With cars such as the mighty M4 GTS and 5 Series Gran Turismo under its belt, it’s almost an irony to say that BMW is serious about saving the earth. But the brand’s latest iPerformance vehicles prove otherwise. Alongside the now easily recognisable i3 and i8 are even more new plug-in hybrid vehicles (PHEVs), which will change the way you think about these new-age cars.
This is great news, because now we’ll finally get to see hybrids that actually look good (we’re looking at you, Prius). Instead of the usual unnecessary sci-fi designs that hybrids always seem to sport, BMW will be electrifying their mainstream models instead. This is all part of the Efficient Dynamic project, and as their most rigorous implementation yet, the German firm will release the BMW 225xe Active Tourer, 330e, 530e, 740eLe xDrive, and X5 xDrive40e.
Looks aside, the other big misconception is that performance always takes a back seat in hybrid vehicles. Fortunately, that’s one of the many things that’s always been integral to the folks at Beemer. Fuel efficiency is achieved via a combination of a high-torque electric motor with a sporty but efficient engine. You’ll get to enjoy the power and feel of BMW’s drive, but in a silent, emission-free environment.
BMW iPerformance has also taken care of the charging conundrum that’s plagued many who’ve ever considered a hybrid vehicle. In partnership with Greenlots, the brands have created a highly connected network under the intelligent ConnectedDrive system. the i 360DEGREE Electric experience is a package of products and services that make driving clean a tad easier.
For example, the charging stations in the ChargeNow network are shown on the in-vehicle navigation console — useful for when you’re running out of juice fast. To make it accessible, Greenlots has established 60 public chargers at over 30 locations, as well as 80 chargers within 25 condominiums. Payment is also made fuss-free via an account on the Greenlots Mobile app.
Joining the i3, i8 and SUV models in BMW’s quest for a greener world is the plug-in hybrid version of the company’s highly acclaimed 7-Series. Numbers are key in the business of earth-loving cars, so let’s take a moment to digest what this luxury sedan can offer. On electric, the BMW 740Le xDrive iPerformance’s fuel consumption is 149Wh/km and emitted just 59g/km of CO2 — pretty impressive scores for a full-sized car. Yet put your foot to the floor, and you’ll be startled when it accelerates from nought to 100kph in only 5.3 seconds with the 258hp. The car tops out at an astounding 250kph — a figure which might change the minds of the petrol purists.
(All images: BMW Singapore)