What's the news?
We've yet to get behind the wheel of the fourth-generation BMW X5 SUV and already there's a new variant to look forward to - a plug-in hybrid no less. It's called the xDrive45e iPerformance and it appears to improve on the first PHEV version of the X5 in every conceivable way.
Oddly, BMW didn't mention the exterior detailing of the X5 xDrive45e in its press release, so we only have the images to go by. This particular model appears to share a lot with the regular X5 M Sport models, with a few extra iPerformance badges, blue detailing in the high-tech lights, grille and unique wheels, plus of course the extra flap in the front wing for accessing the charging port. Interestingly, the centre of gravity of the hybrid X5 is lower than that of conventional versions due to the positioning of the battery pack.
The sumptuous new BMW X5 interior is mildly different for the xDrive45e model with hybrid-specific displays and switchgear. Sadly, to fit all the electrical components in, BMW has had to reduce luggage capacity by 150 litres to 500 litres (or up to 1,716 litres when the second row is folded down).
Unlike its four-cylinder predecessor, this second X5 PHEV uses a 3.0-litre straight-six petrol engine, mated to a latest-gen electric motor. The engine itself produces up to 286hp and the total system maximums are quoted as 394hp and 600Nm of torque. Hence, there's an official 0-100km/h time of 5.6 seconds and a top speed of 235km/h - or 140km/h on electric power alone. The lithium-ion battery has more capacity than before as well, so BMW quotes the electric-only range as 80 kilometres, while the emissions and fuel consumption figures are 49g/km and 2.1 litres/100km respectively. An eight-speed Steptronic automatic distributes power to all four wheels.
Air suspension and electronically controlled dampers are standard on the xDrive45e, while integral active steering (four-wheel steering) is optional.
Visitors to next month's Paris Motor Show are expected to get a first glimpse of the X5 xDrive45e, but BMW hasn't confirmed the on-sale date of the hybrid as yet, beyond 'in the course of 2019.'