In the year since it was first shown, the model has added a new component to its name, becoming the 2017 BMW 740e xDrive i Performance. The “i Performance” part is an effort by BMW to tie plug-in hybrid versions of existing models to its green poster children, the i3 and i8.
The 740e’s powertrain has just as many elements as its name. A 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine works with an electric motor integrated with an eight-speed automatic transmission to drive all four wheels (hence the xDrive tag). Total system output is 322 horsepower and 369 pound-feet of torque. BMW says the 740e will do 0 to 60 mph in 5.1 seconds, and reach an (electronically limited) top speed of 155 mph in hybrid mode.
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Electric power comes courtesy of a 9.2-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery pack, which is stashed under the rear seat to protect it in the event of a crash, BMW says. The 740e is capable of driving on electric power alone for up to 14 miles at speeds of up to 75 mph. It also achieves an EPA efficiency rating of 64 MPGe combined. It goes without saying that the 740e is the greenest option in the 7 Series lineup; the other available powertrains are a 3.0-liter turbocharged inline-six (in the 740i) and 4.4-liter twin-turbo V8 (in the 750i).
Like other 7 Series models, the 740e comes with a dizzying array of tech features, including gesture control and the latest version of BMW’s iDrive infotainment system. It also features auxiliary climate control, which uses power from the battery pack to preheat or cool the cabin before the driver gets in. This can be controlled using the BMW Connected smartphone app.
The 2017 BMW 740e xDrive i Performance goes on sale in the U.S. this month. It starts at $90,095 (including destination).