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Car and Driver: BMW Announces “iPerformance” Moniker for Plug-In Hybrids

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2016 BMW 740Le plug-in hybrid

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BMW is in the thick of turning out plug-in hybrid variants of every major model it sells, an effort that as of the 2016 Geneva auto show will have its own name: iPerformance. That’s the moniker BMW plans to apply to every single plug-in hybrid it sells, save for perhaps the i8 and i3 (which already live under the BMW i banner). The idea is to provide “a visible indicator of the transfer of technology from BMW i to the BMW core brand.” That it may be, but it’ll also be a clear indicator that BMW is running out of sub-brand naming schemes, what with its showrooms now crowded with M Performance, M, and BMW i derivatives.

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BMW will first apply the iPerformance branding to the upcoming 740e xDrive, the plug-in version of the latest 7-series luxury sedan before applying it more broadly after July of this year. The 740e will utilize an electric motor integrated into its eight-speed automatic transmission, which will be mated to a 254-hp turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine. It’s dubious to refer to this sure-to-be leisurely combination by any name incorporating “performance,” but it nonetheless allows BMW to slap “i” logos on the cars’ bodies, as well as the i-signature blue-colored accents in the grille and “eDrive” logos on the C-pillars.

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It’s safe to assume that, within the year, existing plug-ins such as the X5 xDrive40e, as well as the upcoming 330e and 5-series plug-in hybrid will all adopt the iPerformance branding.

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