BMW X5 is targeting people who want to drive a hybrid SUV in towns where stringent emission standards are imposed. The second generation of the BMW X5 with electrified drive combines a model-specific in-line six-cylinder petrol engine featuring BMW TwinPower Turbo Technology with the very latest BMW eDrive technology. Development of plug-hybrid drive has increased power and the electrically powered range along with a significant reduction in fuel consumption and CO2 levels.

The electrically powered range of the new BMW X5 xDrive45e is 54 miles – more than three times as far as the predecessor model. Meanwhile the combined fuel consumption and CO2 emissions have been almost halved. The fuel consumption figures are now 235.4-188.3mpg with the relevant CO2 emissions being reduced to 39g/km.

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These greatly improved figures are the result of a completely newly developed drivetrain comprising a 3.0-litre, 286hp in-line six-cylinder engine from the current BMW EfficientDynamics drive family and fourth-generation BMW eDrive technology. A 113hp electric motor, a lithium-ion battery with a gross energy content increased to 24.0kWh and further developed power electronics for intelligent energy management combine to generate a peak power output of 394hp with a maximum torque of 600Nm.

The combustion engine and electric motor deliver their power to a latest generation eight-speed Steptronic transmission and the intelligent all-wheel-drive BMW xDrive system. This means the drive torque is transferred to all four wheels whether driving on electric power alone, using the combustion engine or indeed both drive units. The new BMW X5 xDrive45e takes 5.6 seconds for the sprint from zero to 62mph – 1.2 seconds less than the predecessor model. Top speed is 146mph.

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Thanks to the high-voltage battery positioned in the underbody area of the vehicle, the centre of gravity is lower than in conventionally powered model variants. The luggage compartment volume is 500 litres – only 50 litres less than a conventionally powered BMW X5. If the rear backrests are folded down luggage volume extends to 1,720 litres. The fuel tank capacity is 69 litres.

The new BMW X5 xDrive45e 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.