HAVAL has previewed its first plug-in hybrid ahead of its official reveal at Auto China 2018 in Beijing. Launched under the company’s luxury brand – WEY – the P8 is set to write a new chapter in the company’s history and represents the first model built on HAVAL’s new Pi4 (plug-in intelligent four-wheel drive) platform.

Combining a 2.0-litre petrol engine driving the front wheels, in tandem with an 85kW rear-mounted electric motor, the P8 boasts an impressive output of 250kW/524Nm and a zero to 100 km/h acceleration of just 6.5 seconds.

Power is delivered to a combination of front wheels (petrol), rear wheels (electric) and all wheels (combined) through a Getrag six-speed dual clutch transmission. Based on the WEY VV7 luxury SUV, the P8 measures 4765x1931x1655mm, has a 2950mm wheelbase and rides on either 20 or 21-inch wheels.

The bold lines of HAVAL’s first PHEV start with the wide-mouthed trapezoidal grille, and continues through the angular LED headlamps, flowing through to the fastback-inspired body and aggressive rear end dominated by the four exhaust pipes. The top-hinged tailgate can be opened automatically by waving a foot underneath the rear bumper.

Inside, the P8 adopts the VV7’s T-style console, angled purposefully toward the driver. The SUV comes loaded with luxury features, including panoramic sunroof, LCD instrument panel, premium sound system, 9-inch touch screen and leather seats with heating, massage and ventilation.

Demonstrating the company’s commitment to adopting the latest safety features, the P8 comes complete with autonomous emergency braking (AEB), forward collision warning (FCW), blind spot monitoring (BSM), lane departure warning (LDW), lane keep assist (LKA) and 360° camera. To aid pedestrian safety, the WEY P8 employs an aluminum alloy bonnet.

The PHEV system offers a 50 kilometre range on pure electric, 660 km range with both motors working in tandem and fuel economy of just 2.3 L/100km. Charging from a 220V home power point can be achieved in seven hours, or just four from a dedicated charger.

Auto China is one of the world’s largest auto shows, alternating each year between Shanghai and Beijing. Last year it attracted more than 800,000 customers. This year’s Auto China will be held at the China International Exhibition Centre in Beijing from April 25 to May 4.

The new Range Rover Sport is transformed by technology, with a plug-in hybrid electric powertrain delivering efficiency, capability and performance like never before. The reveal follows the news that from 2020 all new Jaguar and Land Rover vehicles will be electrified and marks the next step on the Great British company’s electrification journey.

In addition to efficient PHEV options, every Range Rover Sport has an enhanced design and new consumer technology. The flagship SVR now delivers 423kW, making it the fastest Range Rover to date. This is an SUV driven to another level of dynamic capability, with breadth of appeal and desirability like no other.

“When we started the design process with this new Range Rover Sport, it was important that we maintained its sporting prowess while evolving the exterior design. The addition of design-enabled technologies, such as our new infotainment system and the LED headlights demonstrate our drive towards ever greater desirability for the customer.”  Said Gerry McGovern, Chief Design Officer of Land Rover.

The British-designed, engineered and built Range Rover Sport has sold more than 732,000 since it was introduced in 2004. Its unrivalled mix of refinement and exhilarating performance has starred on TV and in movies around the world.

The latest Range Rover Sport is Jaguar Land Rover’s first plug-in hybrid electric vehicle. Badged P400e, the new model provides sustainable performance by combining a 221kW 2.0-litre four-cylinder Ingenium petrol engine with a 85kW electric motor. The 297kW total available power output1 – available through the permanent four-wheel drive system – delivers 0-100km/h in 6.7 seconds and a maximum speed of 220km/h. With an impressive 640Nm of torque, the new powertrain mixes dynamic and sustainable performance with traditional Land Rover capability, comfort and refinement.

Thanks to its electrified powertrain, Range Rover Sport P400e emits only 64g/km on the NEDC combined cycle and offers an all-electric range of up to 51km without the petrol engine running. For the first time Land Rover customers can experience zero-emission, near-silent off-road luxury with uncompromised all-terrain capability as well as entry into areas with restrictions for air quality, including most congestion charging zones.

