BMW's Concept X6 Active Hybrid is visually little different from the Concept X6 that it shares a bodyshell with, but its interesting bits lie under the hood. The X6 Active Hybrid boasts a hybrid gasoline-electric powertrain co-developed with General Motors, Chrysler, and Daimler-Benz; as such, it's also the first non-marque-specific hybrid powertrain to reach the market.
The Concept X6's hybrid technology - a flexible, modular powertrain system that will eventually see production in Chrysler, BMW, and GM vehicles - incorporates, like all hybrids, a set of nickel-metal hydride batteries, an electric drive system, and a supplementary gasoline-engine drive system. An active, electronically controlled CVT incorporating three planetary gearsets transmits drive torque, and its two automatic operation modes (one for low speeds, one for high) allow for a crisp transfer of power with comparatively high efficiency.
BMW claims the system offers a twenty-percent improvement in both fuel economy and emissions over a typical gasoline-engined powertrain. The hybrid system's components are lighter and more compact than those of other currently available systems; BMW also claims that the modular componentry also makes it particularly well-suited to large-truck and SUV applications.
As on the Concept X6, twenty-one-inch wheels are fitted. The underfloor skid plates are made of aluminum, and when the X6 Active Hybrid is running solely on electric power, the rear plate moves out and covers the exhaust outlets.