A NEW full-blown 4×4 from BMW will be capable of running for up to 19 miles purely on electric power when it hits the streets this autumn.
The X5 xDrive40e is actually the first plug-in hybrid production car from BMW and follows the successful i3 and i8 models launched by the company’s ‘i’ sub brand.
Combining a 245bhp 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine with a 113bhp electric motor generates a total system output of 313bhp, so strong performance is ensured.
Headline figures are 0-62 in 6.8 seconds with a potential top speed of a Governed 130mph, yet the X5 can return up to 85.6 miles per gallon and produces only 77g/km of emissions.
Transmission is via an eight-speed Steptronic gearbox and the battery pack can be topped up with mains electricity from a standard domestic power socket, or more quickly from the BMW i Wallbox or at public charging stations.
And because the battery is housed beneath the luggage compartment floor – where it is protected in the event of a crash – it still leaves a carrying capacity of 500–1,720-litres, so the luggage area is barely compromised compared with other X5s.
The standard charging cable can also be stored in a hinged compartment under the luggage area floor.
Short, everyday urban journeys can be completed with zero tailpipe emissions, while actual fuel consumption is reduced substantially when driving for distances of up to approximately 15 miles in urban traffic.
That equates to an equivalent 94.2mpg, while on longer journeys – when both the engine and motor are active – fuel consumption and emissions are kept low.
BMW says that daily commutes of up to 37 miles can be completed from a full charge with a fuel consumption of no more than 43.5mpg, depending on driving style.
All models have permanent all-wheel drive, even in electric only mode, and steering wheel mounted shift paddles are an option.
Drivers also get the choice of three driving modes – Comfort, Sport and EcoPro – selected via the Driving Experience Control switch, and the powertrain can be tailored for the default Auto eDrive, all-electric Max eDrive or a Save Battery setting, which allows the driver to conserve or build up the battery’s reserves for later on.
Bespoke design touches identify the BMW X5 xDrive40e, which otherwise looks identical to other X5 variants.
Most noticeable is the charging port, where blue lights appear at the start of the charging process to indicate the flow of energy.
And the BMW eDrive logo graces the tailgate, roof rails, doorsill strips with their blue background and the centre console. Apart from Dynamic Damper Control, the standard spec of the new car also includes self-levelling rear air suspension.
Prices will be announced closer to the launch date.