BMW 545e xDrive Saloon: Range-topping plug-in hybrid revealed
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BMW 545e xDrive Saloon: Range-topping plug-in hybrid revealed

In a nutshell:

  • BMW extends 5 Series range to include five new plug-in hybrid variants.
  • Top of the range is the 545e xDrive Saloon.
  • All-wheel-drive 545e xDrive Saloon boasts 394 hp, 600 Nm torque, will return up to 135 mpg.
  • With impressive performance, firm says it’s the ‘most dynamic of all BMW six-cylinder plug-in hybrids’.

PERFORMANCE meets efficiency with the new BMW 545e xDrive Saloon.

Because when 394 hp is combined with all-wheel-drive and up to 135 miles to the gallon, it really could equate to the ‘best of two worlds’, as BMW is quick to point out.

The German firm is committed to a ‘ten year plan for sustainability’, and is rapidly expanding its range of electrified cars.

And BMW has now extended the BMW 5 Series to include five different plug-in hybrid models.

Four of those are the previously revealed BMW 530e Saloon, the BMW 530e xDrive Saloon, the BMW 530e Touring and the BMW 530e xDrive Touring.

But topping the range is the more powerful 545e xDrive Saloon, a plug-in hybrid (PHEV), which boasts impressive stats indeed.

An electric motor with a maximum power output of 109hp, and married to a 400V lithium-ion battery, is combined with a straight six-cylinder petrol engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo Technology and 286 hp - together generating an overall output of 394 hp.

That power is then distributed to all four wheels via an 8-speed Steptronic transmission and intelligent BMW xDrive four-wheel drive.

Maximum torque is 600 Nm and a top speed is reached at 155mph, while the 545e can also hit 87mph in purely electric mode.

As with most electrified cars, it’s no slouch off the mark.

The first 62mph is dispatched in just 4.7 seconds, while the Munich manufacturer says the vehicle is the ‘most dynamic of all BMW six-cylinder plug-in hybrids’.

A spokesperson adds: “Thanks to intelligently controlled interaction between both drive systems, the new BMW 545e xDrive combines the best of two worlds. It facilitates not only purely electric driving in urban traffic and efficient commuting between home and the workplace, but also excels through dynamic performance and comfortable long-distance travel.”

In purely electric mode, there’s a range of between 34-35 miles, and with a luggage volume of 410 litres, the transport capacity of the BMW 545e xDrive is only slightly smaller than those with a conventional engine.

Combined CO2 emissions meanwhile are between 52 - 49 g/km.

In order for drivers to maximise the car’s efficiency, there are various modes that can be set. In ‘Hybrid’ mode, there’s a balance between power from the combustion engine and the electric motor, where the combustion engine only kicks in at higher speeds or under intensive load.

In ‘Hybrid Eco Pro’ there’s a further reduction in fuel consumption thanks to a coasting function and optimised braking energy recovery, while choosing ‘Electric’ gives purely emission-free driving.

And in ‘Sport’ mode, the petrol engine takes on the brunt of the work while ably supported by the electric motor.

As with the recently-revealed iX3, BMW has paid particular attention to the way the car sounds, as well as how it looks and goes, with specially-created acoustic noises emitted from a speaker to both signal your arrival to pedestrians and please the ear of the driver and passengers, too.

There are other clever touches.

The new ‘BMW eDrive Zone’ system facilitates the automatic switching over of the drive system to purely electric mode when entering an urban low-emission zone and similar inner-city areas.

You can even rack-up BMW loyalty programme points through emission-free driving.

The 545e is due to be made available in November, so watch this space for further announcements.

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