BMW's "Sport Activity Vehicle" Gets the PHEV Treatment
The BMW i3 won’t be the only electrified vehicle wearing the roundel at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show, as the automaker will also show off its Concept X5 eDrive plug-in hybrid SUV. The hybrid version of the 2014 BMW X5 receives the brand’s xDrive all-wheel drive system and is powered by a turbocharged four-cylinder engine and an electric motor developed in-house.
BMW doesn’t specify displacement or the power output of the gasoline engine, but the mill could be derived from the turbocharged 2.0-liter N20 found in many BMWs. The electric motor draws power from a high-voltage lithium-ion battery pack located beneath the SUV’s cargo area, which BMW says offers only slightly reduced space compared with the standard X5. The electric drive system is capable of moving the sport ‘ute at speeds up to 75 mph, and can propel the car for 19 miles by itself. In addition, power from both gasoline and electric sources can be distributed to the wheels in varying combinations through the all-wheel-drive system, which BMW says makes its first appearance in an electrified vehicle with the Concept X5 eDrive. BMW estimates a 0-60 time of 7 seconds.
To complement the i3 with which the concept shares a stage, the X5 eDrive features exterior details finished in the same blue developed for the “i” line. Exterior pieces such as the kidney grille slats, front valance and intake trim, bumper inlays, and charging port surround all get a touch of the somewhat metallic light blue seen on BMW i models. The rest of the concept is finished in Silverflake metallic paint, while specially designed roof rails and aerodynamic 21-inch alloy wheels round out the design.
Inside, a dynamic range display provides drivers with info on range-affecting factors including traffic, route, and driving style. The hybrid-specific Proactive Driving Assistant uses the navigation system to suggest alternate routes to optimize range. Three driving modes are selectable, including intelligent hybrid drive, which offers the best balance of sportiness and efficiency; pure electric mode for all-electric power; and safe-battery mode to keep the battery fully charged.
The Concept X5 eDrive can be charged via a standard electrical outlet, a wall-mounted charger, or at public charging stations. A charging cable is stored below the cargo area, and lights up when the vehicle is charging. Drivers can view charge time and range on their smartphone through a BMW ConnectedDrive app that also allows them to remotely set the climate control.
BMW refers to the Concept X5 eDrive as a “study vehicle,” and hasn’t announced plans for a production version. But given the concept’s showroom-ready appearance, we may soon see BMW’s lineup become a little greener.