Ambassador of Kosovo Lirim Greicevci test-drives the new BMW 740Le iPerformance, offering his thoughts from both the driver and passenger seats
The exciting BMW eDrive system technology developed for BMWi cars has now arrived in the new BMW 7 Series model range, in the shape of three plug-in hybrid luxury sedans: the BMW 740e iPerformance, the BMW 740Le xDrive iPerformance and the BMW 740Le iPerformance. Venetia, the editor of this magazine, had given me the enviable task of test-driving the latter.
The Embassy of Kosovo owns a BMW 7 Series that we bought in 2015. We have been extremely pleased with the car, and believe it has been the best vehicle on the market for official embassy and diplomatic business. Kosovo’s President, Prime Minister and government ministers have all been driven in it during their visits to London, and have praised the Embassy for making the right choice in buying this flagship car. So, I was particularly interested in driving BMW’s highly anticipated all-new 7 Series with eDrive system technology.
As brilliant as the Embassy’s 7 Series is, the new BMW 740Le iPerformance is a unique experience in all aspects. This long-wheelbase version is one the quietest cars I have ever been in, and being a plug-in hybrid car, it is much more environmentally friendly than any previous models. It records an average petrol consumption of 128.4-141.2mpg and CO2 emissions of 45-51 grams per km.
The car sources its power from the latest-generation four-cylinder petrol engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology and an electric motor. Intelligent energy management optimises the interplay of the engine and electric motor. The car drives just as well as the 7-Series we already have, and it’s surprisingly fun to feel the surge of electric power when you put it in Sport mode. Efficiency may be the focus of this model, but BMW hasn’t slacked on the performance front. Working together intelligently, the combustion engine and electric drive system allow this 7-series to sprint from 0-62mph in just 5.5 seconds.
In terms of driving modes, there are a few to choose from, including auto eDrive, which lets the car decide what to do – it’ll run in electric mode alone at low speeds providing there’s enough charge, with the engine coming into play when you hit 50mph. To maximise efficiency, Max eDrive runs in pure Electric Vehicle (EV) mode for up to 29 miles and at speeds of up to 87mph. You can also select the Battery Control mode which allows you to set how much battery charge you want to preserve for later in the journey – for example you can charge it while on the motorway to save for pure EV mode around town.
The battery is found underneath the rear seat, meaning the car benefits from more space in the boot, creating 420 litres of capacity that is handy for airport pick-ups that so often come with plenty of luggage.
Driving is smooth, and the steering and stabilisation are flawless. There are multiple security features and sensors to make driving safe and reliable, including the new-generation BMW Head-Up Display, the Parking Assistant, Driving Assistant and Surround View systems.
The displays in the car are intuitive with gesture controls and loads of other inbuilt gadgets. If you find yourself in heavy traffic, passengers – mostly government officials in our business of diplomacy – can relax and enjoy some of the lavish extras including massaging rear seats or catch up on the latest news using the rear-seat entertainment.
The interior is stunning; it is spacious, luxurious and cosy. As you’d expect from a long-wheelbase, legroom in the rear seats is genuinely business class and is perfect for official delegations. On top of all this, you can register your car on the BMW app on your mobile phone. From here, you can plan your journey, monitor fuel consumption and look at the dashboard, amongst many other things, which is very useful.
All in all, this is a highly reliable, beautiful flagship car that is full of comfort. Great to drive, but also the perfect choice for those wanting to be ferried to and from work in relaxing style.
For more information about BMW 740Le iPerformance or any vehicles in the BMW and MINI ranges, please call the BMW Group Diplomatic Sales team on +44 (0)20 7514 3555, or pop into the showrooms conveniently located at 56 Park Lane in Mayfair. www.bmwtaxfree.co.uk