BMW has revealed the updated plug-in hybrid line-up for its 7 Series luxury saloon, which are ideal for inner-city drivers.

The firm unveiled the petrol and diesel-powered facelifted 7 Series in January, but as with the last-generation model, buyers are now able to choose an electrified powertrain in the German saloon.

Two plug-in hybrids options are available, both of which use a 3.0-litre petrol engine combined with an electric motor to produce a total of 389bhp and 600Nm of torque. The standard model is the 745e, but a long-wheelbase option with four-wheel-drive is also available — known as the 745Le xDrive.

The 745e can accelerate to 60mph in five seconds flat, with the extra traction in the xDrive cutting 0.1 seconds off the sprint time for the longer wheelbase version, even with its extra weight. Both have an electronically-limited top speed of 155mph.

The speed at which it can travel in electric modes has increased, with the plug-in hybrid able to travel up to 68mph in hybrid mode, or 87mph in pure-electric mode. The electric-only range has also increased to between 32 and 36 miles, depending on version. This is 11 miles more than in the previous 740e.

The 745e variant is the most efficient, managing up to 141mpg on the combined cycle, with CO2 emissions of 48g/km. The long-wheelbase version can achieve a claimed economy figure of 118mpg, with CO2 emissions of 52g/km.

It also receives special dials and displays to show drivers the available battery left and power used, while from summer BMW will add further connectivity to the model to alert drivers of available charging bays.

As with the standard 7 Series, the model gets one of the best interiors in the business, while the new ‘Intelligent Personal Assistant’ is offered to control the cabin, with features such as automatic seat heating and massaging, fragranced air-conditioning and charging options.

Sales for the plug-in model start in the Spring, with the 745e costing £76,815 and the 745Le xDrive starting from £83,560.

The plug-in hybrid is not much more expensive than the cheapest petrol and diesel options, which cost from £69,430 (730d) and £71,720 (740i) respectively.

Ted Welford


February 1, 2019

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