Drivers can select from two driving modes to best suit their needs:

  • Parallel Hybrid mode (the default driving mode) – combines petrol and electric drive. The driver can optimise battery charge or fuel economy by utilising one of two charge management functions:
  •     -SAVE function – prevents the battery charge dropping below a pre-selected level.
  •    -Predictive Energy Optimisation (PEO) function – entering a destination in the navigation system enables the feature, which utilises in built GPS altitude data for the selected route, to intelligently combine the electric motor and petrol engine to maximise fuel economy.
  • EV (Electric Vehicle) mode – enables the vehicle to run solely on the electric motor using the energy stored in the battery, the ideal solution for quiet, zero emission journeys.

Land Rover’s Terrain Response 2 technology has a unique calibration to intelligently and precisely distribute torque from the electric motor, which has no creep speed and maximum torque from zero rpm, to all four wheels. This gives greater control during low-speed off-road manoeuvres, reaffirming Range Rover Sport’s outstanding breadth of capability.

"The new Range Rover Sport strikes a compelling balance between dynamic capability, passenger comfort and efficiency. The introduction of our advanced plug-in hybrid powertrain is a watershed moment in the history of our performance SUV.” Said Nick Collins, Vehicle Line Director of Jaguar Land Rover.

The motor is powered by a 13.1kWh high-voltage lithium-ion battery. Land Rover engineers delivered a set-up that maximises interior space and provides ideal weight distribution. The 2.0-litre Ingenium petrol engine is longitudinally mounted, with the 85kW electric motor housed in the ZF automatic eight-speed transmission at the centre of the vehicle alongside the 7kW on-board charger. The access point for the cable is at the front of the vehicle, while the prismatic cell lithium-ion battery is mounted at the rear beneath the boot floor.

When rapid charging, a full charge can be achieved in as little as 2 hours 45 minutes at home using a dedicated 32 amp wall box. The battery can be fully charged in 7 hours 30 minutes using the 10 amp home charging cable supplied as standard. With significant changes under the skin, the exterior has evolved to harmonise and modernise the design, making the Range Rover Sport look more dynamic without changing its character.

At the front, the striking new design is enabled by intelligent Pixel-laser LED headlights, sitting alongside a redesigned grille. This is complemented by a new bumper with a more aggressive profile. The new PHEV derivative also includes access to the 7kW on-board charger hidden behind the Land Rover badge on the right of the grille.

Inside the cabin the new Touch Pro Duo infotainment system is the most advanced ever created by Jaguar Land Rover and is truly state-of-the-art. Two high-definition 10-inch touchscreens form the centrepiece of the minimalist cabin, blending a futuristic, elegant feel with an intuitive, engaging interface and unrivalled functionality.

In-car connectivity is enhanced with up to 14 power points, including a domestic plug socket to keep laptops and other devices topped up. The introduction of the Jaguar Land Rover Activity Key also brings new levels of convenience to the Range Rover Sport, allowing customers to lock and unlock their vehicle without the need to carry a key fob – ideal for outdoor pursuits.

The new Range Rover Sport has been enhanced with further technologies for greater comfort and convenience:

  • Gesture sunblind: opened and closed by an advanced gesture control system that senses an occupant’s hand movement. All it takes to open the blind is a rearward swipe in front of the rear view mirror, and forwards to close
  • Advanced Tow Assist: takes care of the difficult counter-steering required to position trailers accurately when reversing. The driver can simply guide the trailer into the desired space using the rotary controller for the Terrain Response 2 system
  • Pixel-laser LED headlights: advanced technology provides greater luminance and intelligently blanks sections of LEDs to avoid dazzling oncoming drivers

Those looking for the ultimate performance SUV will relish the potent new SVR derivative, which takes the Range Rover Sport into new territory. Power is up to 423kW, delivering the 0-100km/h sprint in only 4.5 seconds, while bold design revisions and the increased use of carbon fibre construction make the new SVR more dramatic, faster and more agile than before.

Designed and engineered by Jaguar Land Rover in the UK, the new Range Rover Sport will be produced at the company’s Solihull production facility and is available to order now with first deliveries from the end of 2017 (market dependent).

