RAC Cars News


BMW X5 Goes Green

By raccars Published

BMW is making a strong push towards electric at the moment, with a range of all-electric cars and this hybrid addition to the X5 line up. The company has been opening up about its plug-in hybrid variant of the X5 just before its introduction at Frankfurt next month. The X5 eDrive concept can boast fuel consumption of 74.3mpg and an all electric range of 19 miles, while CO2 emissions of 90g/km are particularly impressive for a car of this class.

The first eDrive model, the Concept Active Tourer, came with an electric motor to assist its three cylinder, 1.5 litre petrol engine. The company has yet to announce a powertrain for the X5 eDrive outside of a 95bhp electric motor, but expect the 328i's 2.0 litre turbo for 245bhp. Four wheel drive should make it as stable as the traditionally powered X5.

Three selectable driving modes are available: intelligent hybrid offers a middle road between efficiency and performance, based upon your driving style. Pure electric does what it says on the tin, offering all electric propulsion up to 75mph, while safe battery mode works the engine harder, while preserving battery charge. With combined electric and engine power, the X5 eDrive can reach 62mph within seven seconds.

The hybrid X5 is more traditional than the forthcoming electric I range, lacking the up to the minute aluminium and carbon fibre weight saving construction methods but shares some stylistic similarities. The front grille and air intake and the rear bumper all sport the same distinctive blue stripe, that is a distinctive mark of the I line up.

Other notable differences from the standard X5 include special aerodynamically advanced 21 inch alloy wheels, new roof rails and a socket for electric charging above the front wheel marked with the eDrive logo. The boot is only minimally compromised by the lithium ion battery storage underneath its floor. The X5 eDrive has been designed to be chargeable from domestic power sockets and public charging points.

While the X5 eDrive is being introduced as a concept, BMW has been clear on its plans to extend its investment into cleaner and more efficient motoring and industry watchers expect the concept to become reality by 2015. BMW are likely to use the same powertrain for its updated 5 Series, which is due to hit the roads at about the same time, for which the company is thought to be aiming at a 50g/km level of CO2 emissions.

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