Joining the hybrid vehicle lineup in BMW Malaysia’s stable is a plug-in hybrid flagship limousine, the BMW 740Le xDrive. This comes a little under 16 months since the sixth-generation 7 Series’ arrival (CKD operations started in November 2016), but those who have been patient enough to wait it out are in for a real treat.
Propulsion comes from a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine (from the 730Li) that’s married to an electric motor, producing 258 hp/400 Nm and 113 hp/250 Nm respectively. Together, the hybrid system puts out 326 hp and 500 Nm of torque, all of which are delivered to the four wheels (xDrive = all-wheel drive) via an eight-speed automatic transmission.
|Name||BMW 740Le xDrive|
|Engine||1,998cc; twin-scroll turbocharged four-cylinder|
|Transmission||8-speed automatic with Steptronic|
|Max Power||258 hp @ 5,000 – 6,500 rpm|
|Max Torque||400 Nm @ 1,550 – 4,400 rpm|
|Hybrid Motor Output||113 hp & 250 Nm|
|Combined Max Power / Torque||326 hp / 500 Nm|
|0 – 100 km/h; Top Speed||5.3 seconds; 250 km/h|
|Fuel Consumption||2.5 litres per 100km|
|Price (OTR without insurance)||RM598,800.00|
Similar to the 330e iPerformance, the electric motor is housed within the transmission (between the gearbox and engine), replacing the hydraulic torque converter. It also acts as a generator to recharge the high-voltage 9.2 kWh lithium-ion battery, but this varies depending on the eDrive mode. A full charge via the BMW i Wallbox takes five hours, which gives you enough juice to cover a distance of 41km. Alternatively, the 7 Series can also be charged through a domestic socket. Charging can be managed and monitored remotely through the BMW Remote app on your smartphone.
Ride is managed by a bi-axle, self-levelling air suspension for uncompromising comfort, whereas the Dynamic Damper Control work in tandem with four drive modes – Eco Pro, Comfort, Sport and Adaptive – for sheer driving pleasure. The xDrive system is also able to send almost 100 percent of power to any individual wheel.
Externally, much of the car remains the same as the standard 7 Series, save for the obvious eDrive badges on the C-pillars and BMW i logos on both sides of the wheel section. A set of 19-inch double spoke light alloy wheels complete the look.
Inside, features such as panoramic Sky Lounge glass roof, BMW Gesture Control, BMW Touch Command Control and a 7-inch removable tablet (detachable from the rear centre console) all come as standard, as does the 16-speaker 600w Harman Kardon Surround Sound system. The rear seats come with in-built massaging system (Vitality programme) with up to eight selectable programmes. Air conditioning and many other common in-car systems can be operated through the BMW Display Key.
With the introduction of the 740Le xDrive, BMW Malaysia did away with the 730Li and 740Li, effectively discontinuing sales of both variants. If without incentives, the plug-in hybrid limousine would cost RM853,800.00! Goodies such as the 5-Year unlimited mileage warranty, free scheduled service program and 24-months BMW Tyre Warranty programme are all part of the RM599k purchase.
You’re about sold now, aren’t you? Well, the 740Le xDrive can be had in four colours: Black Sapphire, Imperial Blue, Mineral White and Sophisto Grey. To date, over 600 units of the 730Li and 740Li (combined figure) have been sold, but BMW Malaysia is confident that the plug-in hybrid variant will set more ships sailing.