If there's any pent-up demand out there for a plug-in hybrid SUV - and we imagine there is a fair amount - BMW could be getting ready to cash in quicker than we thought. First unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September, the plug-in hybrid X5 eDrive Concept showed off what BMW was working on, but the message at the time was, "we don't know when we're going to build this." Given a brand new set of spy shots in our inbox today, it looks like BMW may be further along than they've been willing to say.

Our spy photographers found "several" X5 prototypes cruising the streets of Germany emblazoned with the words "Hybrid Test Vehicle." Other than that, the on-road version looks incredibly similar to the concept we saw on the auto show stage, and the CarPix guys say they "wouldn't be surpriced if it hits the market in late 2014." That's a lot sooner than, "we don't know."

The powertrain in the concept X5 eDrive used a turbocharged four-cylinder engine of unknown output and a 95-horsepower electric motor to his 62 miles per hour in under seven seconds. Top speed on EV power was 75 mph and the EV range was 19 miles. Fuel efficiency was pegged at around 62 mile per gallon.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 8 Comments
      Smoking_dude
      • 1 Year Ago
      As much as I like the tesla I have to acknowledge that they are not yet for everyone. If every SUV would be capable of doing 19 miles on batteries, that whould be a huge reduction in oil usage. Still enough for lots of trips. also there is giong to be a second phev soon the bmw 2eries http://www.motor-talk.de/news/so-sieht-die-bmw-revolution-aus-t4788644.html A Hybrid version will be marketed with an estimated 190 HP, a 1,5 Liter Three Pot gas engine. Range the same 19 miles (30 kilometers) So they have one platform ready. 0-60 8 seconds. so why not. lots of ppl are happy with the plugin prius or c-max energi. quit yer whining, sooner or later one won't have an other choice than pick at least an phev.
        pmpjunkie01
        • 1 Year Ago
        @Smoking_dude
        Not sure any of the models you mentioned are being cross shopped to this. I agree however that this is a good entry "drug" to get the SUV set addicted to electric drive.
      Tes
      • 1 Year Ago
      Top of line X5 is 68k, so either this one will be same or above that price. What's the point? There are no savings at all at this price and range it offers and if you want to make a green statement, might as well get a Tesla.
      Technoir
      • 1 Year Ago
      How about they stop making fat, heavy FUVs for soccer moms?
      Marcopolo
      • 1 Year Ago
      As a principle, I dislike all SUV's that never leave the black top. However, I recognise that the urban SUV is very popular and if people are going to select an EV as personal transport, this is a better sort of SUV than most. 68 mpg is pretty impressive, as is the BMW hybrid X5 eDrive's overall performance and features package. Let me also take this opportunity to wish all AB, and ABG readers, a Merry Christmas, and a Happy and prosperous New Year !
      pmpjunkie01
      • 1 Year Ago
      With the excellent motorcycle engines BMW bean counters have at their disposal I am surprised this is not a range extended EV. It is still a nice second or third car option to cover daily short commutes and the occasional long distance trip for Tesla owners.
      Levine Levine
      • 1 Year Ago
      pitiful 19 EV miles spells doom for X5.
      FREEPAT75014
      • 1 Year Ago
      or sure this is a lot better than all previous (meaningles) 1st Gen Hybrids produced so far by my beloved BMW brand, with zero success on their historical BMW customers. And since I need to replaced my beloved 530DA no later than 2nd half of 2014, if no better choice is available by then, I may select that one, if it gets reasonnably priced <€50K including Pack Luxe, electric roof and metal paint, net of dealer discount... By the way, an X4 Plug In model would be more than enough for me here (and ever better), if this Plug In Hybrid X5 can't fit in my budget... Still this is not the "European Tesla with a BMW Range Extender" than most of my BMW driver friends are expecting BMW to launch, before jumping into this promissing new "Progress/Real Car replacement" PHEV train... I mean this is NOT the full electric drive train car, with a decent >40KWH battery, and a small ICE Range Extender used as Pure Generator only, with no big central engine, no big central gearbox & transmission...etc, that will allow BMW to target the "car of the future" leadership. To make it affordable just adding the EV parts on top of a full ICE car keeping everything else, they have to downsize bith the ICE engine and the EV part, taking the risk to make it an Hybrid "good for nothing" as most of the 1st Plug In Hybrids announced so far (Too small ICE and too small Electric engines combined to fit budget, making a louzy car at the end). But for sure this is a huge progress, and since no competition is yet considering to build the right PHEV for Europe (Tesla not willing to add a range Extender, and others still sleeping), that could be my interim step.