BMW X5 Plug-In Hybrid To Make Shanghai Debut


Originally posted on CleanTechnica

While BMW may not have been the first automaker out of the gate with plug-in cars, the i3 and i8 have been warmly welcomed by Bimmer and EV enthusiasts alike. Alas, the next BMW i car won’t arrive until 2020 at the soonest, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t more plug-in Bimmers on the way. Arriving at the Shanghai Auto Show is a BMW X5 PHEV that could deliver up to 78 MPGe and over 300 horsepower.

Officially called the BMW X5 xDrive40e Sport Activity Vehicle (really BMW…), that long name underlies a fairly potent combination of performance and efficiency. A four-cylinder turbocharged gas engine combines with an electric motor to offer a total system output of 313 hp/230 kW, sending power to all four wheels through an eight-speed Steptronic automatic transmission for a 0 to 62 MPH/100 KPH time of 6.8 seconds. A 9 kWh lithium-ion battery pack stores enough electricity for short jaunts of about 15 mi/25 km, and with a fully-charged battery pack BMW claims fuel economy of up to 78 MPG in urban driving.

That number plummets to between 30 and 37 MPG on longer journeys, with average fuel economy of about 36 MPG once the battery is totally depleted. Still not too shabby, and a huge improvement over BMW’s last Chinese reveal, the 530LE, and unlike the underpowered plug-in hybrid sedan, the X5 xDrive40e stands a chance of coming to America. It might be another five years before we get the BMW i5 rumored to be in the works, but the plug-in hybrid SUV (or SAV if you prefer Bimmer’s nomenclature) market is still wide open.

If they brought it to America, would the BMW X5 PHEV tempt you into taking a test drive?

Christopher DeMorro

A writer and gearhead who loves all things automotive, from hybrids to HEMIs, can be found wrenching or writing- or else, he's running, because he's one of those crazy people who gets enjoyment from running insane distances.