Our spy photographers captured shots of the BMW X5 eDrive plug-in hybrid, which made its debut as a concept at the 2013 Frankfurt auto show. At the time BMW said it had no plans to put the car into production, although we noted that the concept’s lack of show-car flourish could suggest it was close on the horizon. Now these spy photos lend even more credence to the idea of the car reaching showrooms.
The BMW X5 eDrive plug-in hybrid concept utilized a turbocharged four-cylinder engine (likely BMW’s 2.0-liter) paired with a 70-hp electric motor. Under the floor was a lithium-ion battery capable of providing 19 miles of range at up to 75 mph without using the combustion engine, while together the all-wheel-drive BMW X5 eDrive concept yielded 62 mpg and could sprint from zero to 62 mph in 7.0 seconds. A standard wall outlet or quick-charger can be used to recharge the plug-hybrid SUV.
There are no surprises with regard to the BMW X5 eDrive plug-in hybrid’s looks, which are essentially identical to that of the refreshed 2014 BMW X5. The "Hybrid Test Vehicle" stickers and parallelogram-shaped charging door on the front fender betray that this is a plug-in model. If the concept provides any indicator, we can expect that the interior will also be identical, save for a slightly higher cargo floor needed to house the coiled electric charging cable.
On the heels of the plug-in hybrid BMW i8 sports car and plug-in BMW i3 city car, prototype testing means we could be seeing the BMW X5 eDrive arriving earlier than expected. BMW’s X5 eDrive would be the first BMW to employ plug-in hybrid technology in its regular range of vehicles, which could signal additional plug-in hybrids across the model range. We expect it could arrive in late 2014 at the earliest, so stay tuned for future updates.