By Stewart Smith on 2016-07-22 - Stewart was the former motoring editor of the Coventry Telegraph and is now a freelance contributor to Eurekar. He is based in Scotland and specialises in First Drive reviews.
BMW 7 Series plugs
into hybrid power
THE flagship of the BMW range, the 7 Series, is being made available as a fuel efficient plug-in hybrid with the introduction of rechargeagble petrol/electric versions with a theoretical economy of more than 130mpg.
The German up-market car company has created new BMW 740e and 740Le xDrive long wheelbase all-wheel-drive plug-in-hybrid models which can drive for almost 30 miles with zero emissions.
Working together, the car's petrol engine produces an output of 258bhp whilst an electric drive system adds 112bhp, resulting in a combined system output of 326bhp and a combined peak torque of 500Nm.
The immediate response of the accelerator allows the BMW 740e to accelerate from zero to 62mph in just 5.4 seconds and the BMW 740Le xDrive to complete the same sprint in 5.3 seconds.
The high-voltage lithium-ion battery is stored underneath the rear seat in a space-saving position that also aids crash safety.
In line with the other BMW 7 Series models, the new hybrid models also benefit from a level surface in the boot which offers a capacity of 420 litres.
BMW claims the top-range 7 Series hybrid retains its sporty driving character yet records a combined fuel consumption of 134.5mpg. The 740Le xDrive achieves 117.7mpg.
The COemissions associated with petrol consumption are 49g/km and 54g/km respectively.
It is claimed that in all-electric mode the new motors offer a range of 29 miles of emission-free motoring, and under electric mode the new BMW 7 Series can hit a top speed of 87mph.
The level of standard specification for the BMW 740e and BMW 740Le xDrive includes LED headlights, the BMW Display Key, the ConnectedDrive navigation package, smartphone integration with an inductive charging facility for the phone battery, and an iDrive operating system expanded to include a touchscreen function for the Control Display and BMW's gesture control feature.
The new 740e is priced from £68,330 while the 740Le costs from £74,080.
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