It is based around a new-generation plug-in hybrid drivetrain, which matches a ‘four-cylinder, TwinPower Turbo engine’ - believed to be a petrol unit - with a 94bhp electric motor. The electric motor is backed up by a lithium-ion battery, which is packaged under the boot floor.
BMW is claiming that the X5 eDrive can manage up to 75mph and up to 19 miles on battery power alone. It also says the concept can hit 62mph in ‘under 7 seconds”. On today’s EU economy cycle, the X5 eDrive returns 74.3mpg and ‘under 90g/km’ of CO2.
Other changes, compared to the conventional X5, include minor cosmetic tweaks, specially designed roof rails and aerodynamically optimised lightweight alloy wheels. Three driving modes are offered: intelligent hybrid, pure electric or 'Safe Battery', which maintains the current charge level.
The BMW is designed as a plug-in hybrid and is capable of being recharged from any domestic power socket, or dedicated charging points. Included in its boot is a compartment for storing the charging cable, reducing clutter and mess.
The high-voltage battery developed for the concept is mounted in a 'crash-safe' position under the boot floor; BMW says the X5's load capacity is only 'slightly reduced' as a result.
Sources say that the eDrive hybrid transmission is probably two years away from the showroom and is likely to coincide with the arrival of BMW’s all-new 5-series range, which will also get this drivetrain as an option. BMW engineers are said to be aiming for a 50g/km CO2 emissions rating by launch.