The new 2016 BMW X5 xDrive40e has made its first local appearance in Melbourne this week, with the new plug-in hybrid set to launch in Australia in April or May alongside the 330e sedan.
The two variants feature BMW's eDrive platform, and the X5 xDrive40e will only be offered in one specification, combining a 2.0-litre turbo petrol engine with a 9kWh lithium-ion battery pack, an eight-speed automatic transmission and BMW's xDrive all-wheel drive system.
The electric motor and battery system are positioned over the rear axle under the cargo floor, still allowing for a respectable 500 litres of boot space.
The petrol engine produces 180kW and 350Nm, while the electric motor has an output of 83kW and 250Nm. Working together they yield 230kW and 450Nm while keeping fuel consumption to a claimed 3.1 litres per 100km.
The X5 xDrive40e, which is already available in America and Europe, has an electric-only driving range of 31 kilometres and can be charged in four hours using a normal household power point.
BMW's eDrive hybrid technology has been transferred from its energy-efficient halo i sub-brand, and the BMW i Wallbox can also be used and will charge the SUV in under two hours.
The 330e sedan combines a 135kW/290Nm four-cylinder engine with a 65kW/250Nm electric motor, producing a system total output of 185kW and 420Nm.
The positioning of the eDrive components results in a 50:50 weight distribution over the front and rear axle.
Its claimed fuel consumption is just 2.1-litres per 100km and it can do 0-100km/hr in 6.1-seconds compared to the eDrive X5 at 6.8-seconds.
The eDrive sedan has a 7.6kWh lithium-ion battery under the boot, leaving 370 litres of space free for luggage and it has an electric only range of 37km.
BMW Australia says both hybrid variants combine fuel efficiency and low emissions while retaining trademark BMW performance.
Chief Executive Officer of BMW Group Australia, Marc Werner says the arrival of the plug-in hybrid brand highlights the brand’s future-orientated approach.
“BMW Group been very active in advocating sustainable mobility,” Werner said.
“Our new eDrive models signal a real expansion of this area in Australia and reinforce our commitment to alternative fuel vehicles.”