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2014 BMW Concept X5 eDrive

Much has being made about the BMW Concept X5 eDrive following its debut at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show last year. Shortly after its debut, a prototype was seen testing out on the road. Now, a refreshed version of the concept is headed to the 2014 New York Auto Show .

Whether this is a production model labeled as a concept or simply another prototype is a question that only BMW can answer. For the most part, there have been a few changes from the first concept we saw back in September last year.

What we do know is that there appears to be a future for the Concept X5 eDrive at some point. It may not be in the coming months, but years down the line, we expect this vehicle to be out on the road. The hybrid, luxury SUV market is still growing, and its only a matter of time before BMW jumps into the picture and announces its plans to be a strong competitor in it.

Click past the jump to read more about BMW Concept X5 eDrive.

2013 BMW Concept X5 eDrive

BMW X5 eDrive Concept
BMW X5 eDrive Concept
BMW X5 eDrive Concept

Exterior

BMW Concept X5 eDrive

Not much has changed on the X5 eDrive Concept when compared to the debut concept from the 2013 Frankfurt Show. It still looks like an SUV that was designed with performance in mind instead of drastically changing the look of the base X5.

The muscular shoulders are still there and the front end still makes good use of the larger headlights and the rectangular kidney grilles. Touches of i8 styling can also be found, particularly the blue-tinted chrome accents in the grille bars that complement the blue accent lines in the lower bumpers. On the flip side, the two fog lamps still look completely out-of-place, although not to the extent where they completely ruin the SUV’s overall front-end styling.

Like the previous version of the concept, the blue-trimmed charge port door is still located in the same place; prominently mounted on the front fender and quite easy to spot, given that it sits on the top side of the front wheel arch.

The clean tailgate design at the back bears a close resemblance to the X5 M. The taillights are still enormous, and take in the shape from other X5 models while the blue brightwork elements that separate the exhaust vents are another hat tip to BMW’s i range styling, creating a visible contrast to the concept’s Silverflake metallic exterior paintwork.

Interior

BMW Concept X5 eDrive

Interior touches on X5 Concept eDrive were made to keep the image of the X5 as luxurious as possible. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look the same attention to space was given as third-row seating looks like an added option. But even with that small caveat, the interior of this X5 is still pretty sophisticated.

The front seats, the door-trim panels, and the dashboard have been adorned with Ivory White exclusive leather with its own light blue double-felled seams. Contrasting the clean and smooth look of the white leather is a Piano Finish Black interior trim with blue accent strips, ambient lighting with a blue hue, and an eDrive button that is also likewise illuminated in blue.

Move over to the back and you’re going to see a transparent cover that shows a clear view of the high-voltage battery for the electric motor.

Drivetrain

BMW Concept X5 eDrive

Unlike the X5 M, the Concept X5 eDrive doesn’t put all of its attention on the SUV’s performance as much as it is combining that and fuel economy into the equation. As a hybrid, two distinct powertrains can be found in the SUV with the first being a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 245 horsepower, deceptively strong for its standards. That gas engine then has a tag-team partner in the form of a single BMW-developed electric motor that now produces 95 horsepower, adding up to 340 worth of ponies to play around with.

The motor, in particular, has been supplied with power from a lithium-ion battery that can be charged from any domestic socket and has sufficient capacity to enable all-electric driving with zero local emissions for a range of up to approximately 20 miles.

Coinciding with that is tremendous fuel returns with BMW estimating an average fuel efficiency figures of approximately 62 miles per gallon (US) in the EU test cycle for the Concept X5 eDrive.

Gasoline Engine4-cylinder 2.0-liter BMW TwinPower Turbo
Gasoline Engine Output245 Horsepower
Electric Motor Output95 Horsepower
Total Output340 Horsepower
Top Speed (Electric Only)75 MPH
0 to 60 mph7.0 Seconds
Fuel economy62 MPG
All-Electric Range20 miles

When Can I drive One?

BMW Concept X5 eDrive

BMW has given no indication on when the Concept X5 eDrive is going to hit production. It’s reasonable to expect a release in 2015 if everything falls into place.

