Plug-in luxury sedan
The BMW 740e iPerformance marks the debut of the iPerformance label, which will be used for all BMW plug-in cars from July 2016 onward. It’s also the first hybrid version of the new 7 Series luxury sedan. The 7 Series iPerformance will be available in three variants in Europe, the standard 740e iPerformance model, a 740Le iPerformance, and a 740Le xDrive iPerformance with all-wheel drive (the short-wheelbase 740e will not be sold in the U.S. as we only get the long-wheelbase 7 Series.)
The BMW 740e uses a 2.0-liter turbo-four gas engine with 258 hp and 295 lb-ft of torque, plus an electric motor good for 113 hp and 184 lb-ft. The motor is integrated into the car’s eight-speed automatic transmission. Total combined output is 326 hp and 369 lb-ft, enough to rocket the BMW 740e to 62 mph in 5.7 seconds with rear-wheel drive and 5.5 seconds for the xDrive model.
The powertrain will allow drivers to travel up to 25 miles at up to 87 mph on electric power alone and, when the battery is fully charged, to return the equivalent of 112 mpg (based on European testing). Charging the 9.2-kWh battery takes only four hours through your wall socket at home, and will charge in under three hours when used with BMW’s high-speed i Wallbox.
The BMW i8 Protonic Red Edition, meanwhile, is merely a new color scheme, but it does add a bit of spice to the rather bland color palette that’s available for the AUTOMOBILE All-Star-winning hybrid sports car. In addition to the brilliant red paint, the i8 Protonic Red Edition also gains red contrast stitching for its upholstery, carbon-fiber trim, i8 embossed headrests, doorsill plates, carbon-fiber door handles, and grey seat belts.
BMW has left alone the 357-hp hybrid powertrain that comprises a 1.5-liter TwinPower turbocharged three-cylinder engine and electric motor. Production of the i8 Protonic Red Edition will begin this July, although the scheme is currently only slated for the European market. BMW says this only the first of a series of special-edition trims for the i8.
Stay tuned for more details on both cars when they debut at the Geneva show in March.