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by David Zalstein

The BMW X5 eDrive concept has been revealed ahead of its unveiling at next month’s Frankfurt motor show.

It is the first time the brand brings together all-wheel-drive and hybrid technology, teaming a 70kW electric motor and lithium-ion batteries with a  turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine. BMW hasn’t, however, yet confirmed the engine’s capacity, though 2.0 litres is likely.

Claimed to deliver average fuel consumption of 3.8 litres per 100 kilometres and CO2 emissions of less than 90 grams per kilometre, the X5 eDrive also offers a pure-electric range of 30km available up to speeds of 120km/h.

BMW X5 eDrive Concept - 3

BMW claims the hybrid unit “guarantees the hallmark sporting ability of a BMW” by being able to reach 100km/h in less than 7.0 seconds – faster than the current xDrive30d, which has a best economy figure of 7.4L/100km.

The battery, mounted underneath the load area, can be charged from any domestic power socket, wall-box or a public charging station via a charging cable stored in the boot below the storage compartment. BMW says the battery’s placement does “slightly” reduce total load capacity, though the existing model’s 40:20:40 split-fold rear seat backrests remain.

Joining the currently available Eco Pro driving mode are three new hybrid-specific options comprising an intelligent hybrid drive mode, which uses both engine and electric motor; a zero-emission pure-electric drive mode; and a safe battery mode aimed at maintaining the battery’s existing charge.

BMW X5 eDrive Concept - 2

A Proactive Driving Assistant also features. Working in conjunction with the navigation system, the program influences the driving mode selected by taking into consideration factors such as route profile, speed restrictions and traffic situations.

Finished in Silverflake metallic paint, styling of the BMW X5 eDrive concept has been tweaked with kidney grille slats, front air intake bars, charge flap surround and rear bumper accents all finished in BMW’s i Blue colour – a signature of its hybrid i range. The new concept also comes with specially designed roof rails and “aerodynamically optimised” 21-inch light-alloy wheels.

Inside, the concept gains hybrid-focused functions for the BMW ConnectedDrive infotainment system including tools to keep track of electric range, public charging station locations and required charging time.

BMW X5 eDrive Concept - 4

A remote smartphone app also pairs with the model to display battery charge and electric range along with allowing owners to remotely control aspects such as the climate control system.

The BMW X5 eDrive concept is a continuation of the German manufacturer’s push towards plug-in hybrids following the BMW i3, and i8, Active Tourer and Active Tourer Outdoor concepts.

The 2013 Frankfurt motor show, which begins on September 10, will also host the public debut of the all-new third-generation BMW X5. Available with both rear-wheel drive and a four-cylinder diesel engine for the first time, the new X5 is due to go on sale in Australia during the final quarter of 2013.

Though BMW is yet to announce an official production version of the X5 eDrive, with the Audi Q7 e-tron planned to be seen before the end of 2015, it is an obvious candidate for the range.




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