BMW 740e 740Le xDrive 2016

BMW 740e plug-in hybrid does 134.5mpg and costs £68,330

BMW 740e 740Le xDrive 2016The new BMW 740e plug-in hybrid has become the most fuel-efficient 7 Series ever, with combined economy of 134.5mpg despite offering 0-62mph in 5.4 seconds potency.

The PHEV also boasts CO2 emissions of just 49g/km – giving it an ultra-low 7% Benefit In Kind tax rating for company car drivers. Combined with a list price from £68,330, this may make it extremely attractive to fleet car operators.

Provided, that is, BMW can secure enough UK supplies of it…

The BMW 740e drivetrain combines a 258 hp 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol engine with a 112 hp electric motor for a total system power of 326 hp. There’s ample torque of 386 lb-ft as well.

BMW 740e 740Le xDrive 2016

A high-capacity 9.2kWh lithium ion battery is necessary to power the system (and provide up to 29 miles of full EV driving); it’s stored under the rear seat but doesn’t take up too much room – the boot is still 420 litres.

BMW also offers a long-wheelbase all-wheel drive version, the 740Le xDrive: this costs £74,880, and is 0.1 seconds faster to 62mph (thank you, all-wheel drive traction), although economy drops to 117.7mpg and CO2 is up to 54g/km (costing fleet drivers an extra 4% on their tax bill).

BMW 740e 740Le xDrive 2016

The 740e compares well with the 730d that takes the bulk of UK sales: that costs from £63,530, averages 60.1mpg and emits 124g/km CO2 for a much, much steeper 24% BIK company car tax bill.

The firm is trading the new 7 Series plug-in hybrid models as part of the BMW iPerformance range, which already includes the X5 eDrive40e, 225xe and BMW 330e. Both the ultra-clever 740e and 740Le xDrive, which are marked out by their battery charge point in the left front wing, eDrive badges on the C pillars, BMW i logo on the front side panels and BMW i Blue bits for the kidney grille, are on sale now.

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