BMW X5 Plug-In Hybrid Concept Updated, Trotted Out Again [2014 New York Auto Show]


Last fall, BMW unveiled a plug-in hybrid concept based on its latest X5 SUV, and now the X5 eDrive is making an encore appearance at the New York auto show in a slightly modified form.

A 94-hp, 184-lb-ft electric motor still teams with BMW’s ubiquitous N20 2.0-liter four, here rated at 241 horsepower. Naturally, claimed performance hasn’t changed; BMW says the X5 eDrive concept will reach 62 mph in “less than seven seconds.” Fuel consumption is rated at 62 mpg on the wildly optimistic EU scale, which is even more wildly optimistic than usual when it concerns PHEVs. Given that, it’s no wonder plug-in hybrids are being shoveled onto the Euro market with such vigor, and BMW touts the familiar “ability to operate purely on electric power with zero local emissions, especially in city traffic” as justification for fitting expensive and heavy technology to the X5. As BMW puts it, “It puts a whole new slant on the SAV driving experience that shows the shape of things to come.” SAV, if you’re unfamiliar, is BMW-speak for “Sport Activity Vehicle.” Yes, everyone else calls them SUVs.

Up to 20 miles of electric-only driving are said to be possible, and the charging process can be significantly accelerated with a higher-voltage wall-mounted device that would be offered to customers at extra cost. The X5 eDrive is fitted with an all-wheel drive system, although its 21-inch wheels and Dunlop SP Sport Maxx rubber means any off-roading is likely to remain confined to your imagination.

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The interior is a bit fancier than before—blue accents inside (and out) set this X5 apart from its conventionally powered siblings—while the hybrid system eats away a bit at cargo space. But BMW assures interested parties that the load floor is “almost flat.” It still holds four golf bags, which serves as a standard of trunk volume among German premium brands. If you weren’t sure of the X5 eDrive concept’s production future before, its second appearance should tell you to expect to see something like this on dealer lots soon alongside the planned 3-series plug-in. Or you could heed BMW’s recent statement that it will produce a PHEV X5 in South Carolina in the near future. Either way.
2014 New York Auto Show Full Coverage

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