Back at the 2011 Shanghai Motor Show, BMW unveiled a 5-Series plug-in concept car that allowed an emission-free driving range of about 47 miles, at a speed not more than 37 mph. It now looks like that concept is about to become reality, as our spy photographers have caught the car testing for the first time. Of course, we expect some improvements in the production version, but either way it sounds very promising.
What make us think this is indeed a plug-in hybrid version of the BMW 5-Series ? Well, the answer is quite simple: there is an easy-to-spot small fuel door hiding the charging port, plus that the port has a red sticker over it that warns of "high voltage" and tells the driver not to open the charging port.
The problem is that when BMW unveiled the concept version, it announced it was an "e-car from China for China," so most likely this model will land only on Chinese shores, for now.
Hit the jump to read more about the 2014 BMW 5-Series Plug-in Hybrid.
We expect the Plug-in Hybrid version of the BMW 5-Series to be offered with the same exterior features as the revised 5-Series sedan set to be unveiled later this year. These updates will include an updated front bumper with new air intakes, a new headlight setup, and a grille that sits slightly more upright.
Also, you should expect the headlamps to feature the arrangement seen on the 3-Series and the rear lights will get all-new graphics.
The interior will, once again, be similar to the standard 5-Series, so the customers will enjoy the same luxury level, but the Plug-in Hybrid version will feature technologies specially developed for this kind of models.
Up to this point, we cannot tell for sure what kind of powertrain the
Expect mpg to reach around the 80 to 90 MPGe area.
production version 5-Series Plug-in Hybrid will be feature, but we expect something similar to what we have seen in the concept version. This means there will be a parallel-hybrid-drive setup that combines a 214 horsepower combustion engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology with an electrical motor that adds another 93 horsepower.
The likely culprit for combustion engines will be a mid-displacement four-cylinder, possibly a 2.0-liter. We also expect a seven- or eight-speed automated manual transmission. Expect mpg to reach around the 80 to 90 MPGe area.
The new BMW 5-Series Plug-in Hybrid will go into production by the end of the year. The model will most likely only be offered on the Chinese market and prices will be announced at a later date. However, we expect something a little bit more expensive than the current BMW ActiveHybrid 5 that is priced at about $62k.
Finding a plug-in hybrid luxury sedan isn’t the easiest thing to do, still BMW is not the only manufacturer offering such a model. Audi, for example, offers a hybrid version – not a plug-in – for its A8 luxury sedan that combines a 2.0 TFSI and an electric motor for a total output of 245 horsepower and a peak torque of 345 pound-feet. From a first look it appears that the 5-Series has a little bit more advantage, but we will see in the near future if the extra power will actually help it.
You may ask “why would BMW offer a plug-in hybrid luxury sedan?” Well, the answer is very simple: because the market asks for it; especially if we are talking about markets where big cars are very successful. It’s true that when a customer goes to the dealer and asks for a luxury sedan, fuel consumption is the last thing he has in mind, but it’s always good to combine pleasure with care for the environment. This is exactly what the 5-Series Plug-in Hybrid will do: offer its customers all the luxury they can imagine, but in the same time obey the latest emission regulation imposed by the governments all over the world.
- Very efficient for a luxury sedan
- Quite powerful
- Appears to be highly equipped
- Only China gets it; apparently