Bavar­i­ans plug in and power up

Herald Sun - Motoring - - NEWS - JOHN CAREY

PETROL-elec­tric power is com­ing to BMW’s lux­ury SUV.

The X5 xDrive 40e will join the plug-in hy­brid elec­tric ve­hi­cle — PHEV — ver­sion of the 3 Se­ries sedan.

The 40e will reach show­rooms in the se­cond quar­ter, as will the 330e sedan.

To date, the $300,000 i8 su­per-coupe from the com­pany’s “Born Elec­tric” i sub-brand has been the only plug-in hy­brid sold here wear­ing the blue and white roundel badge.

The ar­rival of the 330e and X5 xDrive 40e sig­nals BMW’s in­tent to take this tech to a broader au­di­ence.

BMW Aus­tralia is yet to fi­nalise pric­ing but aims to ask only “a small pre­mium” over equiv­a­lent petrol and diesel ver­sions.

This should mean price tags of $70,000-$75,000 for the 330e and $125,000 for the X5 xDrive 40e.

The plug-in X5 uses the same ba­sic driv­e­line as the 330e (see Pres­tige, page 36).

It has a 2.0-litre turbo en­gine and eight-speed auto, with an elec­tric mo­tor squeezed be­tween them.

The main dif­fer­ence is that for the big­ger and bulkier SUV the power out­puts of both petrol en­gine and elec­tric mo­tor are in­creased.

To­gether they punch out a max­i­mum of 230kW, an in­crease of 45kW com­pared to the 330e.

That power fig­ure is the same as the turbo diesel 40d ver­sion of the X5.

Fuel con­sump­tion, thanks to the hy­brid hard­ware, will be al­most halved.

The lithium-ion bat­tery pack un­der the plug-in X5’s cargo com­part­ment floor weighs enough to make it a few ticks slower to 100km/h than the 40d.

How­ever, it stores enough zap to power the 40e up to 30km on elec­tric­ity alone.

BMW has also de­vel­oped plug-in hy­brid tech for mod­els smaller than the X5 and 3 Se­ries.

The com­pany’s Aus­tralian arm has given the thumbs down to the first of th­ese, the 225xe.

There’s not a lot of de­mand for all-wheel-drive cross­over mini peo­ple-movers, even with a BMW badge.

Aus­tralians like SUVs and BMW drivetrain en­gi­neers say the hard­ware of the 225xe is eas­ily fit­ted to the closely re­lated X1. The com­po­nents are adapt­able to mod­els pro­duced by BMW-owned Mini.

The main tar­gets for BMW’s grow­ing plug-in hy­brid ar­ray are the US and Ja­pan, where diesel is re­garded (with good rea­son, as it turns out) as in­her­ently dirty.

There will be no BMW plugin hy­brids with diesel en­gines, com­pany en­gi­neers prom­ise.

Aus­tralia isn’t yet turned off diesel but, should at­ti­tudes change, BMW will be ready with clean-burn­ing al­ter­na­tives.

X5 40e:: Pl­lug-- iin ccha­ar­rg­err ffllaap iiss be­hi­ind ll­efftt ffr­rontt wheell

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.