It’s not uncommon for automakers to rely on sub-branding to categorize models that use certain types of technology, and BMW is now doing so with its new iPerformance moniker, which will cover all plug-in hybrids sold by the company starting in July 2016.
The iPerformance sub-brand will work much the way the M performancee sub-brand does. So whereas consumers know that a BMW with the M moniker is focused on performance, BMW wants customers to see iPerformance badged cars as being focused on being green.
Or, as BMW puts it in the press release, “The iPerformance models will benefit from the transfer of technical expertise regarding electric motors, battery cells and electronic control systems.”
All iPerformance models will be visually distinguishable due to “I” logos on the front fenders, blue-colored styling elements on the grille and wheels, and an eDrive logo on the C-pillar. BMW customers who buy an iPerformance vehicle will also have access to BMW’s I 360 Electric range of services and products, which includes the BMW I Wallbox.
The first BMW product to get the iPerformance nomenclature is the 740e iPerformance, which will debut at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show. This plug-in hybrid uses a four-cylinder turbocharged gas engine/electric motor combo that makes 326 total system horsepower. BMW is estimating a 112 mpg combined fuel economy rating for the 740e iPerformance, which will be offered in both standard and long wheelbase configurations, and all-wheel drive is available.
Other upcoming BMW iPerformance models include the X5 xDrive40e, the 740Le, 330e, and 2-Series Active Tourer 225xe. More models are planned to follow.