BMW presented a particularly contemporary and technologically advanced form of automotive luxury. The extensively advanced plug-in hybrid models of the luxury sedan likewise line up for the start at the market launch of the new BMW 7-Series in spring 2019. They combine the sporty flair, travel comfort and feel-good ambience of the brand's top models with a particularly high level of efficiency as well as the possibility of enjoying a purely electrically powered, locally emissions-free and virtually noiseless driving experience. This future-oriented driver experience in the luxury performance segment is available in a choice of three model variants: the BMW 745e, the long version BMW 745Le and the BMW 745Le xDrive with extended wheelbase and intelligent all-wheel drive. Their plug-in hybrid system now includes a 6-cylinder in-line petrol engine and a further advanced high-voltage battery with enlarged capacity. Progress vis-à-vis the predecessor models is reflected by a boost in output and torque as well as improved figures for electrically powered range, fuel consumption and CO2emissions.
With their new drive technology, the BMW 745e, the BMW 745Le and the BMW 745Le xDrive represent the typical character of the luxury sedan more than ever before. Their plug-in hybrid system now includes an in-line 6-cylinder petrol engine from the current BMW EfficientDynamics engine family that has been adapted on a model-specific basis to produce a peak output of 210 kW/286 hp and offering unmistakable revving power and running smoothness, an electric motor with a rated output of 83 kW/113 hp and a rated torque of 265 Nm, along with a new lithium-ion battery featuring the very latest battery cell technology and expanded storage capacity. The likewise further advanced power electronics features intelligent energy management for precisely controlled interaction between the two power units and - with activated preview function - efficient assignment of the electrical driving share to those route sections which are to be covered with zero emissions. There is an enhancement of dynamic performance generated by electrical boost and perceptible in a highly spontaneous engine response, as well as an increase in efficiency due to the electrical assist. When the driving experience switch is set to SPORT mode, an overall system output of 290 kW/394 hp is available. For a particularly powerful set-off manoeuvre, it is even possible to draw on a maximum system torque of 600 Nm.
The new drive system gives the plug-in hybrid models of the new BMW 7-Series optimised sprint capacity. The new BMW 745e accelerates in 5.2 seconds from zero to 100 km/h, while the new BMW 745Le takes 5.3 seconds. Meanwhile the new BMW 745Le xDrive reaches the 100 km/h mark from standing in 5.1 seconds. The maximum speed for all three models is electronically cut off at 250 km/h.
The new high-voltage battery for the plug-in hybrid models of the BMW 7-Series now has a gross energy content that has been increased to 12.0 kWh. The increased storage capacity of the lithium-ion battery creates the basis for expanding the share of purely electrically powered, locally emissions-free and virtually noiseless driving in the luxury sedans well beyond the sphere of urban mobility. In HYBRID mode, the new BMW 745e, the new BMW 745Le and the new BMW 745Le xDrive can travel at a speed of up to 110 km/h - 20 km/h faster than the predecessor models - in purely electric mode. The combustion engine is not added until a higher speed is reached requiring a particularly high load. In ELECTRIC mode, the power of the electric motor alone is even sufficient to reach a speed of 140 km/h. The electrically powered range of the new BMW 745e is between 54 and 58 kilometres, while the new BMW 745Le reaches 52 to 55 kilometres. The new BMW 745Le xDrive achieves an electrically powered range of 50 to 54 kilometres.
The fuel consumption and exhaust emission figures of the luxury sedans with plug-in hybrid drive have also been further optimised. For the new BMW 745e, a combined fuel consumption was measured of 2.3 to 2.1 litres per 100 kilometres, a combined power consumption of 15.6 to 15.1 kWh/100 kilometres and CO2 emissions of 52 to 48 grams per kilometre. The corresponding figures for the new BMW 745Le are 2.3 to 2.2 litres per 100 kilometres, 15.7 to 15.6 kWh per 100 kilometres and 53 to 50 grams pro kilometre. The new BMW 745Le xDrive reaches a level of 2.6 to 2.3 litres per 100 kilometres, 16.3 to 15.8 kWh per 100 kilometres and 59 to 52 grams per kilometre.
