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New BMW X5 hybrid promises 85mpg

The new BMW X5 xDrive40e plug-in hybrid is capable of more than 85mpg and emissions of just 77g/km

BMW has released details of a plug-in hybrid version of the X5, which will go on sale in the autumn.

Called the BMW XDrive40e, the car has a turbocharged 2.0-litre petrol engine linked to an electric motor that together produce 313bhp. Despite the power on offer, the hybrid technology means the car is capable of up to 85.6mpg fuel economy and CO2 emissions of 77g/km – the latter of which makes the car free to tax.

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BMW claims the car can manage as much as 94.2mpg on short trips of up to 15 miles in traffic. This is because the hybrid X5 is able to run solely on electric power – it’s only when the petrol engine is required on longer journeys that economy drops.

Performance is impressive, too, with the SUV getting from 0-62mph in 6.8 seconds. The car should also feel nippy around town, as the electric motor is able to deliver all of its pulling power instantly, while permanent four-wheel drive will provide drivers with plenty of grip.

The lithium-ion battery pack for the electric motor is stored under the floor of the boot, so the hybrid model shouldn’t be any less practical than the standard X5. Luggage capacity with the standard split-folding rear seats in place is 500 litres, while folding them down will free up 1,720 litres of space.

The battery pack takes just under four hours to charge fully from flat when plugged into a normal wall socket, but owners will be able to speed this up if they choose to install BMW’s i Wallbox, which will charge it fully in two hours and 45 minutes.

The new hybrid X5 will come with plenty of standard equipment, including dual-zone climate control, bright xenon headlights, LED foglights, an automatic bootlid, leather upholstery, heated front seats, sat nav and DAB digital radio.

BMW’s other electric cars – the i8 and the i3 – have been very well received, but the new X5 XDrive40e is the first hybrid version of a model in the core BMW line-up.

Prices will be announced closer to the car’s on-sale date in autumn 2015. We expect the hybrid X5 to slot in at the top of range given the technology and generous list of standard equipment on offer, so the price is likely to reflect this.

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