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2013 BMW X5 eDrive Concept

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BMW revealed the concept X5 eDrive today ahead of its public debut at next month’s Frankfurt Auto Show . This BMW -developed plug-in hybrid powertrain looks quite promising: it maintains the xDrive AWD system’s torque split ability to all four wheels even when running in hybrid or full electric mode.

Cabin space is said to be only marginally trimmed from the advanced Li-ion battery pack under the rear cargo tray area - but the real headline is a sprint time that is still under 7 seconds and an all-electric cruising range of 19 miles at speeds up to 75 mph.

This BMW eDrive concept is the second time a plug-in hybrid has emerged from Munich — the first being 2012’s Active Tourer — a front-drive MPV heading for launch in a few years.

Of course, BMW’s i brand also has some striking electrified models waiting in the wings with the i8 and i3 - both of which are scheduled for big launch news during the company’s Frankfurt press conferences.

The concept X5 eDrive tests the mood for a future plug-in hybrid luxury SUV, but brings numerous technological advancements so far unseen from the smash-hit Lexus RX450h and supercharged seven-seat 2014 Nissan Pathfinder Hybrid . As currently planned, the X5 eDrive will lag behind the main models to market by about a year - for a projected late fall 2014 arrival in American showrooms.

Click past the jump to read the full preview of the 2013 BMW Concept X5 eDrive and check out the image gallery of the full i8 -style makeover of this popular luxury crossover.

Exterior

BMW X5 eDrive Concept

The looks of the X5 eDrive concept are quite masculine and performance-focused, in contrast to the most likely buyers of fuel-sipping family cars. More of the original X5 ’s broad stance is visible in these press images, showing off the shrouded and super-aerodynamic 21-inch wheels front and rear. The spiffy performance tires and wheel setup is quite unusual for an economy-focused model of any kind, but they certainly help the X5 eDrive look cooler and even more unique than the previous X5 M .

The X5 eDrive mirrors some of the more interesting elements of the BMW i range, including the blue-tinted chrome accents to the grille bar and blue accent lines in the lower bumpers. A blue-trimmed charge port door is prominently mounted on the front fender - looking quite nice with the fender vent of this concept.

Some layered sculpting appears in the eDrive’s lower bumper in a dark brushed-metal finish that is a clear i8 styling nod. The front bumper is far smoother toward its bottom edges than the standard X5 , while additional underbody panels divert air around the tires and high-drag items like a car’s exposed exhaust tubing.

Front straight ahead, the latest BMW eDrive’s styling is very similar to the standard X5 that is all-new for 2014. Large and more square and three-dimensional kidney grilles are becoming a BMW SAV staple versus the lower and rounder bumper-mounted kidney grilles on cars like the latest 750i and X1 M Sport . The headlight assemblies are also oversized and dominate the nose appearance with chopped internal white LED lighting optics.

Out back, the X5 eDrive mirrors the planted stance of the X5 M via those visibly enormous tires and a clean tailgate design. A blue brightwork element joins the two flush-mounted bumper exhaust vents in a relatively garish way - but at least the eDrive badge is small and subtle.

Interior

BMW X5 eDrive Concept

No details yet from BMW on the interior revamp for the plug-in hybrid eDrive technology, aside from the potential drive modes and the very-effective ECO Pro mode. Along with this efficiency-focused engine management system, the eDrive ECO Pro mode also considers variables like road speed, traffic conditions, topographical map features where car could plan to coast downhill, and more. Operated via the Drive Experience Selector, X5 eDrive owners can also select an all-electric mode at the push of a button.

A safe battery mode keeps with the idea that many city centers will block internal-conbustion engines altogether in the future - a likely scenario already in Europe’s disgustingly dirty and diesel-smelling capitols. Ick.

