The BMW X5 eDrive concept has been revealed ahead of its debut at the Frankfurt Motor Show next month. The latest addition to BMW's growing electric car portfolio is a plug-inhybrid version of the new X5 capable of travelling 19 miles in electric-only mode, returning 74.3mpg and producing less than 90g/km of CO2.
Unlike the Concept Active Tourer (the only other eDrive model to date), which combined a 1.5-litre three-cylinder petrol engine with an electric motor, the X5 eDrive pairs up an unspecific four-cylinder petrol engine (likely to be the 245bhp 2.0 turbo from the 328i) with a 95bhp electric motor. Power is sent through BMW’s xDrive four-wheel drive system, so it should have all the grip and stability of a standard X5.
There are three driving modes to choose from. Intelligent hybrid drive senses your driving style and strikes a balance between sportiness and efficiency, pure electric mode disengages the engine and works up to speeds of 75mph, and safe battery mode puts greater load on the engine to maintain the current battery charge. With the engine a motor working together 0-62mph in less than seven seconds is possible.
Although it doesn’t have the ultra lightweight carbon-fibre and aluminium construction of the i3 hatchback or i8 sports car, there are some styling nods towards the new ‘i’ family. The slats in the grille, a stripe along the lower air intake and an inlay in the rear bumper are all finished in the same blue colour developed specifically for the ‘i’ sub-brand.
Other changes to the regular X5 include new roof rails, unique 21-inch alloys with a new aerodynamic design and the eDrive branded charging socket above the front wheelarch. Despite the lithium-ion battery pack stored underneath the boot floor, the eDrive’s boot space is only slightly reduced compared to the standard X5.
BMW is calling the X5 eDrive “the next logical step towards landmark efficiency in the SAV segment,” suggesting it’s not a question of if this technology will make production, but when. Expect production cars with this four-wheel drive plug-in set up on UK roads by 2015.