The plug-in hybrid (PHEV) version of the brand new, fourth-generation BMW X5 has been revealed. Its name? The BMW X5 xDrive45e iPerformance.
The successor to BMW’s X5 xDrive40e pairs a 210kW 3.0-litre petrol-fired inline-six with an 82kW motor, with onboard electric power stored in a lithium-ion battery pack. System output is 290kW/600Nm.
WLTP-tested combined-cycle fuel consumption is 2.1L/100km (the tank is 69L), but the more relevant claim is the bolstered zero emissions, pure electric range of almost 80km, triple that of its predecessor.
This means it can be used as a purely electric car on far longer commutes, with the petrol backup engine there for longer drives, but less likely to be needed in average commutes.
It does the sprint from zero to 100 km/h in a claimed 5.6 seconds – more than one second less than its predecessor. The top speed when driving on electric power alone is increased from 120 to 140km/h.
The drivetrain is matched to the familiar eight-speed automatic transmission used in other X5s — the 30d and M50d, plus the 40i — and variable, on-demand AWD.
Thus, the drive torque is transferred to all four wheels when driving on electric power alone as well as when using the combustion engine or indeed both drive units.
Thanks to the high-voltage battery positioned in the underbody area of the vehicle, the centre of gravity is lower than in the “conventionally powered” model variants.
However, the luggage compartment volume of the BMW X5 xDrive45e iPerformance is 150 litres less. When all seats are used, the storage volume is 500L; if the rear backrests are folded down, a volume of 1716L is available.
The X5 xDrive45e iPerformance is fitted as standard with a two-axle air suspension and electronically controlled dampers. The optional suspension systems available for the plug-in hybrid model include integral active steering (rear wheel steering).
BMW says the plug-in hybrid derivative is not confirmed for our market yet, but we understand a late 2019 launch is on the cards.
Let’s not beat around the bush: it’s coming, just like its predecessor.