BMW Unveils 740e xDrive Plug-In Hybrid

JUN 10 2015 BY STAFF 16

BMW 740e xDrive

BMW 740e xDrive

BMW is easily becoming one of the automotive industry leaders in hybrid technology. The i division is taking the industry by storm, introducing not only the best urban electric vehicle, the i3, but a plug-in hybrid supercar similar to the million dollar Porsche 918, the i8.

But it isn’t just the i Division that’s giving BMW such credibility in the world of green vehicles. The techniques and technologies learned from the i division are being trickled down into other BMW vehicles. The X5 xDrive40e was the first plug-in hybrid announced with techniques learned from BMW’s i division. From there, the 330e plug-in hybrid was announced and now, along with the rest of the G12 7 Series lineup, the 740e xDrive has been announced.

*Editor’s note: This post appears on BMWBLOG. Check it out here.

BMW 740e xDrive

BMW 740e xDrive

Set to compete with the Mercedes-Benz S550 Plug-In Hybrid, the 740e xDrive will use advanced technologies learned from BMW’s newfound experience. To start, along with the rest of the new 7 Series lineup, the construction will have extensive uses of CFRP (Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic), as well as other high-end materials such as aluminum and magnesium. What BMW calls Carbon Core Passenger Cell technology is a passenger cell that utilizes CFRP along with aluminum and high-tensile steels in the main passenger cell as well as B Pillars and roof. There will also be aluminum doors and trunk lid as well as lightweight bonding and sound deadening. All of this weight savings leads to a 190 lb weight loss over previous models.

But it isn’t just weight savings where BMW learned from its i Division. The 740e xDrive will employ similar techniques found in the i8 and its integration of gas engine, Steptronic transmission and electric drive unit. The 740e xDrive will use a similar setup to the X5 xDrive40e, a 2.0 liter TwinPower turbocharged four-cylinder engine paired to an electric motor and eight-speed Steptronic transmission which will send power through all of the wheels via BMW’s latest xDrive all-wheel drive system. The electric motor will be powered by a Lithium-Ion Battery, located under the rear seat for better weight distribution and crash protection, which can be recharged via any domestic power socket, BMW i Wallbox or public charging station.

BMW 740e xDrive

BMW 740e xDrive

The 740e xDrive will utilize an eDrive button on the center console to control the level of electric drive being utilized. There will be three settings, AUTO eDrive, MAX eDrive and Battery Control modes. AUTO eDrive will be the basic setting, using the electric motor to maximize engine power when needed, such as during hard acceleration. MAX eDrive allows the 740e xDrive to drive purely under electric power, at up to 75 mph, for 23 miles (EPA range expected to be perhaps 15 miles). That’s three more miles than the S550 Plug-In Hybrid, though the Benz can do up to 87 mph under pure electric power. Battery Control Mode maintains or raises the battery’s state of charge so as to conserve power. It will also utilize the navigation system and route guidance to create a trip-specific strategy to conserve energy necessary for the destination. The eight-speed automatic’s Brake Energy Regeneration and Route-Ahead Assistant systems will also aid the car in seeking out extra mileage for the battery.

BMW 740e xDrive

BMW 740e xDrive

It’s all very impressive technology and should make the new 740e xDrive the best hybrid in the segment, though there really isn’t much competition. The S550 Plug-In is a very impressive car as well, but it’s systems are a bit more conventional, wheres BMW is using more advanced technology learned from the best hybrid division in the business. The 740e xDrive will also be considerably lighter than the S550 Plug-in, so expect better overall performance, dynamics and mileage. Combine that with all of the new 7er’s class-leading technology and the 740e xDrive may just be the most advanced luxury car on the market.