Competition

Lexus RX450h

Lexus RX 450h

The Lexus RX450h has owned the hybrid crossover segment since first hitting showrooms in 2010. But with more and more companies finally seeing the merits of having a big hybrid in its ranks, the onus is on the RX to up its game to welcome this new wave of contenders.

As it sits now, the Lexus could benefit from a redesign on its now dated appearance and its current, 3.5-liter, V-6 engine combined that’s combined with a pair of electric motors for a total of 295 horsepower also needs an upgrade or two to keep up with the growing market.

Here’s the good news: a plug-in version of the next RX is coming soon, possibly as early as next year.

Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid

Porsche Cayenne

Another premium SUV that recently received a hybrid makeover is the Porsche Cayenne. The Cayenne has the rather obvious advantage of being styled in the same vein as all other Porsche models, a surprisingly attractive quality that has generated a lot of interest.

Power is bigger than the X5 eDrive with the Cayenne S Hybrid employing a 333-horsepower, supercharged 3.0-liter V6 along with a pair of electric motors that add 47 horsepower, bringing up the total to 380 horsepower. All that and the Cayenne S Hybrid is still capable of hitting 60 mph in 6.1 seconds to go with a top speed of 150 mph.

The Porsche Cayenne S Hybrid has a retail price of $70,900.

Conclusion

BMW Concept X5 eDrive

There is a production future attached to the BMW Concept X5 eDrive, and the only question is when that’s going to be? As it stands, the concept already has the cursory features and details that makes us question why BMW isn’t rushing to get this out to production. Maybe there are still a few tweaks and changes left before that happens. But rest assured, people with deep pockets and an affinity for the environment will be paying close attention on the fate of this concept SUV.

LOVE IT
  • Hybrid means efficiency
  • Nice "i range" touches on the exterior
  • Leather interior is luxurious
LEAVE IT
  • When is BMW releasing a production model?
  • Plenty of competitors
  • The X5 still appeals more as a performance oriented SUV

Press Release

The new BMW X5 has already raised efficiency to a whole new level in the world of the luxury Sports Activity Vehicle (SAV). BMW is using the New York International Auto Show 2014 to present what it sees as the logical next step towards bringing about a radical reduction in fuel consumption and emissions in the SAV segment. The BMW Concept X5 eDrive succeeds in fusing the familiar brand of driving pleasure generated by the xDrive intelligent all-wheel-drive system and a luxurious ambience enshrined within an interior offering tremendous versatility of use with a plug-in hybrid drive system. A conventional combustion engine works together in perfect harmony with the cutting-edge BMW eDrive technology to produce the sporty drive for which the brand is renowned while operating with exceptional efficiency. As a result, the car is able to drive on electric power alone at speeds of up to 75 mph and for a distance of up to approximately 20 miles, while recording average fuel efficiency figures of approximately 62 miles per gallon (US) in the EU test cycle.

BMW Concept X5 eDrive

The concept study has undergone a series of detailed refinements in preparation for its appearance at the New York International Auto Show and is equipped with a drive system comprising a 245 hp four-cylinder gasoline engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology and a 95 hp electric motor. The motor is supplied with power from a lithium-ion battery that can be charged from any domestic socket and has sufficient capacity to enable all-electric driving with zero local emissions for a range of up to approximately 20 miles. To ensure a particularly high level of crash safety, the high-voltage battery developed for the BMW Concept X5 eDrive has been housed underneath the luggage compartment, whose load capacity remains virtually unchanged as a result.

Various drive system and driving modes are available to suit requirements and the situation in hand. The familiar COMFORT, SPORT and ECO PRO modes can be selected with the Driving Experience Control switch, allowing the intelligent hybrid drive system to be fine-tuned to produce the desired balance between sportiness and efficiency. What’s more, two further drive system modes can be activated at the push of a button as an alternative to the AUTO eDrive setting: MAX eDrive for driving solely on electric power in city traffic and SAVE Battery for maintaining the current battery charge.

