BMW to unveil hybrid X5 SUV

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BMW X5 xDrive40e
BMW

BMW has previewed a new hybrid version of the X5 SUV, ahead of the model's debut at the New York motor show next month.

The new plug-in version, badged X5 xDrive40e, features a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine mated to an electric motor for a combined power output of 309bhp – 55bhp more than the UK favourite 3.0-litre diesel xDrive30d. The engine combo is joined to an eight-speed automatic gearbox that channels power to all four wheels.

Claimed performance figures are impressive for a 2.2-tonne SUV. 0-62mph takes just 6.8 seconds (identical to the diesel), while the top speed has been limited to 131mph.

Thanks to a 96-cell battery pack, the xDrive40e can be driven on electric power alone for up to 19 miles, at speeds of up to 75mph. BMW claims a full charge takes two hours 48 minutes when using the optional 230V fast-charging wall box.

While the battery pack eats into boot space, stealing 150 litres of available room, the electric driving range contributes to some impressive economy figures. The hybrid X5 returns claimed fuel consumption of 85.6mpg combined, and emits just 77g/km CO2 – meaning it's exempt from vehicle tax but just misses out on London congestion charge exemption under the current rules.

The new model offers three different driving modes: Auto eDrive, which sees the electric and petrol motors work together for maximum performance; Max eDrive, which will exclusively use electric power until it is depleted, and Save Battery, which as its name suggests, avoids using electric power, so drivers can utilise it later in their journeys, for instance when reaching a built-up area.

The new BMW X5 xDrive40e is expected to reach UK showrooms soon after its unveiling in April, with full price and specification details to be confirmed closer to the car's launch.

BMW X5 xDrive40e

BMW X5 xDrive40e