7 Things You'll Love About The New BMW 7 Series Hybrid
1. Power and Performance
Power comes from a 3.0 litre BMW Efficient Dynamics inline 6 petrol engine, producing a peak of 286bhp, mated with an electric motor rated at a further 113bhp, and 265nm of torque. So not only will this hybrid executive saloon be relatively frugal, it will also be very quick! Additionally, if you are feeling particularly bonkers, you can put the 745 into Sport mode, where it combines the power output of the 2 power trains to produce a whopping 394bhp and maximum 600nm of torque. Yes, 600nm! The 745e accelerates from 0 -62mph in 5.2 seconds, and the new 745Le xDrive, with its intelligent four wheel drive system, reduces that time down to 5.1 seconds. All models are limited to 155mph. The 745Le achieves a 0-62mph time of 5.3 seconds
2. Fuel Consumption
For such large and luxurious saloons, the 745e, 745Le and 745Le xDrive have some seriously impressive fuel consumption figures, all thanks to the excellent hybrid system (which we'll touch upon later). For the 745e/745Le, combined fuel consumption is between 141 and 123mpg on the NEDC cycle; CO2 emissions are from 48g/km. For the 745Le xDrive, between 118 and 105mpg, and from 52g/km. Electric only range isn't fantastic, but still respectable for such a large car, with the 745e/745Le achieving 34-36 miles, and the 745Le xDrive achieving 32-34 miles, which is still a 12-13 mile improvement over the previous generation.
3. The Hybrid System
The 745 has a pretty advanced hybrid system. The high voltage lithium-ion battery for the plug-in hybrid has a capacity of 12.0kWh. It can also reach a top, electric-only speed of 87mph. The electric motor is integrated into the 745's eight speed Steptronic transmission, and acts as a power generator during braking/coasting, akin to the Formula 1 KERS system (Kinetic Energy Recovery System), feeding energy back into the battery. The battery also powers the car’s on-board networking and can be used to run the air conditioning system. In Hybrid mode, all models can travel at a speed of up to 68mph, which is 13mph faster than the previous models in purely electric mode. The hybrid system also features a smart energy management sub-system for precisely utilising interoperability between the two power trains, including a function that works with the 745’s GPS to dish out electric power in the most efficient way possible on any given pre-planned route. Forward thinking, literally!
4. Driving Modes
Different driving modes can be selected using the control panel in the centre console. You can switch between SPORT, ADAPTIVE, HYBRID, ELECTRIC and BATTERY CONTROL power modes. As mentioned above, SPORT gives a hearty boost to performance, while ADAPTIVE is geared towards smoothing out the differences between driving styles and situations. HYBRID serves as the default setting and dynamically utilises power between the inline 6 and electric motor. Tapping the HYBRID button twice activates the HYBRID ECO PRO mode, helping optimise efficiency, which in turn helps reduce the fuel consumption and includes controlled coasting. In this mode, the electrical boost is only available for kick-downs.
5. It looks incredible, despite the larger front grilles
The front grilles have somewhat been subject to minor mockery, but honestly, I think it suits the car. This isn't a small urban crossover; it's a large, luxury, executive cruise-missile. It's meant to be posh, beefy, and grandeur exuding. Size does sometimes matter, and with the car topping 3 meters in length, the 745 is nothing short of majestically colossal!
6. The BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant
Designed to make life easier, this new digital service allows the owner of a 745 to enjoy a host of different convenience features. It includes the ability to select a range of interior experiences, such as seat conditioning, seat massage, interior temperature, fragrance and also shading, based on the chosen Experience Modes. To top it off, the Personal Assistant can also search for parking spaces, charging options , with the navigation system providing the driver with a list of nearby hotels, cafes, restaurants, and various other attractions. The system can also provide the driver with a "charging station occupancy forecast".
7. It's out soon, very soon!
The BMW 7 Series 745e/745Le/745Le xDrive will be available from March 2019, with prices starting from £76,815. Whilst this is around £3000 more than the previous model at launch, the improvements in design, performance and feature set more than justify the price!
So, what do you guys and gals think of the 745? Discuss below! :-)