  1. Peak internal combustion engine and electric power not delivered at same engine speed

Scottish husband and wife team Chris and Julie Ramsey, aka Plug In Adventures, crossed the Mongol Rally finish line in Ulan-Ude on Saturday to become the first entrants to complete the epic trans-continental challenge in an all-electric vehicle – a modified 2016 Nissan LEAF dubbed the AT-EV (All-Terrain Electric Vehicle).

Chris and Julie left the rally start line at Goodwood Motor Circuit in the UK on July 16 and travelled 8,000 miles through 13 countries, charging their car 111 times for less than £100 in electricity costs to reach the Siberian finish line, just north of the border with Mongolia.

Their Nissan LEAF will now join other Mongol Rally entrants’ vehicles on a cargo train back across the continent to Estonia, where Chris and Julie will continue the drive back to their hometown of Aberdeen. In total the pair will clock up more than 10,500 miles during the trip.

“There were a number of detractors who told me an electric car isn’t capable of long distance journeys,” said Chris Ramsey. “After thousands of miles and almost zero problems, I can tell you that is not the case. This has been the absolute trip of a lifetime, and I can’t believe we’re now at the finishing line. We’ve travelled through countless countries using just battery power and zero emissions. I’m elated, ecstatic, a bit exhausted, but also completely electrified!”

Throughout Europe, Chris and Julie had the use of an extensive rapid charger network that can provide an 80 per cent battery charge in just 30 minutes. However, once they got into Bulgaria and beyond, they faced a dwindling number of rapid charge options and instead turned to a variety of alternatives for electric power.

These included bars, cafes, hotels, hostels, a barbershop, a post office, garages, car dealerships, a tractor showroom, a police station, and three fire stations in Russia. They even had a trained electrician plug their LEAF directly into an electricity pylon in the middle of the woods in Siberia.

Chris and Julie enjoyed the goodwill of people in every country they travelled through, only paying for electricity at a handful of charges. Rarely did anyone turn down the team’s request to plug in their car, and on top of that they were frequently offered drinks, food and even accommodation for the night.

“We’ve been shown some of the best hospitality we could have hoped for,” said Chris Ramsey. It’s certainly changed our perspective of how we should behave when we get home. One example that sticks out was when we turned up at a Nissan dealer in Russia at 2am. There was a chap waiting for us and he plugged our car in securely in the workshop, then led us into the showroom where he gave us tea, food and comfy sofas to sleep on.”

The Nissan LEAF also proved a trusty companion. Chris said: “In terms of vehicle reliability, the car’s been brilliant. We’ve had one puncture, one damaged alloy wheel, a mud flap came off and someone stole one of our stickers. That’s it!”

On the challenges that faced the pair, Chris said: “There were of course a couple of low points. Illness hit us in the later stages of the journey which was hard, but other than that, it’s been fine. Some of the longer charge times at petrol stations in the middle of nowhere left us feeling a bit low, but then when you pull into a small town or village and you’re greeted warmly by the locals – it just lifts you up and it’s such a thrill.”

During the journey, the Plug In Adventures team was keen to promote the benefits of running an all-electric vehicle, and they found interest in the car and their journey in all the countries they visited. Chris was even invited to take part in a series of panel discussions at the Astana International Exposition, bringing the 2017 theme, “Future Energy,” to life. The LEAF AT-EV was also put on display at the expo.

The team also tackled some of Europe and Asia’s amazing roads, including the Transfăgărășan Highway in Romania – a winding mountain pass that provided a healthy amount of regenerative braking in the car’s B-mode. The longest stretch the couple did on a single charge with their fully loaded vehicle was 115 miles, pulling in to charge with 6 per cent capacity left.

On average Chris and Julie were logging 95 miles between charges, keeping enough spare battery power once they got to the charging locations in case they needed to find an alternate energy source.

Julie Ramsey said: “This has been a trip of a lifetime. We’ve eaten unusual foods, slept in weird locations and even travelled on a cargo ship. We’ve met the most amazing people and been overwhelmed by both the generosity and the interest in our electric adventure. I’d say this trip probably isn’t for everyone. It’s certainly been challenging at times. However, the experiences we’ve had and the people we’ve met along the way have been priceless. I think we’d do it all over again in an instant!”

