Frankfurt 2013: Forget about fun, BMW’s Concept X5 eDrive plug-in focuses on fuel-economy

BMW will unveil a plug-in hybrid version of its recently redesigned X5 SUV at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show. The awkwardly-named Concept X5 eDrive tries to be all things to all people.

The X5 eDrive is supposed to combine the luxury and utility of an SUV with sporty driving characteristics and good fuel economy. That’s a tall order, so how does BMW plan on accomplishing that?

Under the hood is a four-cylinder twin-turbocharged gasoline engine, teamed with a 95 horsepower electric motor and a lithium-ion battery pack. Everything is linked to the xDrive all-wheel drive system from the stock X5.

BMW did not disclose the powertrain’s total output, but it did say that the X5 eDrive will do 0 to 62 mph (0 to 100 kph) in under seven seconds.

With the internal combustion engine shut off, the X5 eDrive has a range of 19 miles at speeds of up to 75 mph, according to BMW. Estimated fuel economy is 74.3 mpg on the European cycle.

To help drivers get the most out of their plug-in SUV, BMW also included the Eco Pro driving mode from its production models. There’s also a Proactive Driving Assistant, which uses the navigation system to plan an mpg-maximizing route.

There are also three hybrid-specific driving modes (Pure Electric, Hybrid Drive, and Save Battery) activated by a switch on the center console.

The lithium-ion battery pack is mounted underneath the trunk’s floor; BMW says this helps with crash protection. It also keeps the X5’s capacious cargo bay intact: four 46-inch golf bags can be stowed back there. Golf bag storage is cleary an important metric for BMW owners.

The X5 eDrive is officially a concept car, but there’s nothing about it that wouldn’t be production-feasible. A production X5 plug-in would be a logical followup to BMW’s other plug-in hybrid, the 231 hp i8 sports car, which is also set to debut in Frankfurt.


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