.
The 740e xDrive comes standard with an auxiliary heating and air-conditioning system that can be programmed to precondition the interior to your comfort level prior to your arrival.