While BMW notes that the Li-ion battery pack does not consume much of the X5 ’s potential luggage capacity or any seating comfort in the first two rows - there is no mention of a seven-seat option for the eDrive like on the other new 2014 BMW X5 models. This is a big downside and also one suffered by the less-advanced - but available now - Lexus RX450h .

Performance

BMW X5 eDrive Concept

Performance and economy figures look impressive for the X5 eDrive, despite running just the small 2.0-liter turbocharged engine as the primary propulsion.

This single-turbo engine is actually a brute, with deceptively large power reserves. This is good, as it is the base American-market engine in everything below the previous X5 and 7 Series.

In the X1 with xDrive28i (AWD) selected, this potent little unit even overboosts to an astounding 369 pound-feet of torque when needed — more than 100 extra over the standard rear-drive power outputs. The reasons this is important is that the larger-torque 2.0-liter powers this massive and heavy X5. Even with an estimated 300 pounds of additional battery and electric component weight, BMW promises a sub-7-second sprint to 60 mph.

This is no doubt quickened by a fully charged battery. As seen on other plug-in hybrid cars like the Ford Fusion Energi — performance takes a nosedive if the battery is empty from lack of wall charging.

The biggest technological achievements come from the X5 eDrive maintaining its AWD capability even in hybrid and EV modes. Unlike the Lexus, which powers the rear wheels only briefly with EV juice when accelerating or on a slippery surface, the X5 will be able to operate with the standard torque split and dynamic traction control.

A single BMW-developed electric motor provides propulsion with an extra 95 horsepower, delivering a projected 75 mpg on the European combined cycle. This is about 50 mpg by the EPA’s numbers — much higher as the plug-in ’MPGe’ economy tally.

Intriguingly, this generation of X5 will be the first to offer basic rear-drive on some of the more eco-focused models like the miserly diesel-powered versions that take 90-plus percent of European sales.

Pricing

BMW X5 eDrive Concept

Pricing is not yet available from BMW, but the eDrive will likely be priced at the same level as the base X5 xDrive35i - with the extra mileage and EV features offered instead of the 3.0-liter turbo six-cylinders spirited performance and smooth-revving character.

Competition

Lexus RX450h

Lexus RX 450h

The Lexus RX450h owns the hybrid crossover segment and has since it was the first hybrid crossover to market nearly a decade ago. A five-seater, the RX is handicapped by its strange appearance lately and stagnating technology. Still a front-drive V-6 with NiMh batteries, the RX is much more like a leather-wrapped Prius crossover than the X5, which is still a market powerhouse in terms of delivering amazing sports-car performance in an SUV.

A plug-in version of the next RX is virtually a sure thing in 2015 or early 2016.

Conclusion

BMW X5 eDrive Concept

The plug-ins are coming, the plug-ins are coming! Like Paul Revere and his brass alarm bell, the full-fledged investment by BMW toward hybrid and EV models is picking up speed.

This X5 eDrive finally shows some rationality and buyer needs taking precedence of automaker’s self-interest in lowering total fleet consumption.

After all, the smallest cars out there are the last ones that really need hybrid assistance, but because of how Corporate Average Fuel Economy and its Euro CO2 equivalent shape government policy, some automakers have been cheating a bit.

With the X5 eDrive, family owners can easily see double the fuel economy of the base X5 - without any drawbacks like a CVT front-drive bias or lack of true all-weather EV ability.

The real question will be how tacky BMW decides to make the production models. A blue-edged theme looks much more appropriate on a dedicated eco model than it does on this performance crossover king. Hopefully the shrouded wheel designs make it to market intact - hopefully with tire that are closer to the X5 M than the pizza-cutters on the i3 .

