Sunday 15th September 2019
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PHEV X3 headlines BMW's electric Geneva act. Image by BMW.

PHEV X3 headlines BMW's electric Geneva act
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What's all this about?

By the end of this year, BMW will have 12 electrically powered vehicles on sale, a mix of plug-in hybrids (PHEVs) and electric vehicles (EVs). Understandably, the German brand is rather proud of this fact (it wants to have at least 25 such products on sale by the end of 2025, mind) and so it showed off the latest developments in its electric portfolio at the Geneva Motor Show.

So, what have we got?

First up is a PHEV version of the X3. It uses the second-gen BMW PHEV architecture, which - in this case - results in the X3 xDrive30e. This pairs a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-pot petrol with electric power, for a system output maximum of 252hp. However, the 'XtraBoost' function of the e-motor means that, for short periods of time, this increase by 41hp to a peak of 293hp. Thus, the xDrive30e can run 0-62mph in 6.5 seconds, thanks to xDrive AWD and an eight-speed Steptronic automatic, yet it'll go 31 miles on electric power alone, returning WLTP-ratified figures of 117.7mpg and 56g/km of CO2 as it goes. Cargo capacity is down by 100 litres to 450 litres with the seats up, despite BMW mounting the lithium-ion battery pack under the rear bench.

Sounds nice. Anything else use this drivetrain?

Yes, the latest generation of 3 Series gains a new and improved 330e. It employs the same XtraBoost 252/293hp drivetrain as the X3, but in the lower, lighter Three, that means an electric range of 37.5 miles, 166.2mpg, 39g/km of CO2 and a 0-62mph time of six seconds dead.

OK, I like this. But I don't like four cylinders. Can you give me any sexy six PHEV news?

We sure can. We've already told you that the poor old 7 Series is being facelifted into a massive-kidney-grilles monstrosity, but part of that update included confirmation of a more potent 745e, with a 394hp six-pot petrol-electric drivetrain, has superseded the previous 740e. Well, the new X5 is getting the same kit, meaning an end to the xDrive40e, as it was. Instead, luxuriate in the X5 xDrive45e, which can go almost three times as far on its electric power as the 40e (50 miles on the WLTP cycle), all while giving back 134.5mpg and 49g/km of CO2. Performance is sprightly, with 0-62mph taking just 5.6 seconds, while the boot (which is smaller than that on other X5s) is a still-respectable 500 litres with all seats in place.

Cor, there's a lot of PHEV-ery going on. Is that it for now?

Hardly. Both the 530e and 225xe Active Tourer have gained bigger lithium-ion batteries. In the case of the Five, it has enlarged from 9.2- to 12kWh, while the 2AT sees a leap from 7.7- to 9.7kWh. That means the 530e has 30 per cent more electric range with a 40-mile theoretical maximum now, while its eco-stats are 166.2mpg and 38g/km of CO2. Meanwhile, the 225xe gains 25 per cent more EV range at 36 miles overall, with 148.7mpg and 43g/km of CO2 said to be possible. Want a four-wheel-drive 5 Series PHEV? Then good news. From July 2019, a 530e xDrive will join the RWD 530e; the AWD plug-in is capable of the same 36-mile electric range and 148.7mpg figures as the 225xe, but it emits 44g/km of CO2.

You must be sick of writing PHEV/EV by now, but can you outline the other electrical products from BMW?

If we must. On top of the little roster of eco-goodness above, the Munich concern is selling the Coupe and Roadster versions of the stunning i8, the all-electric i3 in all its guises, and also electrified MINIs - namely, the full electric model and also the current (forgive the pun) Countryman Cooper S E ALL4.

Anything else?

BMW currently has the i3, the i8 Coupe and Roadster in production, as well as the PHEV versions of the 2 Series, 3 Series, 5 Series, 7 Series, X3 and X5, plus the BMW X1 xDrive25Le for China, the MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 and the pure-electric MINI too. That means it will have 12 electrically powered vehicles in its fleet by the end of this year, with that number aiming to increase to at least 25 products by the end of 2025.



Matt Robinson - 5 Mar 2019


BMW goes PHEV mad at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show. Image by BMW.BMW goes PHEV mad at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show. Image by BMW.BMW goes PHEV mad at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show. Image by BMW.BMW goes PHEV mad at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show. Image by BMW.BMW goes PHEV mad at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show. Image by BMW.

BMW goes PHEV mad at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show. Image by BMW.BMW goes PHEV mad at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show. Image by BMW.BMW goes PHEV mad at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show. Image by BMW.BMW goes PHEV mad at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show. Image by BMW.BMW goes PHEV mad at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show. Image by BMW.









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