The electric motor of the plug-in hybrid models is integrated in the 8-speed Steptronic transmission. In braking and coasting phases it acts as a generator, feeding energy into the high-voltage battery by means of recuperation. The lithium-ion battery also serves to power the on-board network. In addition, it energy can be used to run the standard auxiliary air conditioning system. The high-voltage battery is positioned underneath the rear seats, while the 46-litre fuel tank is located above the rear axle. This means that the luggage compartment volume of the plug-in hybrid models is only slightly restricted. What is more, the luggage volume of 420 litres can be expanded as needed by means of the standard 40 : 20 : 40 split and fold function offered by the rear backrests.
The vehicle set-up and operating mode of the drive system can be selected at the press of a button using a joint control panel in the central console. Here, the driving experience switch offers the modes SPORT for a particularly dynamic set-up and ADAPTIVE for a set-up that is geared towards the relevant driving style and situation, as well as the three operating modes HYBRID, ELECTRIC and BATTERY CONTROL. HYBRID mode serves as the standard setting that activates a balanced set-up and optimised interaction between the combustion engine and electric motor. By pressing the HYBRID button twice, this operating mode is activated in an efficiency-optimised version (HYBRID ECO PRO). Driving with a reduced fuel consumption is supported in this mode. The coasting function is one of the factors that contributes to this effect. Here, the electrical boost is only available for kick-down manoeuvres. It also possible to select ELECTRIC mode as the standard setting via the iDrive menu. This mode is for purely electrically powered driving. A distinctive sound created especially for electrified BMW models is used for acoustic pedestrian protection, emitted via a speaker system. The sound design in the low speed range radiates a vibrant acoustic presence though without impairing the acoustic comfort of vehicle occupants.
In SPORT mode, the electric motor is not used on its own but solely in support of the combustion engine. The BATTERY CONTROL setting serves to keep the charge state of the high-voltage battery at a level determined by the driver. When driving on a motorway for example, the power reserves can be saved or even increased to be used later for locally emissions-free driving in town, for example.
The selected operating mode is displayed as part of the new design of the instrument panel, easily and clearly identified by means of the relevant colour. Electric driving continues to be easily recognisable by means of areas marked in blue in the speedometer as well as on the output display/power meter. This also clearly displays the add-on start limits for the combustion engine and the output and speed limits that apply to electrically powered driving. When charging the high-voltage battery, the driver can see all the relevant information in the instrument panel such as charge level and duration, charging current, currently available electrical range and the next departure time selected, as well as the chosen conditioning level. This information can also be clearly seen outside the vehicle.
The exterior design Pure Excellence and the M sports package are available as options for new BMW 745e, the new BMW 745Le and the new BMW 745Le xDrive. All driver assistance systems are likewise available, as is the full range of optional equipment items to enhance comfort and also, with the exception of the Executive Drive Pro option, all the suspension systems of the new BMW 7-Series.
As of summer 2019, new digital services will be available for the plug-in hybrid models of the BMW 7-Series which make charging the high-voltage battery en route even more attractive and convenient. When selecting a public charging station, the navigation system also provides the driver with a list of recommended nearby hotels, restaurants, cafés, tourist attractions and cultural institutions. In addition the customer is provided with a charging station occupancy forecast. BMW also enables ChargeNow customers to reserve a suitable charging station for a limited amount of time directly from their car.
In addition, the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant in the plug-in hybrid models of the new BMW 7-Series helps make life easier for the driver. Among things, this includes selecting an interior experience as a combination of seat conditioning, seat massage, interior temperature, fragrance and shading based on specifically defined Experience Modes. The search for parking spaces and charging options is also supported by the BMW Intelligent Personal Assistant.