BMW has added a 9 kWh battery and 113 HP electric motor to its standard X5 engine to create an eco-friendly hatchback SUV providing 309 hp and 332 lb-ft of torque. The X5 xDrive 40e goes from 0 to 62 mph in 6.5 seconds and has a top speed of 130 mph. The BMW xDrive intelligent all-wheel-drive, the specially tuned suspension, the electronically controlled multi-plate clutch and DSC (Dynamic Stability Control) system provide superb traction and excellent handling on all road conditions.
BMW’s plug-in hybrid iPerformance models are powered by an award-winning 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine that works with the lithium-ion powered eDrive motor, delivering maximum efficiency and performance. When accompanied by the 8-speed Steptronic automatic transmission, this engine produces 308 horsepower and 332 lb-ft of instant torque, enough to thrust it from 0–60 in 6.5 seconds. Whether you choose all-gas, all-electric or a smart mix of both, you’ll be equally impressed by the delivery of EPA rated 56 MPGe. The 40e is quicker than a Prius, bolting from zero to 60 mph in 6.5 seconds using an All Wheel Drive that's always active.
The New York Times calls the X5 xDrive 40e "a Hybrid for the Future," explaining that "inexpensive gasoline has fueled sales of the crossovers and sport utility vehicles that Americans love. That’s good for the automakers’ bottom line, but it also presents a challenge as fuel economy standards get stricter. What’s a company to do? Build something like the BMW X5 xDrive40e, a plug-in hybrid. It would appear that this technology is the way to go for the foreseeable future."
The X5 xDrive 40e combines Bavarian sportiness with the fuel efficiency of a plug-in hybrid. Its X5Dynamic Performance Control distributes power smoothly between the front and rear wheels, providing optimal agility and sporty handling. When cornering, for example, the outside wheel receives more torque, allowing you to drive “into” curves. Active Roll Stabilization incorporates two-piece anti-roll bars to create stronger resistance to body roll, keeping the vehicle more level and providing maximum stability and agility. The car's the outside wheel receives more torque, allowing you to drive “into” curves. An optional Wi-Fi Hotspot is available to keep you connected to the internet. Surround View gives drivers a continuous clear line of sight. Side and top view cameras offer a bird’s-eye perspective of the area behind and on either side of your vehicle, displayed on an intuitive 10.2" iDrive touch screen. Parking Assistant makes maneuvering in tight spaces simple. X5’s rear seats split 40/20/40, efficiently folding to convert 35.8 cubic feet of trunk space to a full 76.7 cubic feet. Two adults can stretch out in the back seats. Three can ride comfortably.
The plug-in comes with three drive modes: Max, Save and Auto. Max offers pure electric power; Save activates gas operation and even charges the battery a bit. Most owners will use Auto, which runs the car in the hybrid gas plus electric mode, assessing driving conditions and operating the vehicle efficiently without you having to think about it. In Auto, smooth electric-to-gas transition occurs at higher speeds, up to 45 miles an hour.
Price wise, the X5 costs approximately $20,000 less than the Porsche plug-in SUV and approximately $5,000 less than Audi’s Q7 plug-in. The New York Times says: "Today’s cheap gas makes it tough to break even financially. The car (xDrive 40e) starts at $63,095 and the eDrive hybrid system is $5,000 more. A $4,668 federal tax credit nearly covers that bill. Still, if plug-in hybrids are the future of efficiency, we could all do a lot worse than drive something as well engineered as the X5."
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