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16 Comments on "BMW Unveils 740e xDrive Plug-In Hybrid"

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“BMW is easily becoming one of the automotive industry leaders in hybrid technology”. Come on, really? This sedan’s range is 23miles in EV mode. The leaders are Tesla and the dominant hybrid is the Prius, that’s it. I do hope you are right and they make the i3 better and sales continue to grow exponentially. But these hybrid sedans getting ~23miles in EV mode is woefully inept in competing with Tesla. BMW needs to step it up vs Tesla, and I hope they do.

It’s not as “woefully inept” as you may think. The Volt gets 40 miles EV, and results in more electric miles per vehicle produced than a Nissan Leaf at over twice the EV range.

There is something to be said for vehicles like the Volt (and perhaps this 740e) that can cover daily driving electrically with gasoline to go further. It’s too bad many snub it just because it has an engine.

GREENLAND IS MELTING…don’t believe me…youtube it.

You kinda proved his point. If the Volt can get about 40 miles per charge, why would BMW bring a new 7 series and only give it 23. GM is leaping forward with the Bolt trying to achieve 200 miles yet people drool over the i3 because it says BMW up front…
I really don’t get why Americans hate american products so much.

Well I think some GM products actually work pretty well. With a light pedal, I’ve gotten 53.6 miles on a charge during mild weather in my ELR. At a lower price than BMW’s 15 – 23 miles.

I don’t have much to base it on, but GM vehicles, at least the plug-in variety, seem more reliable than bmw and that’s a big issue with me.

And as far as Greenland Melting is concerned, Dane Wittington has been concerned about this, at

Your statement compares apples to oranges, and you might as well throw in a banana in there. A Prius, a Tesla and BMW all have different technologies, different customers and therefore different MSRP. But above all, the companies that produce those respective products know a lot more about it than you do. So next time you want to compare products based on their EV range, compare apple with apples.

Problem here is that InsideEVs is using BMWBLOG, a BMW fan site, as a direct source for articles. I’ve commented on this before, but it doesn’t work and is jarring to read.

InsideEVs articles should be written & edited by the site writers/editors only, using critical analysis. It one thing to write an article on a new EV announcement (the new 7-series PHEV certainly deserves one), crediting BMWBLOG for their original report, but quite another to use their blog entry as the article itself.

Because people buyng luxury cars also love the far more luxurious interiors and appointments of the German Luxury cars compared to the Tesla. Even in simple things like the stereo system, the Tesla is not even in the same class as the BMW, etc.

Utter nonsense.

The Germans offer vented seats which Tesla does not offer because Tesla thinks they would consume too much energy/range.

And better wood trim, leather, and richer soft touch plastic interior trim.

After that, there is nothing superior about the Germans.

Tesla offers superior crash safety.

And in a few months superior crash avoidance systems.

Share of German carmakers revenues coming from North America is decreasing on a long term trend so one should not expect them to produce cars that are well adapted to this region. I do not know about Asia which is the growing market for them but at least in Europe most towns are way more “compact” than north american ones as built when cars did not exist. So about 20 miles EV range is plenty enough for a day’s commute, grocery shopping etc…Time will tell if they are right.

…to this I would add: EV’s are much better than ICE cars within city limits, no need to bring an engine to temperature, possibility to regen. On long distance this is a different story and the typical Europe box ICE is state of the art for miles/gallon at (our) highway speed. So we should not blame those engineers for taking the best of both technologies. Again, time will tell but with present not so good battery energy density the PHEV’s have some good years coming.

BMW has had some record sales numbers recently. No huge sales decline there.

I read somewhere that Tesla has a pretty good sound system. I think it was even in a German automotive magazine.

you guys really think if someone buys 120 000 USD machine with 15miles realworld elaectric range, he or she bothers to plug it in dutifulyl every night?
it will be just like “i am so eco-conscious” showoff which will mostly stay unplugged.


“EPA range expected to be perhaps 15 miles”

Just put this at the top of these stories, so we can save precious time.

I’m not so sure the “must have a plug” rule works as well as it used to. There will be hybrids that ultimately do more for EVs (thinking sports), than tiny J1772-accessible batteries do for luxury cars.