BMW has announced two plug-in hybrid versions of its new 7 Series, one each for the regular and lengthened wheelbase versions of the company’s flagship sedan.
Besides the longer wheelbase and larger rear doors, the two versions — 745e and 745Le xDrive— also differ in that the “L” version gets all-wheel drive. Both go on sale this spring.
Both cars get the same powertrain — a 286-hp 3.0-litre inline 6-cylinder engine supported by an 84-kW motor integrated into the 8-speed automatic, resulting in combined power outputs of 394 hp and 442 lb-ft of torque. That grants the 745Le xDrive zero to 100 km/h acceleration of 5.1 seconds, while the rear-wheel drive, smaller 745e is just a fraction slower at 5.2. As with all BMWs, top speed is electronically limited to 250 km/h.
Residing under the rear seats and also powering the on-board network and auxiliary a/c, the 12-kWh lithium ion battery grants the cars dedicated electric power for up to 58 km (max 58 km for the 745e, 55 km for the longer car) depending on conditions, with it working up to 110 km/h in Hybrid mode or up to 140 km/h in Electric mode.
The cars have multiple driving modes available through the control panel in the centre console — Sport and Adaptive drive functions, and Hybrid, Electric and Battery Control power modes, though the Hybrid button can be pressed twice to add a Hybrid Eco Pro mode to help further reduce fuel consumption, limits electric boost and adds controlled coasting.
In terms of fuel consumption, the 745e is company-rated in the range of 2.3 to 2.1 L/100km with CO2 emissions of 52 to 48 g/km, while the 745Le xDrive is rated at 2.6 to 2.3 L/100km, emitting 59 to 52 g/km of CO2.
Among the neat technological features is precisely controlled interaction between the two power sources, including a preview function that interacts with the car’s GPS to efficiently assign electrical power when a preplanned route is designated. In Electric mode, a distinctive sound is added through an external speaker for pedestrian protection.
Trunk space is only slightly less than that of the regular 7 Series, thanks to the repositioning of the fuel tank over the rear axle, which also aids in maintaining the ideal BMW weight distribution.