The BMW X5 xDrive40e formally revealed today is the Bavarian company’s first plug-in hybrid model from its “core brand” — those not part of its ‘i’ family.
It joins a growing movement in PHEV technology from luxury brands, with rivals to include the diesel-electric Audi Q7 e-tron and forthcoming Mercedes-Benz GLE (nee ML-Class) PHEV. They all follow in the wheeltracks of the more affordable Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV.
The xDrive40e is in essence the production version of the BMW X5 eDrive concept. It features all-wheel drive, along with a drivetrain consisting of a four-cylinder turbo-petrol engine and a synchronous electric motor with a total system output of 230kW.
It achieves a combined fuel consumption figure of 3.3 litres per 100 kilometres and combined electricity consumption of 15.3kWh over the same distance. CO2 emissions come in at 77 grams per kilometre.
The energy for the electric motor integrated in the eight-speed Steptronic transmission is drawn from a lithium-ion battery, which also supplies power to the low-voltage battery for the 12-volt electrical system via a voltage transformer.
It can be recharged by connecting to any standard domestic power socket or a BMW i Wallbox, as well as at public charging stations. To save space, the battery is housed underneath the luggage compartment floor, where it is also protected in the event of a crash.
There’s 500-1720 litres of luggage space, and a three-part folding rear backrest.
There’s an eDrive button on the centre console that allows the driver to adjust the hybrid drive’s operating mode. In the 'Auto' eDrive setting, power is boosted to “noticeable effect” when accelerating or during quick bursts of speed by the 250Nm electric drive.
The xDrive40e completes the sprint from 0-100 km/h in 6.8 seconds.
Alternatively, the 'Max' eDrive mode can be engaged, enabling the BMW X5 xDrive40e to run purely on electric power – when driving in urban traffic for instance – resulting in zero local emissions.
When the high-voltage battery is fully charged, the vehicle has a range of up to 31 kilometres in the all-electric drive mode with a limited maximum speed of 120 km/h.