Countries travelled through:
1. Scotland (leaving their Aberdeen home)
2. England (departing from Goodwood Circuit Mongol Rally start on 16 July)
3. France
4. Belgium
5. Germany
6. Austria
7. Hungary
8. Romania
9. Bulgaria
10. Turkey
11. Georgia
12. Azerbaijan
13. Kazakhstan
14. Russia (Ulan-Ude finishing line on 9 September)

Proposed return journey (late September to early October):
15. Estonia
16. Latvia
17. Lithuania
18. Poland
19. Germany
20. Netherlands
21. England
22. Scotland

Miles travelled (as of 9 Sept)
8,000 miles (including Aberdeen to Goodwood Motor Circuit)

Charging:

  • 111 vehicle charges
  • 26 were ‘rapid’ (80 per cent charge in 30 minutes)
  • 15 were ‘fast’ (Mennekes Type 2 for a 4 to 5 hour charge)
  • The rest using domestic plug sockets (12-14 hour charge)
  • Total cost of electricity to charge the LEAF AT-EV: Less than £100 estimated

Kia Motors has unveiled the Niro Plug-in Hybrid at the Geneva International Motor Show. The new derivative combines high versatility and crossover design appeal with maximum fuel efficiency from its advanced new plug-in hybrid powertrain.

The Niro Plug-in Hybrid will go on sale across Europe during Q3 2017, pairing an economical 1.6-litre GDI (gasoline direct injection) engine with an 8.9kWh high-capacity lithium-polymer battery pack. The latest addition to Kia’s hybrid crossover range substantially reduces emissions over the more conventional Niro hybrid – engineers are targeting CO2 emissions below 30 g/km (combined, New European Driving Cycle) and a zero-emissions pure-electric driving range of over 55 kilometres. Final electric range and CO2 emissions figures will be published closer to the car’s on-sale date.

Michael Cole, Chief Operating Officer, Kia Motors Europe, commented: “Annual sales of plug-in hybrid models in Europe are expected to grow to more than 600,000 units by the end of 2023, while the crossover market is also forecast to expand in the coming years. There is a clear demand from customers for a vehicle which combines the practicality and ‘cool’ image of a compact crossover with the ultra-low emissions of an advanced plug-in powertrain. The Niro Plug-in Hybrid will be the only car on the market to offer this combination.”

“The Niro Plug-in Hybrid is one of the latest low-emissions cars from Kia which will help the company achieve its global target for 2020 – to improve fuel efficiency by 25 per cent compared with 2014 levels.”

The Niro Plug-in Hybrid is one of two low-emissions vehicles unveiled by Kia at the Geneva International Motor Show, alongside the new Optima Sportswagon Plug-in Hybrid.

Engineers targeting 55-kilometre plus pure-electric range and sub 30 g/km CO2 

The Niro Plug-in Hybrid offers buyers a convincing alternative to compact crossovers powered by traditional petrol or diesel internal combustion engines. The car gives owners the opportunity to complete short journeys and daily commutes with zero emissions and lower running costs.

At the heart of the Niro’s new plug-in powertrain is a high-capacity 8.9kWh lithium-polymer battery pack, growing in size from the 1.56kWh battery pack found in Kia’s hybrid crossover. The new battery pack is paired with a more powerful 44.5kW electric motor (offering almost 40 per cent more power, up from 32kW) compared to the Hybrid model.

The battery and electric motor are paired with the Niro’s efficient 1.6-litre ‘Kappa’ four-cylinder GDI engine, which independently produces 77kW and 147Nm torque. The total power and torque output for the Niro Plug-in Hybrid’s powertrain will be 104kW and 265Nm, enabling the new model to accelerate from 0-to-100 kph in 10.8 seconds (0.7 seconds quicker than the standard Niro).

With greater capacity and electric power output, Kia engineers are targeting a pure-electric driving range of over 55km. While the standard Niro hybrid emits just 88 g/km of CO2 in its most efficient configuration, emissions for the Plug-in Hybrid model will drop significantly, to below 30 g/km (combined, New European Driving Cycle).

