The BMW 7-Series will receive a newly developed plug-in drivetrain boasting a claimed electric range of up to 34 miles (55 km) when the facelifted ’19 model goes on sale in the U.S. in April.
The updated gasoline-electric drivetrain, to be offered alongside a range of revised gasoline engines, is fitted to the new all-wheel-drive 745e xDrive.
It forgoes the turbocharged 2.0L 4-cyl. gasoline engine used by the older 740e for a turbocharged 3.0L inline 6-cyl. powerplant, bringing with it an additional 28 hp and 37 lb.-ft. (50 Nm) of torque at 282 hp and 332 lb.-ft. (450 Nm).
The combustion engine is combined with an electric motor mounted within the front section of the 745e’s standard 8-speed torque-converter-equipped automatic transmission. It delivers 111 hp and 195 lb.-ft. (264 Nm) of torque.
The new 745e xDrive offers a combined system output of 389 hp and 442 lb.-ft. (599 Nm) of torque – enough to provide a 0-60 mph (100 km/h) time of 4.9 seconds and an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph (250 km/h) in combination with performance tires, according to BMW.
Along with the swap in combustion engines, the 745e also receives a larger lithium-ion battery. It boasts an energy density of 12.0 kWh instead of the 9.2 kWh of the 740e. As such, the electric range increases 6 miles (10 km) at a claimed maximum of 34 miles for the 5,964-lb. (2,706-km) 745e xDrive on the European test cycle. Top speed in pure-electric mode is put at 87 mph (140 km/h).
The battery’s increased storage capacity has enabled BMW to revise the drive program of its headlining plug-in model, allowing it to travel 68 mph (109 km/h) under electric propulsion in hybrid mode – up from 56 mph (90 km/h) – prior to activation of the combustion engine.
North America traditionally has been the largest market for BMW’s upmarket hybrid sedan. The German automaker says it expects the increased electric range and improved performance potential of the new 745e xDrive to help it build on the sales of the earlier 740e.