At the upcoming Geneva Motor Show, BMW will officially introduce the new iPerformance model designation, which will be given to all BMW plug-in hybrid vehicles starting in July 2016, as a visible indicator of the transfer of technology from BMW i to the BMW core brand.
In order to make BMW’s electrification strategy visible from the outside, all iPerformance models will display a BMW i logo on the front side panel, BMW i-style blue elements in the kidney grille and wheel hubs, and an eDrive logo on the C-pillar. BMW iPerformance will celebrate its premiere in the new BMW 7 Series luxury sedan through the plug-in hybrid members of the line-up: the new BMW 740e iPerformance, BMW 740Le iPerformance and BMW 740Le xDrive iPerformance.
The new BMW 7 Series plug-in hybrid luxury sedans source their power from a four-cylinder gasoline engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology and an electric motor. Together, they deliver a system output of 240 kW/326 hp. The new BMW 740e iPerformance with standard wheelbase and the new BMW 740Le iPerformance record average fuel consumption of 2.1 liters per 100 kilometers (112 mpg US) and CO2 emissions of 49 grams per kilometer (provisional figures).
In the new BMW 740Le xDrive iPerformance (fuel consumption combined: 2.3 l/100 km / 102 mpg US; CO2 emissions combined: 53 g/km; provisional figures), intelligent all-wheel drive distributes the combined power of the combustion engine and electric motor permanently and as required between the front and rear wheels.
Both BMW eDrive and the body structure with Carbon Core are rooted in expertise refined in the development of BMW i cars. When it comes to charging the high-voltage battery, customers benefit from innovative products and services originally developed for BMW i.
The BMW 740e iPerformance, BMW 740Le iPerformance and BMW 740Le xDrive iPerformance can also be specified as an option with anti- dazzle BMW Laserlight, which celebrated its world premiere in the BMW i8 plug-in hybrid sports car.
Intelligent energy management optimizes the interplay of the combustion engine and electric motor. The maximum electric range, as per the EU test cycle for plug-in hybrid vehicles, is 40 kilometers / 25 miles for the BMW 740e iPerformance and BMW 740Le iPerformance, or 37 kilometers / 23 miles for the BMW 740Le xDrive iPerformance (provisional figures).
The combustion engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology employed by the plug-in hybrid variants of the new BMW 7 Series is a member of the new Efficient Dynamics engine family. Developing maximum output of 190 kW/258 hp, it is the most powerful four-cylinder engine ever fitted in a series-produced BMW.
Instantaneous power delivery and peak torque of 400N·m (295 lb-ft)—on tap across a wide rev range (1,250 – 4,800 rpm)—imbue the 2.0-liter unit with sporty yet also poised and authoritative performance. In addition, the new engine displays outstanding refinement and optimized acoustic properties.
The electric drive system, based on the principle of a permanently excited synchronous motor, features exceptionally high power density with a maximum output of 83 kW/113 hp. Peak torque is 250 Newton meters (184 lb-ft).
Furthermore, the electric motor takes on the role of a generator which—depending on the hybrid function selected—is powered either by recuperating braking energy or by efficiently raising the engine’s load points. It then feeds the energy it generates into the high- voltage battery.
The electric motor is fully integrated into the eight-speed Steptronic transmission. This ensures that pure-electric driving, the dynamics-enhancing electric boost function and the recuperation of braking energy are all efficient.
The eight-speed Steptronic transmission itself has internal efficiency, top-class shift dynamics and shift comfort, and a compact construction. Gearshift paddles on the steering wheel are available as an option, enabling the driver to make manual gear selections with exceptional swiftness and the greatest of ease.
Working together intelligently, the combustion engine and electric drive system bring a system output of 240 kW/326 hp and a combined peak torque of 500 N·m (369 lb-ft) to the table. The BMW 740e iPerformance accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 5.6 seconds and the BMW 740Le iPerformance to complete the same sprint in 5.7 seconds.
BMW 740Le xDrive iPerformance: permanent all-wheel drive. The BMW 740Le xDrive iPerformance follows the BMW X5 xDrive40e as the brand’s second model to distribute its power permanently to all four wheels in pure-electric driving, when the combustion engine cuts in and when both drive systems are in use at the same time.
The power distribution gives the BMW 740Le xDrive iPerformance extremely dynamic accelerative ability, with a 0-to-100 km/h (62 mph) time of 5.5 seconds. Yet the fuel consumption of the BMW 740Le xDrive iPerformance is just 2.3 liters per 100 kilometers combined while electricity consumption comes in at 13 kWh.
The driver can use the eDrive button on the center console to change how the plug-in hybrid drive system operates. In the AUTO eDRIVE hybrid function, intelligent energy management ensures the combustion engine and electric motor work together with maximum efficiency and to dynamically optimized effect. The operating strategy defaults to all-electric mode at low and moderate speeds to utilize the advantages of locally emission-free mobility as widely as possible. The combustion engine only joins the fray at a speed of around 80 km/h (50 mph) or under heavy throttle applications.
The driver can switch to the MAX eDRIVE pure-electric mode at the touch of a button. In this setting the car is powered exclusively by the electric motor, although the combustion engine can be brought into play at any time by pushing the accelerator into kickdown. In the MAX eDRIVE setting, the plug-in hybrid variants of the new BMW 7 Series have a pure-electric top speed of 140 km/h (87 mph).
The Battery Control setting allows the driver to make between 30 and 100 per cent of the high-voltage battery’s maximum charge available for pure-electric driving later in the journey. For example, electric power can be held back or even increased while on the motorway so it can be used subsequently for locally emission-free driving in town.
The plug-in hybrid variants of the new BMW 7 Series are also equipped as standard with the newly designed Driving Experience Control switch on the centre console. At the touch of a button, the driver can activate a vehicle setting that optimises dynamics, comfort or efficiency. The range of characters encompassed by ECO PRO, COMFORT and SPORT modes are even more clearly defined than with conventionally powered vehicles.
Beyond this, the Driving Experience Control switch offers the option of selecting ADAPTIVE mode. In this setting, the car’s responses adapt noticeably to the driver’s style and route profile.
The high-voltage lithium-ion battery has a gross capacity of 9.2 kWh and net capacity of 6.9 kWh. It is accommodated underneath the rear seat bench in a space-saving position that also provides optimum crash safety. The plug-in hybrid variants of the new BMW 7 Series therefore also benefit from a level surface in the luggage compartment, which offers a capacity of 420 liters.
The energy flow between the high-voltage battery, electric motor and charger is controlled by power electronics likewise developed specifically for these models. The power electronics also regulate the supply of energy from the high-voltage battery to the 12V onboard electrical system via a voltage transformer.