Power is applied to the road through the Niro’s six-speed double-clutch transmission (6DCT), allowing drivers to shift gear for themselves for a more immediate, more entertaining drive than other hybrid models equipped with a traditional electronic continuously-variable transmission (e-CVT). The 6DCT is paired with a Transmission-Mounted Electric Device (TMED), which allows the full output of both the engine and electric motor to be transferred in parallel through the transmission, with a minimal loss of energy. This differs from the power-split systems typical of an e-CVT hybrid, which converts a portion of engine output for delivery through the electric motor, resulting in power losses from energy conversion.

Energy-harvesting and predictive driving assistant technologies

The Niro Plug-in Hybrid provides owners with a range of technologies to enhance battery efficiency and improve the car’s range – in zero-emissions electric mode, and when the 1.6-litre engine is in use.

Regenerative braking technology allows the Niro to harvest kinetic energy and recharge the battery pack while coasting or braking, while a new Eco Driving Assistant System (Eco DAS) provides drivers with intelligent guidance on how to drive more efficiently under current conditions. Eco DAS includes Coasting Guide Control (CGC) and Predictive Energy Control (PEC), enabling drivers to maximise fuel mileage by suggesting when to coast or brake.

CGC alerts drivers as to the best time to lift off the accelerator and coast towards a junction, allowing the battery to regenerate under engine deceleration. Operating at certain speeds when a navigation destination is set, it alerts drivers when to coast via a small icon in the instrument cluster as well as an unobtrusive audible warning.

PEC uses the navigation and cruise control systems to anticipate topographical changes – inclines and bends – in the route ahead. It uses this information to determine when best to recharge the battery pack, or to direct stored energy to the wheels and actively manage energy flow accordingly. For example, if it detects an uphill incline coming up, the system may choose to retain more electrical energy to provide greater battery assistance climbing the hill. Conversely, if PEC detects an upcoming opportunity to coast downhill, it may choose to discharge some electrical energy ahead of time, enhancing short-term engine efficiency in the knowledge that it can recharge soon.

Niro retains crossover versatility with efficient powertrain packaging

The Kia Niro was engineered from the very start to accommodate a specific range of hybrid powertrains. The introduction of a plug-in hybrid powertrain therefore has minimal effect on packaging and versatility. The Niro Plug-in Hybrid’s high-capacity battery pack is located beneath the floor of the 324 litre (VDA) boot and beneath the rear seat bench. This allows the new derivative to offer buyers greater practicality than other C-segment plug-in hybrid hatchback models, while space in the cabin of the Niro remains unaffected.

There is a dedicated space beneath the boot floor to store the Niro Plug-in Hybrid’s charging cable when not in use. The Niro Plug-in Hybrid will follow its Hybrid sibling in offering an optional Towing Pack – rare amongst cars in the hybrid class – allowing owners to tow braked loads of up to 1300kg.

Plug-in Hybrid design and in-car safety and convenience technologies 

The exterior and interior design of the Kia Niro Plug-in Hybrid has been adapted to differentiate the car from the existing Niro hybrid.

On the outside of the car, the Niro Plug-in Hybrid features a new satin chrome grille surround, as well as special chrome brightwork with a clean metallic-blue finish, applied to thin ‘blades’ in the front and rear bumpers. The Plug-in Hybrid model is available with 16-inch alloy wheels, engineered to reduce wind resistance, as well as new full-LED headlamps and dedicated ‘Eco Plug-in’ badging.

The new Optima Sportswagon Plug-in Hybrid was unveiled at the Geneva International Motor Show, and will go on sale across Europe from Q3 2017. The Optima Sportswagon Plug-in Hybrid is the latest model to join Kia’s growing line up of innovative low-emissions vehicles.

The new derivative combines the versatility of the conventional Optima Sportswagon with the high-efficiency powertrain found in the Optima Plug-in Hybrid sedan, introduced in the third quarter of 2016. The new model provides buyers with 440 litres (VDA, with rear seats in upright position) of cargo space – 133 litres more than the Optima Plug-in Hybrid sedan.

With Kia development teams targeting a pure electric range of over 61 kilometres (combined, New European Driving Cycle) before its 2.0-litre GDI (gasoline direct injection) engine kicks in, the new model could emit just 34 g/km CO2 (combined, NEDC), ensuring low running costs and maximum practicality for private and fleet buyers. Final electric range and CO2 emissions figures will be published closer to the car’s on-sale date.

