Oh how far we’ve come
Way back in the year 2000, BMW came out with Efficient Dynamics, which was its strategy to produce cars that minimise fuel consumption and CO2 emissions while, at the same time, increasing dynamics and driving pleasure. Then in 2008 we saw the first of its Active Hybrids in the form of the X6. And in 2013-2014, we saw the arrival of BMW i, in the form of the i8 and i3. Which interestingly have been added to the line up of cars to rent from Avis! Hashtag just saying!
BMW has now launched iPeformance, which includes all its plug-in hybrids. As BMW puts it, it bridges the gap between BMW’s core products and its M products. So for example, you have the 3 Series and then you have the M3, early next year we will see the iPerformance gap filled with the 330e.
At the beginning of this year we saw the launch of the new BMW 7 Series and last week saw the launch of the 740e. It is only marginally different looking to the rest of the range with its blue detailing and ‘e badge.’ You will also get the same features you have come to expect from the 7 Series except remote control parking.
But of course, it is what is under the car that counts here. You have a four cylinder petrol engine with TwinTurbo technology and an electric motor integrated in to the 8-speed transmission. The combined outputs are 240 kW of power and 500 N.m of torque. Fuel consumption is claimed at a ridiculously low 2,2l/100 km. However, achieving this consumption would be tricky and require disciplined driving. Something I don’t really have. However, for those of you who are like me, it has three driving modes, namely Auto EDrive which utilises both the electric motor and combustion engine. Max eDrive which is just the electric motor. And the third option is Battery Control which is the combustion engine only, it allows the battery to charge.
Speaking of charging the battery, you can do this from a BMW i Wallbox in under 3 hours or from a household 220V socket in under 4 hours. There are charging stations at BMW dealerships and even the likes of the V&A Waterfront.
This car is the quietest thing I ever driven. It feels as if you are driving on clouds and it can be quite unnerving making your way through traffic and not hearing a pin drop. But it’s also a feeling of excitement as you realise just how far we have come and in which direction we are headed.
Standard: R1 431 500
Pure Excellence Package: R1 444 300
M-Sport Package: R1 474 800
Individual Package: R1 663 000