During this and the next year we will be getting three new plug-in hybrid vehicles in the SUV market. There are high expectations and one of those that are delivered for the luxury model buyers and that we had the chance to test drive is the 2015 BMW X5 Plug-In Hybrid Prototype.
Even more info about this vehicle will be offered at the New York Auto Show that started just recently. We expect more details to emerge and just as a reminder we have delivered another article about this concept model that showed up recently. Even this model is not expected to be offered on the U.S. market during this year we could hear that it might be offered during the next year and judging by the state of the prototype it seems that it is pretty much ready for production.
2015 BMW X5 Plug-In Hybrid Prototype Review
Main difference will be under the hood, instead of standard V6 and V8 powerplant lineup there will be a combination of 2.0 liter inline four cylinder turbocharged unit that produces 240 hp and 255 lb-ft of torque. Electric motor that we are getting is of 70 kW or 95 hp and 185 lb-ft of torque, this unit is placed between gasoline unit and modified eight speed automatic transmission. This electric motor comes as a replacement for the torque converter and since it has clutches on both sides it is possible to drive this vehicle with usage of electric motor only.
According to reports we are getting 270 hp and 300 lb-ft of torque from this system. This is not the final number and it can go even higher, with the xDrive system it will send power to all wheels. With this system setup we are getting all wheel drive that is ideal for those that live in the regions where there is slightly more snow. It is completely mechanical AWD meaning that the xDrive system will control torque delivery to wheels based on the drive conditions and amount of grip that each wheel gets.
From the 2015 BMW X5 Plug-In Hybrid Prototype we were getting possibility to choose between for basic drive modes and few variations that can be employed. You can set it into Max eDrive, Eco Pro, Comfort and Sport configuration. Terms are pretty self-explanatory but still we will give short description. Eco Pro mode offers max efficiency, Comfort is the default mode and offers what might be the best setup while in the Sport mode we have highest responsiveness. Most interesting to us is the Max eDrive in which this vehicle is powered with only electric motor and electricity from battery pack. Until battery is depleted we will be able to travel up to 42 mph on electric energy only. This mode also offers Save Battery mode that will set this car in pretty much standard hybrid operating mode but will preserve the battery charge for later usage.
Among things that we still do not know and we do not have any detailed information’s is the info about the battery pack. Reports suggest that it will offer about 6 kWh of usable battery capacity and if this happens it will allow about 15 to 20 miles of drive in electric mode. We need to add info about another interesting feature. Even when you set this vehicle in Max eDrive mode when the gas pedal is pressed to the floor past its normal stopping point this system will engage gasoline unit and deliver max power. This works flawlessly and can get you out from some nasty situations when you need to accelerate suddenly.
Release Date Of 2015 BMW X5 Plug-In Hybrid
Total weight of the system is not stated but we do expect the 2015 BMW X5 Plug-In Hybrid Prototype to be from 400 to 600 pounds heavier than its nearest gasoline cousin X5 xDrive 35i that comes with six cylinder turbocharged engine. There is no doubt that this will be one quite heavy vehicle with total weight of about 4800 pounds. Even with knowing this there is no doubt that large SUV like this one will benefit from addition of electric motor allowing it to significantly reduce fuel consumption. Additional details will be offered as the release date approaches, most likely it will be presented before the end of this year while the sales could start at the beginning of 2015th.