Michael Cole, Chief Operating Officer, Kia Motors Europe, commented: “We expanded the Optima range in the third quarter of 2016 with new Optima Sportswagon and Plug-in Hybrid sedan versions – each respectively accounting for 62 per cent and 13 per cent of Optima sales. With a clear demand for both of these models, the Sportswagon Plug-in Hybrid combines the benefits of the two and completes the Optima line-up.

“The introduction of eco-friendly vehicles such as the Optima Sportswagon Plug-in Hybrid will ensure Kia remains on course to achieve its mission of improving average fleet fuel efficiency by 25 per cent by 2020, compared to 2014 levels.”

The Optima Sportswagon Plug-in Hybrid is one of two low-emissions vehicles launched by Kia at the Geneva International Motor Show, together with the new Niro Plug-in Hybrid compact crossover.

Targeted 61-kilometre plus pure-electric range, 34 g/km CO2 emissions, and efficient packaging

The Optima Sportswagon Plug-in Hybrid is powered by a 11.26kWh lithium-polymer battery pack paired with a 50kW electric motor, providing a provisional pure-electric range of more than 61km (38 miles) at speeds of up to 120kph. The Optima Sportswagon Plug-in Hybrid will be among the leaders in the D-segment for pure-electric range capability.

The powertrain employs Kia’s efficient 2.0-litre ‘Nu’ four-cylinder GDI engine, generating 115kW and 189Nm. Coupled with the electric motor, it allows the car to operate in charge-sustaining mode once the battery runs out of charge. The powertrain’s total power output is / 151kW at 6000rpm, with a high torque output of 375Nm from just 2330rpm, providing acceleration from 0-to-100 kph in 9.7 seconds.

Power is applied to the road through a six-speed automatic gearbox, with the transmission-mounted 50kW electric motor replacing the traditional torque converter.

The Optima Sportswagon Plug-in Hybrid’s next-generation battery system features a 11.26kWh lithium-ion polymer battery pack, offering a blend of highly-efficient electric and internal combustion power, and a consistently high level of performance. The efficient packaging of the battery pack – which is located beneath the boot floor – allows the Optima Sportswagon Plug-in Hybrid to give buyers a generous 440-litre (VDA, seats in upright position) cargo capacity, which becomes 1574-litres (VDA) with the rear seats folded flat.

Kia development teams have targeted carbon dioxide emissions of 34 g/km (combined, NEDC), and fuel economy of 1.5 litres per 100 km (combined, NEDC). Final figures will be published closer to the car’s on-sale date.

Maximum range from fuel-saving and energy harvesting technologies

The Optima Sportswagon Plug-in Hybrid is equipped with a series of innovations to enhance battery efficiency. These include two key technologies to save and regenerate battery power – regenerative braking and an advanced heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system. Kia’s advanced HVAC system, employs a smart air intake system which provides ventilation and heating to the driver area only, shutting off ventilation to other areas of the car to reduce the load on the battery and increase range. Kia’s regenerative braking system allows the car to harvest kinetic energy while coasting or braking.

Design and technology 

The Optima Sportswagon Plug-in Hybrid shares common design features with the Plug-in Hybrid sedan, with reprofiled, more aerodynamically-efficient bumpers, side skirts and wheels, chrome brightwork, and ‘ECO plug-in’ badging.

Inside, a new driver instrument cluster displays key information about the powertrain – such as the battery’s state of charge and feedback on driving efficiency. The car is equipped with Kia’s latest audio-visual navigation (AVN) technology, with an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system displaying current EV range and the location of nearby charging stations. The AVN system is also available with Android Auto™ and Apple CarPlay™, as well as Kia Connected Services powered by TomTomTM, providing live traffic updates, speed camera alerts and weather forecasts. The Optima Sportswagon Plug-in Hybrid is available with Kia’s wireless smartphone charger, letting users charge mobile devices on the move.

The Optima Sportswagon Plug-in Hybrid is available with a suite of active safety technologies designed to avoid or mitigate the effects of a collision. Kia’s Vehicle Stability Management (VSM) is fitted as standard, ensuring stability under braking and cornering by controlling the car’s Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and electric motor-driven power steering if it detects a loss of traction. Other optional active hazard-avoidance technologies include Advanced Smart Cruise Control (ASCC), Lane Keeping Assist System (LKAS) and Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB)*.

