As the newest member of the 7 Series family, the 2017 BMW 740e xDrive iPerformance plug-in hybrid will arrive in showrooms next month with a starting sticker of $90,095. Like the other U.S.-spec 7 Series cars, it’s based on the long-wheelbase chassis. And, as its name implies, this greener and more efficient version of BMW’s flagship 4-door comes with the automaker’s intelligent all-wheel drive system.

Efficient exhilaration

The 740e xDrive iPerformance’s gas/electric powertrain uses eDrive drive-system technology originally developed for BMW’s “i cars.” In this application, the motivating elements consist of a TwinPower Turbo 2.0-liter/4-cylinder engine that makes a stout 255 horses – the most ever from a production BMW four – and 295 lb-ft of torque. An electric motor adds another 111 ponies and 184 lb-ft of twist to the mix. The latter is integrated into the 740e’s 8-speed Steptronic automatic transmission and is energized by 9.2kWh (7.4kWh useable capacity) lithium-ion battery mounted under the rear seat. Collectively, the setup churns out 322 horsepower and 369 lb-ft of torque, sufficient to let the car sprint from 0-62 mph in a brisk 5.5 seconds and travel 25-30 miles in pure EV mode. No word yet on U.S. EPA stats, but they should be notably better than the 21/29 mpg city/highway figures of its conventional 740i sibling.

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Like BMW’s X5 xDrive40e iPerformance Sports Activity Vehicle, the hybrid system in the new 740e ships electric power to all four wheels all of the time regardless of operating mode. BMW says the new 740e is capable of up to 87 mph speeds in EV mode alone. An eDrive button on the center consoled allows for easy control the hybrid powertrain operation to favor performance or economy while a Driving Experience Control offers additional Eco Pro/Comfort/Sport/Adaptive settings. In addition to on-the-fly energy gathering via regenerative braking or tweaking the engine load points, the battery in the 740e can be charged by using a 240V line in less than four hours or less than three with a dedicated BMW i Wallbox.

Fully equipped

Price of entry for the 2017 BMW 740e xDrive iPerformance plug-in hybrid includes a lengthy list of standard equipment including full LED headlamps, auxiliary heating/air conditioning that permits remote prepping of cabin temps, a ConnectedDrive navigation package, smartphone integration with wireless charging, an enhanced iDrive system expanded to include a touchscreen function for the Control Display and more. Among the key options are climate controlled front/rear comfort seats, a Sky Lounge Panorama glass roof, the rear Executive Lounge seating, an M Sport Package plus a host of personalization touches as well as BMW’s full roster of driver-assistance features including the latest-generation Head-Up Display, Parking Assistant, Driving Assistant, Driving Assistant Plus and 360-degree Surround View.

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