BMW Concept X5 eDrive

Thanks to the BMW eDrive technology that has been developed specifically for this model, the concept car brings a whole new brand of poise and assurance to the SAV segment. The formidable power reserves produced by its duo of drive units, its outstanding levels of motoring comfort and the optimised traction, handling stability and dynamic performance qualities over any terrain courtesy of BMW xDrive technology endow it with the all-round sporty prowess typically associated with BMW X models, while its landmark efficiency blazes a trail for its rivals to follow. The ability to operate purely on electric power with zero local emissions, especially in city traffic, puts a whole new slant on the SAV driving experience that shows the shape of things to come. At the same time, the plug-in hybrid drive concept does not impinge in any way on the exemplary versatility offered by the Sports Activity Vehicle’s interior or its wonderfully luxurious ambience. In short, the BMW Concept X5 eDrive shows itself to be supremely talented in every way, deftly bringing major advances in cutting fuel consumption and emissions into harmony with state-of-the-art functionality and everyday practicality that never fails to impress.

A number of understated styling touches have been meticulously incorporated into the exterior design to underline the groundbreaking character of the BMW Concept X5 eDrive. The kidney grille bars, air intake bars and the insert in the rear bumper are all finished in the BMW i Blue colour developed for the BMW i brand, for instance, creating a contrast to the Silverflake metallic exterior paintwork. The BMW Concept X5 eDrive also comes with body-colored wheel arches, specially styled roof rails, a connector for the charging cable that lights up during charging, as well as 21-inch light-alloy wheels in an exclusive, streamlined design.

To make sure that the styling of the luxurious passenger compartment echoes the highly sophisticated drive concept, light blue double-felled seams adorn the Ivory White exclusive leather upholstery covering the seats, door trim panels and dashboard. Further highlight features of the specially designed interior include the Piano Finish Black interior trim with blue accent strips, ambient lighting with a blue hue, and an eDrive button that is also illuminated in blue. And in the luggage compartment lined in blue velour, a transparent cover affords a clear view of the high-voltage battery for the electric motor.

BMW Concept X5 eDrive

Electrification of the powertrain allows BMW to unlock tremendous potential for reducing fuel consumption and emissions. The BMW eDrive technology developed for this purpose comes in various versions, each precisely tailored to the particular vehicle concept. Both the BMW i3, the first all-electric production vehicle from the BMW Group, and the soon-to-be-launched BMW i8 plug-in hybrid sports car are powered by BMW eDrive technology. The BMW Concept X5 eDrive now follows in the tracks of the BMW Concept Active Tourer, seen last year at NYIAS, by demonstrating how model-specific BMW eDrive technology can be employed in plug-in hybrid models from the BMW core brand.

This is the first time that BMW eDrive technology has been hooked up with the BMW xDrive intelligent all-wheel-drive system. The BMW Concept X5 eDrive boasts the superior driving characteristics that stem from the electronically controlled and fully variable distribution of drive power between the front and rear wheels. Regardless of the selected driving mode, the drive power generated by the electric motor, the engine or the two units acting in unison is channelled swiftly and precisely to wherever it can be converted into forward propulsion most effectively. This allows the concept study to deliver all the qualities that SAVs are renowned for – superb traction and optimized handling in all weather and road conditions coupled with enhanced agility when taking corners at speed – in remarkably efficient fashion. The versatile and sporty driving abilities of the BMW Concept X5 eDrive are accompanied by average fuel efficiency on the EU test cycle of 62 miles per gallon (US).

BMW Concept X5 eDrive

Both driving pleasure and efficiency in the BMW Concept X5 eDrive are given an extra boost by an electric motor generating a maximum output of 95 hp together with the instantaneous power delivery that has become a hallmark of electric drive units thanks to the high levels of torque available from the word go. The electric motor variant developed for the BMW Concept X5 eDrive also comes with sporty performance credentials and a weight-saving design. The electric motor is capable of propelling the BMW Concept X5 eDrive to a top speed of 75 mph on its own. With 184 lb-ft of torque on tap from stationary, it gives the vehicle spontaneous response that translates into dynamic acceleration. It also works in tandem with the combustion engine to boost its power significantly whenever a quick burst of speed is called for. The BMW Concept X5 eDrive is able to complete the standard sprint from rest to 60 mph in under 7.0 seconds.

