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by James Ward

This week, BMW began the second part of its electric ‘i’ vehicle campaign in Australia with the release of the X5 xDrive40e plug-in hybrid and the new iPerformance vehicle range.

In the same way that the M Performance line denotes ‘sportier’ versions of BMW’s wider range – those that aren’t quite full M-spec – the iPerformance moniker applies to hybrid versions of the standard line-up, leaving the ‘real’ i-range cars to stand alone.

It’s all part of a broader product strategy, called ‘Number One Next’, that BMW is using to spearhead the next generation of its automotive technology.

2016-bmw-x5-xdrive40e-hybrid-launch-jw-15

The X5 was chosen to lead the local charge (ba-doom) as it is the highest-selling model variant in Australia. Next in line is the 330e hybrid 3 Series sedan which will follow in May this year.

While BMW has not confirmed which models will follow in our market, a 740e model was unveiled at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show. And, given the next-generation X3 and 5 Series are both currently due to arrive in 2017, it would be reasonable to assume there will be iPerformance models for each of these.

As part of the rollout, all BMW dealers will be able to sell and service iPerformance vehicles, while only key metro dealers can offer the ‘proper’ i vehicles, the i3 hatch and i8 sports car.

BMW i3 8b

MORE: 2016 BMW X5 xDrive40e Hybrid Review
MORE: BMW news, reviews, pricing and specs




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