Offing a more eco-centric take on the next generation of its luxury Sports Activity Vehicles, the BMW Concept X5 eDrive makes its public debut in Frankfurt. The first BMW to match the automaker's intelligent all-wheel-drive system with a super-efficient plug-in powertrain, it lays the groundwork for a future production model that will be cleaner and greener but still maintain the automaker's classic fun-to-drive character.

While full details await its reveal at the show, we do know that the Concept X5 eDrive is motivated by a BMW 4-cylinder TwinPower Turbo engine matched with a lightweight, 95-horsepower BMW-sourced electric motor energized by a lithium-ion battery pack mounted under the rear load floor. Capable of traveling up to 19 miles on electricity alone with a fully charged battery and hitting speeds up to 75 mph while in zero-emission mode, the Concept X5 eDrive can sprint to 62 mph in less than 7 seconds when both power sources are working in tandem and return 61.9 mpg on the admittedly less stringent EU combined test cycle.

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BMW also notes that this seamless electronic interface of the xDrive/eDrive systems ensures that power flows instantly and independently to each wheel in the Concept X5 eDrive in a way that maximizes total propulsion while maintaining superior traction in all driving modes and conditions. Like other BMW models, it's fitted with the firm's ECO Pro mode to encourage an efficient operation and also offers drivers the ability to manually select EV-only or Save Battery modes as well as the baseline hybrid setting. The feature mix also includes BMW's Proactive Driving Assistant, which uses info from the navigation system regarding the specific route profile, speed restrictions and real-time traffic conditions to optimize the driving mode selection.

Charging the Concept X5 eDrive's high-voltage battery pack can be done using a conventional wall outlet, dedicated home charger or commercial quick charger system, and its intelligent connectivity - including accessibility via smartphone -- allows for the monitoring and control of all critical charging/programming functions.

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Finished in Silverflake metallic set off with BMW i Blue paint accents, the Concept X5 eDrive also boasts custom 21-inch aero-optimized light alloy wheels, bespoke roof rails and a connector for the charging cable that illuminates when the battery is being replenished. While BMW admits the plug-in transition does exact a minor penalty in the Concept X5 eDrive's cargo capacity, it still retains a 40/20/40 flat-folding rear seatback and uncompromised room for five passengers.

More Hybrid Cars...

The 2014 Honda Accord Hybrid goes on sale here this fall 

The Subaru XV Crosstrek will introduce a hybrid variant for 2014

The 2013 VW Jetta Hybrid gives the automaker seven cars with 40+ mpg 


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