What is it?
The X5 xDrive45e is the latest in a burgeoning number of plug-in hybrid BMW models.
Now on sale in the UK at a price of £65,760, the plush new petrol-electric SUV replaces the older X5 xDrive40e, bringing with it greater power, added performance and, most importantly where CO2 emissions and road tax busting premiums are concerned, an increased pure electric range.
At the heart of the new SUV is the same drivetrain as that used by the 745e. It combines BMW’s turbocharged 3.0-litre in-line six-cylinder petrol engine developing 282bhp and 332lb ft of torque with a gearbox mounted electric motor that delivers 111bhp and 195lb ft.
Together, the two power sources offer a combined system output of 389bhp and 442lb ft of torque – all of which is channelled through a standard eight-speed torque converter equipped automatic gearbox and BMW’s widely used xDrive four-wheel drive system.
This represents a 77bhp and 100lb ft increase on the drivetrain used by the X5 xDrive40e, which relied on on a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine and electric motor for propulsion.
Energy for the X5 xDrive45e’s electric motor is provided by a 24.0kWh lithium-ion battery mounted under the luggage compartment. It offers 14.8kWh more than the 9.2kWh lithium ion battery used by the X5 xDrive40e, and with it a much increased claimed electric range on the WLTP test cycle at between 42 and 54 miles. This contributes to a combined fuel consumption figure of between 148.7 and 235.4mpg on the WLTP cycle, with corresponding CO2 emissions of between 44 and 27g/km.
The catch comes in reduced luggage capacity. At 500 litres, there’s 145 litres less than more conventional combustion engine BMW X5 models. Happily, though, the capacity of the fuel tank remains at 69 litres.