EXPECT the new $229,000 BMW 740e plug-in hybrid to be as big a hit with hire car operators as Toyota’s hybrid Camry is with taxi drivers — for the same reason.
For each, running costs drop dramatically compared with similar size vehicles with conventional powertrains.
The third iPerformance plug-in petrol-electric variant from BMW sold here, the 740e competes with a similar spec Mercedes-Benz S-Class. Its iPerformance stablemates are the X5 40e SUV and the 330e sedan.
BMW claims the 740e, with a combined output of 240kW, has average fuel consumption of 2.2L/100km.
Power comes from the same 2.0-litre, four-cylinder turbo engine with synchronous electric motor as used in the X5 40e and 330e.
Drive goes to the rear wheels through an eightspeed auto transmission.
Electric power comes from a lithium ion battery rated at 9.2kWh.
The 740e will drive on electricity alone up to a bestin-class 48km. It can be recharged from a domestic power point in five hours.