LOVE IT
  • One wonders about the possible name for these vehicles. With " s", "e" and " x"Drive ... will there be a "sexDrive" model?
  • Looks cool and butch like an X5 should with wide wheels and great stance
  • Economy and performance looks like the perfect compromise - just needs the right price
LEAVE IT
  • A rear-drive version with this powerful turbo four-cylinder would be much more popular and affordable - but lacks EV-only range
  • How important is AWD when in EV mode? Winter weather will deplete batteries rapidly
  • Blue grille is not appealing and ruins the premium BMW X5 nose

Press Release

BMW X5 eDrive Concept

BMW eDrive meets BMW xDrive – an innovative combination designed to deliver efficient driving pleasure: The BMW Concept5 X5 eDrive.

BMW X5 eDrive Concept

Munich. The new BMW X5 raises efficiency to another new level in the world of the luxurious Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV). BMW is using the 2013 Frankfurt International Motor Show (IAA) to present the logical next step towards landmark efficiency in the SAV segment. TheBMW Concept X5 eDrive combines the brand of driving pleasure for which the xDrive intelligent all-wheel-drive system is renowned and a luxurious ambience within the variable-use interior with a plug-in hybrid drive concept. Its innovative BMW eDrive technology guarantees the hallmark sporting ability of a BMW, while at the same time opening the door to speeds of up to 120 km/h (75 mph), a maximum range of 30 kilometres (19 miles) on electric power alone and average fuel consumption in the EU test cycle of 3.8 litres per 100 kilometres (74.3 mpg imp).

The concept study’s BMW eDrive system consists of a four-cylinder combustion engine with BMW

BMW X5 eDrive Concept

TwinPower Turbo technology and an electric motor which is also the work of the BMW Group. The 70 kW/95 hp motor sources its energy from a high-voltage lithium-ion battery. It can be charged from any domestic power socket and has sufficient capacity to enable the car to travel up to 30 kilometres (19 miles) solely on electric power, generating zero local emissions in the process. The high-voltage battery developed for the BMW Concept X5 eDrive is mounted in a particularly crash-safe position underneath the load area, whose capacity remains virtually unchanged as a result. There is a choice of three driving modes, depending on requirements and situation – the intelligent hybrid drive option for an optimum balance between sportiness and efficiency; pure electric and therefore emission-free driving; or Safe Battery mode to maintain the current battery charge.

The groundbreaking character of the BMW Concept X5 eDrive is highlighted by understated but precisely arranged design accents. For example, the kidney grille slats, air intake bars and the inlay in the rear bumper – all in the BMW i Blue colour developed for the BMW i brand – present an appealing contrast to the Silverflake metallic exterior paintwork. The BMW Concept X5 eDrive also comes with specially designed roof rails, a connector for the charging cable that lights up during charging, and 21-inch light-alloy wheels in an exclusive, aerodynamically optimised design.

BMW eDrive in a Sports Activity Vehicle: intelligent hybrid technology delivers outstanding efficiency and characteristic driving pleasure.

BMW X5 eDrive Concept

Electrification of the powertrain allows BMW to unlock impressive potential for reducing fuel consumption and emissions. The BMW eDrive technology developed by the BMW Group to this end comes in various forms, each tailored precisely to the vehicle concept at hand. The BMW Group’s first purely electrically powered vehicle to go into series production – the BMW i3 – celebrates its world premiere at the IAA 2013. And taking to the stage alongside the i3 will be the BMW Concept X5 eDrive, which follows in the tyre tracks of the BMW Concept Active Tourer unveiled in 2012 as the second plug-in hybrid vehicle to feature BMW eDrive.

BMW eDrive technology hooks up with the intelligent all-wheel-drive system BMW xDrive for the first time in the BMW Concept X5 eDrive. The new study vehicle offers superior driving characteristics underpinned by the electronically controlled and fully variable distribution of drive between its front and rear wheels. Regardless of the driving mode selected, the power generated by the electric motor, combustion engine or the two units together is channelled quickly and precisely to the wheels where it can be converted most effectively into propulsion. This allows the BMW Concept X5 eDrive to demonstrate the typical qualities of an SAV – assured traction and optimised stability in all weather and road conditions, coupled with increased agility through dynamically taken corners – in outstandingly efficient fashion. The versatile and sporty driving attributes of the BMW Concept X5 eDrive are complemented by average fuel consumption in the EU test cycle of 3.8 litres per 100 kilometres (74.3 mpg imp) and CO2 emissions of under 90 grams per kilometre.

