2017 BMW 740e iPerformance quick review

A four pot limo shows us that the future is coming, and it’s still plenty fast.

2017 BMW 740e iPerformance quick review main

The automotive industry is entering a brave new world, where SUVs can be performance cars, sedans can drive themselves and limousines can make do with a 2.0-litre four-cylinder.

Not too long ago a four-cylinder 7 Series wouldn’t have been able to get out of its own way, but with a 190kW/400Nm turbocharged petrol engine allied to an 83kW/250Nm electric motor combined outputs of 240kW/500Nm make the 740e the third-quickest 7 Series, out-accelerated only by the twin-turbo V8 750i and twin-turbo V12 M760Li.

2017 BMW 740e rearDespite the hybrid system adding 175kg compared to a 740i, the 740e can sprint from 0-100km/h in a claimed 5.4sec, while on the other side of the ledger use just 2.2L/100km and emit just 50g/km of CO2 according to BMW.

It’s certainly plenty quick, though when it kicks in the buzzy four-cylinder engine ruins the luxury vibe somewhat; the smooth-as-silk 3.0-litre six would’ve been a more appropriate engine for this luxury application.

2017 BMW 740e interiorThat aside, the idea of a plug-in hybrid limo – and PHEV cars in general – makes a lot of sense. If you plug it in every night the majority of your travel (up to 48km) will be in electrically-powered silence yet if you need to travel further you simply put more petrol in it like any other car.

The rest of the experience is standard 7 Series: heaps of technology, impressive handling, alarmingly feel-free steering and a suitably wafty ride, bar the occasional choppiness on rough surfaces.

2017 BMW 740e sideHybrid has traditionally been a dirty word for enthusiasts, but there’s a lot of potential in this new technology, as proven by the likes of the BMW i8 and Honda NSX

Engine: 2.0L I4 hybrid
Power: 240kW
Torque: 500Nm
Weight: 1900kg
0-100km/h: 5.4sec
Price: $229,000


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