NEW BMW 740e

A clean-living week in BMW’s big hybrid has us enjoying great road presence and limousine comfort.

In fact, it’s a win-win scenario because not only does the 740e boast incredible economy figures but the electric motor and turbo-charged 2.0-litre pack an almighty punch when a combined effort is called for.
Driving around on battery power is a serene experience and you tend to savour it because the electric-only range is often too quickly exhausted and the combined powertrain is not the final word in luxury. It takes a thoughtful right foot to eke out 40km of electric running and replenishing the battery pack takes 5 hours at a regular 240v socket or 2.5 at a BMW wall unit. But BMW is refining these systems all the time, making them less stuttery when shifting to and from battery to petrol power. Compared with a silky straight-six, the ICE is a bit gruff under load, especially in Sport.
Materials and controls all have tactile rewards. The Nappa leather seats are as soothingly agreeable on short trips or long runs. You select gears with a centrally-mounted obelisk, run your left-hand fingers down the adaptive suspension options on the driver’s side of it, and open doors with deluxe milled aluminium catches.
Equal effort has gone into the design and craftsmanship of the rear of the cabin, which is on a par with what’s up front and a tablet for controlling various functions is neatly integrated into a central armrest. The world’s a wonderful place when you’re ensconced back there and the adaptive air suspension is languidly wafting you along in default Comfort mode.

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BMW 740e

ENGINE 1997cc 4-cyl turbo + electric motor

POWER 240kW (322bhp)

TORQUE 500Nm from 1250rpm

TRANSMISSION 8-spd auto

DRIVETRAIN rear-wheel drive

LENGTH 5.1m

WEIGHT 2150kg

WHEELS 19-inch alloy

TYRES 245/45 (f) 275/40 (r)

0-100km/h 5.4 secs

FUEL CLAIM 2.2L/100km

PRICE from $199,000

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