The electric motor in the BMW Concept X5 eDrive generates maximum output of 70 kW/95 hp and – thanks to impressive torque available from the word go – demonstrates the instantaneous power delivery that has become a hallmark of electric drive systems. All of which elevates driving pleasure and efficiency to another level. The synchronous electric motor developed by the BMW Group also maintains a steady flow of power into the upper reaches of its load range and keeps weight low. The motor alone can propel the BMW Concept X5 eDrive to a top speed of 120 km/h (75 mph). As part of the boost function, it can also be used to give the combustion engine a noticeable hit of extra energy during acceleration and during dynamic mid-range sprints. The BMW Concept X5 eDrive can complete the sprint from rest to 100 km/h (62 mph) in under 7.0 seconds.

ECO PRO mode and all-electric driving: efficiency on demand.

BMW X5 eDrive Concept

Like members of the current series-produced BMW line-up, the BMW Concept X5 eDrive also offers ECO PRO mode, which is activated using the Driving Experience Control switch and encourages a particularly efficient driving style. This default mode is engaged when the car is started and offers intelligent hybrid functionality, whereby the energy management system tailors the interplay of combustion engine and electric drive system to most efficient effect. Drivers can also enjoy the services of the hybrid-specific Proactive Driving Assistant, which teams up with the navigation system to incorporate factors such as route profile, speed restrictions and the traffic situation into the driving mode selection.

Drivers can also switch to the all-electric driving mode. With the battery fully charged, the car can cover up to 30 kilometres (19 miles) on electric power alone and therefore with zero local emissions. Another option is the Safe Battery mode, which allows the battery’s energy capacity to be maintained – for example, if the driver wants to cover the final stretch of a longer journey through town on purely electric power.

Everyday usability: flexible charging scenarios and viability.

BMW X5 eDrive Concept

In order to allow the extra efficiency of its electric powertrain to be utilised as widely as possible, the BMW Concept X5 eDrive is designed as a plug-in hybrid vehicle. Its high-voltage battery can be recharged from any domestic power socket, a Wallbox designed to offer stronger currents or a public charging station. The impressive degree of flexibility drivers can look forward to when choosing a charging point is enhanced by the charging cable stored in the load area below the flat storage compartment. The battery unit is located a level lower still, which means the car’s overall load-carrying capacity is only slightly reduced. The boot offers space for two large suitcases or four 46-inch golf bags, and the SAV’s high level of variability – thanks in part to its 40 : 20 : 40 split/folding rear seat backrest – is retained, as are the generous levels of space and comfort over long journeys that it offers in all five seats.

Intelligent connectivity for greater efficiency.

BMW X5 eDrive Concept

Innovative functions from BMW ConnectedDrive help drivers to maximise the number of journeys they complete on electric power alone. For example, in the BMW Concept X5 eDrive, the electric range available is shown as a numerical value. The car’s dynamic range display uses intelligent connectivity to keep a constant eye on all the factors affecting range, such as traffic conditions, route profile and driving style.

When the route guidance function is activated, the location of public charging stations is added to the points of interest shown on the navigation map. Drivers can call up stations located along their route or at their destination, and the system also tells them how much charging time is required to fully top up the battery once again.

All information concerning battery charge and electric range can also be viewed on the driver’s Smartphone. A Remote app from BMW ConnectedDrive developed specially to meet the requirements of electric mobility enables owners to control the charging process from their phone. It also allows the vehicle to be pre-programmed while it is connected to an electricity source. For example, the heating and climate control system can be activated remotely to ensure a pleasant temperature inside the car before the driver sets off.




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