BMW has entered the plug-in hybrid race in Australia with the first of two models heading our way sporting the petrol/electric technology.
BMW today launched the new 2016 BMW X5 xDrive40e in Canberra and we got along to check it out, though we can’t tell you how it actually drove until midnight tonight (EST), due to an embargo.
The German car company highlighted the fact that cars sold in Australia are still, on average, emitting far more carbon-dioxide than vehicles overseas. On average, Australian passenger cars and SUVs are putting out 175g/km, well below targets set for Europe by 2020 of just 95g/km.
So, as part of that push towards cleaner cars, BMW is forging ahead with models that sit between the brands traditional performance and luxury models, and its ‘i’ electric-drive models.
The BMW X5 40e is powered by a four-cylinder petrol engine with an eight-speed automatic transmission, coupled to it is a rather clever electric drive system that helps up total output to 230kW/450Nm.
Charge up the batteries, in as little as 1.5 hours at public recharge station and you will get up to 30km of purely electric drive.
Product Planning Manager at BMW Australia, Shawn Ticehurst telling us the US-built plug-in hybrid model offers SUV buyers the opportunity to have a really efficient vehicle, without sacrificing luxury or driving enjoyment.
“This is a really exciting and really relevant car for both BMW and Australia.”
Priced from $118,900, or exactly the same price as the similarly-specified diesel-powered X5 (the xDrive40d), you can check out more details on this new BMW offering in our (soon to be published) review.