BMW has bravely moved forward into the beginning of a new era, finally creating a production plug-in hybrid version of the X5. The company promises that the X5 xDrive40e will still deliver a sporty driving experience thanks to the permanent all-wheel-drive system and stout powertrain, plus excellent efficiency.
The new model is key since it’s the first mainstream plug-in hybrid from BMW. A number of other automakers are pushing their own plug-in crossovers, such as the 2016 Volvo XC90, making it a hot area in the market right now.
Total system output for the new model is 313 horsepower and 184 lb.-ft. of torque, which isn’t bad considering it comes from a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and a synchronous electric motor that’s integrated into the eight-speed transmission. According to BMW, the anticipated fuel economy of the X5 xDrive40e is about 70 mpg. That’s on par with some much smaller vehicles, meaning those who pony up the cash for the Bimmer will be able to have their fuel economy and enjoy better utility. Pure electric range is 19 miles and the top speed is 75 mph. Acceleration from 0 to 62 mph takes 6.8 seconds, which isn’t bad but certainly is far from blazing fast.
Owners will be able to recharge the lithium-ion battery using a variety of options. The crossover is compatible with any household electrical socket, plus the BMW i Wallbox and public chargers. Drivers can use an eDrive button on the center console to cycle through the different drive modes, selecting the Auto setting, Max for electric propulsion only, and Save to preserve the battery’s charge while recuperating energy whenever possible. To save on space, the battery has been located underneath the cargo area, which also provides extra protection in a crash.
So far, BMW has announced the new X5 xDrive40e will arrive at dealers in Europe sometime during the fall, but there’s no word on U.S. distribution.