Set to compete with the Mercedes-Benz S550 Plug-In Hybrid, the 740e xDrive will use advanced technologies learned from BMW’s newfound experience. The 740e xDrive will utilize an eDrive button on the center console to control the level of electric drive being utilized. There will be three settings, AUTO eDrive, MAX eDrive and Battery Control modes. AUTO eDrive will be the basic setting, using the electric motor to maximize engine power when needed, such as during hard acceleration. MAX eDrive allows the 740e xDrive to drive purely under electric power, at up to 75 mph, for 23 miles. That’s three more miles than the S550 Plug-In Hybrid, though the Benz can do up to 87 mph under pure electric power. The eight-speed automatic’s Brake Energy Regeneration and Route-Ahead Assistant systems will also aid the car in seeking out extra mileage for the battery. It’s all very impressive technology and should make the new 740e xDrive the best hybrid in the segment, though there really isn’t much competition.


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