BMW X5 Plug In Hybrid Goes Live

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The BMW X5 plug-in hybrid is finally here. Teased at the Frankfurt Auto Show in 2013 as the X5 eDrive Concept vehicle, the new model will be known officially as the BMW X5 xDrive40e. Whew, that’s a lot of X rated nomenclature, huh?

Here’s what its all about. The first plug-in hybrid all wheel drive vehicle from the “core” BMW brand, marryies a 2.0 liter four-cylinder turbo to an 8-speed automatic transmission that incorporates an electric motor. The power gets to the wheels via BMW’s well known and highly praised xDrive full time automatic all wheel drive system.

Sure, you want details. Okay, let’s do the numbers. The 2.0 liter turbo engine makes 245 horsepower and 258 pounds-feet of torque. The electric motor adds 113 horses and 184 lbs-ft for a total of 313 and 332 respectively. 0 – 60 comes up in 6.8 seconds. Electric-only range is 19 miles at speeds up to 75 mph, and the X5 PHEV’s top speed is electronically limited to 130 mph. A 9-kWh battery pack is strapped to the back of the car underneath the cargo area.

The X5 phev is loaded with creature comforts as one would expect of BMW but it takes web based connectivity to a new level for drivers. According to the company’s press release:

Whenever route guidance is active, data on the route profile is factored into powertrain control along with real-time traffic information. When driving medium to long distances, the system can therefore ensure it is possible to drive purely on electric power on urban sections by using Brake Energy Regeneration and managing the high-voltage battery’s energy reserves in a targeted and efficient manner.

The drivetrain can be customized to the driver’s taste using the dash mounted Driving Experience Control switch. Settings include COMFORT, SPORT and ECO PRO. Presumably, SPORT is for when you want to surprise that Mustang GT driver waiting next to you at a stop light.

The X5 xDrive40e goes on sale in Europe later this year. Availability and pricing for the US market have not been announced at this time.

Steve Hanley

Closely following the transition from internal combustion to electricity. Whether it's cars, trucks, ships, or airplanes, sustainability is the key. Please follow me on Google + and Twitter.