BMW are the latest manufacturer to announce plans for a new plug-in hybrid version of one of their current popular vehicles. The news comes after their eternal rival Audi recently announced the decision to create a hybrid version of the Q7, therefore it's perhaps unsurprising that BMW have been quick to follow-suit - the two manufacturers have been playing chicken and egg for decades and we're still no closer to a winner. In fairness to the Bavarian manufacturer, the X5 hybrid has been in the pipeline for a while now, with it's earliest origins traceable back to the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show.
The X5 has undergone a wholesale changes in the last few years and this is just the latest addition to it's impressive arsenal. BMW have stated the vehicle will be known as a xDrive40e and is the first model to recieve the plug-in treatment (if you don't count fledgling offerings the i8 and i3)
But what of the engine? I hear you cry. The X5 will be blessed with a four-cylinder 242bhp 2.0-litre petrol paired with an impressive 111bhp electric motor. Add that up and you're looking at a tasty 309bhp and 350Nm torque as well as an eight-speed automatic transmission included as standard. 0-62mph is attainble in a staggering 6.8 seconds and the X5 will be able to channel that brutish exterior into 130mph while still offering competitive emission and mpg rates. The 19 miles on purely electric power is perhaps the only area where the X5 doesn't quite stand-up alongside it's competitors, but it's still an impressive figure when stacked up with those who haven't adopted the plug-in hype.
The interior is expected to be suitably luxurious and a blend of high quality materials means the X5 will be top-table when it comes to comfort. Technology is also expected to play a big part, as it should in any vehicle making waves in the hybrid market.
Items such as the E-Drive button will delight those who like to tailor their driving experience to the very finest detaill as the system enables you to select either Auto eDrive, Max eDrive and Save depending on how economical you are feeling. You'll never have to feel guilty though as even the most fuel-consuming modes are stil a step-above when it comes to emissions. The main three driving modes are Comfort, Sport and EcoPro which are fairly self-explanatory and demonstrate the X5's flexibility when it comes to emissions.
We'll know more when the vehicle drops on the 1st April at New York's Motor Show, but BMW won't need to fool anyone - this looks a great car.