BMW has got electrification fever, and the latest model to catch it is the much-vaunted 7 Series. The 2016 BMW 740e eDrive is now the fifth BMW you can buy with a plug, joined by the i3, i8, 330e, and just-unveiled X5 xDrive 40e SUV. In fact, it will share the same plug-in hybrid drivetrain as the X5, as well as introducing a host of cool new techie features, like a removable touchscreen tablet and limited gesture controls.
At the heart of the 740e is a 2.0 liter gas engine and an electric motor that, at least in the X5, combine to produce 309 horsepower and 331 lb-ft of torque. Don’t be surprised if BMW manages to squeeze a bit more power out of its flagship sedan, though a turbocharged inline-six and twin-turbo V8 are also available for power junkies. For those who prefer efficiency, the BMW 740e will offer 23 miles of all-electric driving at speeds of up to 75 MPH, after which the gas engine kicks in. A caron fiber-reinforced core helped BMW shed nearly 90kgs/200 pounds off the new 7 Series compared to the outgoing model, while adding lots of nifty new features.
The BMW iDrive carries on strong, but it’s now coupled to a center-mounted touchscreen and includes five gesture controls allowing you to adjust the volume and accept or decline calls, as well as a programmable two-finger “jab” that can change the radio station or set your navigation system to take you home. BMW also included a removable rear touchscreen tablet that can be used to adjust the climate control and radio volume for passengers in the back seats. Talk about fancy, eh?
BMW isn’t giving out fuel economy or pricing figures yet, and the 2016 740e probably won’t hit US shores until early 2016 at the soonest.