The task of ensuring the engine and electric motor team up together to optimum effect is handled by the power electronics that were developed by the BMW Group and apply the same basic concept used in the BMW i cars. The power electronics combine a liquid-cooled inverter for driving the electric motor, supplying energy to the onboard electrical system from the high-voltage battery and for centralized control of the hybrid-specific drive functions into a single integrated system.

Like other members of the current BMW production line-up, the BMW Concept X5 eDrive also includes a Driving Experience Control switch for selecting not only the COMFORT and SPORT settings but also the ECO PRO mode that fosters a particularly economical driving style. This default driving mode is activated automatically when the car is started and is programmed for highly intelligent hybrid functionality, whereby the energy management system orchestrates the interaction between engine and electric drive unit as the driving situation changes in order to maximize efficiency. A hybrid-specific Proactive Driving Assistant has furthermore been included, which works together with the navigation system to allow the route profile, any speed restrictions and the traffic situation to be factored in as well for the purpose of drive management.

BMW Concept X5 eDrive

In addition to this, the driver also has the option of engaging the all-electric driving mode by switching from AUTO eDrive to the MAX eDrive setting at the push of a button. With the battery fully charged, the vehicle is able to cover a distance of up to approximately 20 miles on electric power alone, meaning zero tailpipe emissions. There is also a SAVE Battery mode, which can be selected to deliberately preserve the battery’s energy capacity. This might be the case, for example, if a longer journey is due to end with a final stage through urban traffic that drivers wish to complete in all-electric mode.

In order to capitalize as much as possible on the superior efficiency of its electrified powertrain, the BMW Concept X5 eDrive is designed as a plug-in hybrid, allowing its high-voltage battery’s energy levels to be renewed from any domestic power socket, a special Wallbox that can handle higher currents, or at a public high-speed charging station. The Wallbox Pro is designed for installation in the customer’s garage and offers complete ease of use as well as exceptionally short battery recharging times, thanks to a maximum charging rate of 7.4 kW. It is controlled by means of a high-resolution touchscreen including proximity sensor, while LED light strips provide an additional indication of the charge status. The built-in load management facility governs the charging current in accordance with the current draw on the household electricity supply. The Wallbox Pro even makes it possible to use home-generated electricity, such as that obtained from solar panels. There is also a function for creating different user profiles and displaying the respective charging histories. The corresponding data can be sent online on request, e.g. for billing purposes.

The high degree of flexibility drivers can enjoy when it comes to choosing an energy source is given an added boost by the charging cable that is carried in the vehicle and stored underneath the luggage compartment’s flat load floor. The battery unit is located one level lower again, meaning that there is only a small loss of load capacity overall – the luggage compartment is able to hold two large suitcases or four 46-inch golf bags. The SAV’s excellent versatility – helped by the 40:20:40 split-folding rear backrest – has been fully retained, along with its ample sense of spaciousness and the impressive level of comfort offered to the occupants of all five seats.

Innovative functions from BMW ConnectedDrive assist with planning journeys in such a way as to maximize the amount of time spent driving on electric power alone. In the BMW Concept X5 eDrive, the current electric range appears as a numerical value in the instrument cluster. Intelligent connectivity enables the vehicle’s dynamic range display to constantly make allowances for any factors affecting the range, such as traffic conditions, route profile and driving style.

BMW Concept X5 eDrive

When route guidance is activated, the location of local charging stations is added to the selection of points of interest shown on the navigation map. Drivers are able to call up charging stations situated along the planned route or at their destination, while the system additionally notifies them of the charging time needed to fully replenish the battery’s energy levels. What’s more, information graphics indicating the current operating status when engine and motor work together in unison, the impact of the driving style on vehicle efficiency and the fuel consumption history for selected periods of time can be shown in the iDrive operating system’s Control Display, along with other information.

Drivers are also able to view all information relating to the battery’s charge level and electric driving range on their smartphone. A Remote app from BMW ConnectedDrive that has been specially designed with electric mobility in mind even enables them to control the charging process from their phone. It also allows the vehicle to be pre-programmed whenever it is connected to an electricity supply: the heating and air conditioning systems can be activated remotely in this way to get the passenger compartment to a pleasant temperature ready for the start of the journey.



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