BMW to introduce iPerformance sub-brand at Geneva, debuting on 7 Series Plug-in this year

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The new BMW 7 Series plug in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) begins with the innovative 7 Series sedan, with its lightweight bodywork(Credit: BMW)

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Starting in July 2016, BMW will begin using the iPerformance designation on all of its plug-in hybrid vehicles. The iPerformance sub-brand will be debuted at the Geneva Motor Show on the BMW 7 Series plug-in hybrid, which will be called the 740e iPerformance.

The BMW "i" logo and electrification department will remain. iPerformance vehicles will have "i" designations throughout their bodywork and interiors, with the 740e having the logo on its front side panel, an eDrive logo on the rear pillar, and BMW's signature "electric blue" elements in the kidney grille and wheel hubs. Related products such as charging stations (aka the "BMW i Wallbox") will also feature the "i" logo.

The new BMW 7 Series plug in hybrid electric vehicle (PHEV) begins with the innovative 7 Series sedan, with its lightweight bodywork. The powertrain is replaced with a new-generation four-cylinder gasoline engine using TwinPower turbocharging and a permanently-excited synchronous electric motor for a total output of 326 horsepower (240 kW) and 369 pound-feet (500 Nm) of torque. The new engine is part of the Efficient Dynamics family of engines from BMW and has the most powerful four-cylinder the company has ever fitted to a series production vehicle, developing 258 hp (190 kW) on its own.

The standard wheelbase, rear-drive 740e iPerformance has provisional fuel economy figures of 2.1 liters per 100 kilometers (112 mpg) and 49 grams per km in CO2 emissions. The longer wheelbase 740Le iPerformance may have slightly lower figures. The all-wheel drive (xDrive) models have provisional fuel consumption estimates of 2.3 l/100km (102 mpg) and 53 g/km CO2.

BMW estimates that the 740e iPerformance will have an all-electric range of 40 km (25 miles) in the European test cycle. Those figures drop to about 37 km (23 miles) for the xDrive models. A high-voltage lithium-ion battery with a 9.2 kWh capacity (6.9 kWh usable) makes this possible. The car has an estimated 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) speed of 5.6 seconds in the standard wheelbase and about 5.7 seconds for the 740Le models.

The all-wheel drive, or xDrive, models utilize the same full-time AWD system as that premiered in the BMW X5 xDrive40e. This drivetrain layout allows the vehicle to have all four wheels driven whether driving all-electric, with just the combustion engine, or when the EV and combustion systems are combined.

Driver controls on the console allow the driver to choose the powertrain's operation manually. Selections give the driver the option to force electric-only driving, to optimize charging of the batteries on the road, to delay electric driving to preserve battery power for later, and more. The default mode is automatic, allowing the car's electronics to decide which mode to use. In addition, a driver control system allows the driver to choose how the 740e iPerformance handles, selecting for economical driving, comfort driving, or dynamic sport.

BMW will showcase the new 740e iPerformance series as well as the iPerformance sub-brand at the upcoming Geneva Motor Show.

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