First plug-in Hybrid SUV by BMW

The new BMW X5 xDrive40e. On location BMW Welt.-64466

Big SUVs have been the object of hate for many eco-warriors. Porsche, a once solely sports car manufacturer, report that as a brand it sells just as many Cayenne SUVs as it does all other models combined. It is no wonder the likes of Bentley and Rolls-Royce are jumping on the band wagon with reports of SUV models from both manufacturers.

However, eco-warriors can now rejoice in the fact that BMW has released a new X5 to compete with the Porsche Cayenne S e-hybrid.

With a reported combined fuel economy of up to 85mpg and emitting only 77g/km of CO2 this X5 is no normal SUV. The reason behind these numbers is that the X5 uses an electric motor in combination with the 242bhp 2.0 litre four-cylinder petrol engine.

The new BMW X5 xDrive40e-64476

Combine that with the electric motor’s 112bhp and 250Nm and it will push this SUV to 62mph in 6.8 seconds and cruise up to a limited 130mph. An 8-speed steptronic gearbox has been added into the mix helping balance the power to the BMW’s xDrive all wheel drive system.

A new control joins the myriad of buttons on the centre console. The ‘eDrive’ button allows the driver to tailor the powertrain to their preferences with the options of all-electric drive up to 19 miles, ‘Auto’ allowing engine input after 44mph or during acceleration maneuvers and ‘Save’ which charges the battery and saves it for future use along the journey.

The boot capacity suffers only slightly thanks to the battery transformer, which is hidden under the compartment floor still able to swallow 1720 litres with the seats folded away.

One of the main areas that stop people from going down the electric route is the time taken to charge. BMW has thought about that and offers the new owner a varied choice of charging options as well as an app specifically built for BMW hybrid users to locate public charging bays and check the state of the car’s charge.

BMW 360 electric offers customers a complete charging package including supplying and installing a charging station known as I Wallbox, as well as ‘chargenow’ cards allowing the driver to charge at non-BMW charging ports.

The new BMW X5 xDrive40e-64488

If you don’t feel cool showing off that you have gone green, don’t worry. The only ways a person will recognize your green credentials is by noticing the charging port on the Left –front wing, the trapezoidal tipped twin exhausts, eDrive logo on the rear.

The BMW X5 xDrive 40e goes on sale Autumn 2015 with full spec and prices announced later on.

So, eco-warriors, the next time you scowl at an SUV driver, remember their car may be less polluting than yours.