2017 Kia Optima Sportswagon Plug-in Hybrid on-sale from Q3 2017 

The new Kia Optima Sportswagon Plug-in Hybrid will go on sale across Europe in Q3 2017 and is manufactured for European markets at Kia’s plant in Hwasung, Korea. The car is sold as standard with Kia’s unique 7-Year, 150,000 km warranty, which also covers the battery pack.

As the new generation of the MINI Countryman sees its premiere, the tradition-steeped British brand continues its advance into the premium compact segment. The new MINI Countryman is the biggest and most versatile model in the brand’s 57-year history. Having been completely newly developed, it now reflects considerable advancements in the areas of space, functionality, athletic flair and premium characteristics.

The new MINI Countryman (combined fuel consumption: 7.0 - 2.1l/100 km CO2 emissions: 159 – 49 g/km) achieves its unique standing among direct competitors due to its powerfully expressive design, efficiently shaped bodywork and in particular its unmatched driving agility. The latest version of the all-wheel drive system ALL4 ensures driving fun beyond paved roads, too. What is more, the new MINI Countryman is the first model of the brand to be available with a plug-in hybrid drive. In the form of the MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 it has a range of up to 40 kilometres running on electrical power alone.

The new MINI Countryman – an overview of the innovations.

  • Powerful proportions, 20 centimetres longer than its predecessor.
  • Five fully-fledged seats, clear increase in space and versatility.
  • Electrical tailgate control as well as touchless opening and closing of the tailgate.
  • MINI Picnic Bench: fold-out load loading sill cushion as a comfortable seat on the luggage compartment lid and for general outdoor use
  • MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4: the first ever MINI with plug-in hybrid drive.
  • New generation of engines and gearboxes, efficiency-optimised all-wheel drive system ALL4.
  • Central instrument with touchscreen function for the first time.
  • MINI Country Timer measures driving fun over demanding terrain.
  • MINI Connected App as a personal assistant on a day-to-day basis and when travelling.
  • MINI Find Mate: everything you need on board at all times – or in view.

20 centimetres longer than the predecessor model

The new MINI Countryman is some 20 centimetres longer than its predecessor and approximately 3 centimetres wider. Its wheelbase has been extended by 7.5 centimetres. This growth results in significantly increased space on five fully-fledged seats as well as a definite increase in storage volume and luggage transport versatility. The raised seating position ensures an excellent view and hallmark driving fun. The rear seats can be shifted longitudinally by up to 13 centimetres.

The folding rear backrest offers a 40 : 20 : 40 split. It also provides a variable tilt angle so as to be able to either increase seating comfort or gain additional storage space at the rear. The luggage compartment volume is 450 litres and can be extended as required to a total of 1,309 litres. This constitutes a maximum increase of 220 litres as compared to the predecessor model.

Five seats in the interior, two on the Picnic Bench

An electric tailgate control is available as an option. This makes touchless opening and closing of the tailgate possible in conjunction with Comfort Access. The optional storage package comprises not only a variable load floor, lashing eyes and tension straps but also a stainless steel insert on the loading sill. One unique option is the Picnic Bench – a flexible surface that folds out of the luggage compartment and provides seating for two people.

World premiere in LA, market launch in February 2017

The new MINI Countryman sees its world premiere at the Los Angeles Auto Show on 18 November 2016. The market launch in Europe follows in February 2017. From March 2017 onwards the new MINI Countryman will also be taking roads and tracks by storm outside Europe.

MINI Countryman: a successful model with traditional roots

Even with its model designation, the new edition of the MINI Countryman remains firmly rooted in the tradition of the British brand. A particularly versatile variant of the classic Mini once bore the same name back in the 1960s. Just like the identically constructed Morris Mini Traveller, the Austin Seven Countryman had a highly versatile interior, and the version with wood frame panelling – popularly known as “Woody” – attained cult status that it continues to enjoy to this day. The MINI Countryman likewise offered additional ways of enjoying the brand’s hallmark driving fun when it was launched in 2010. It was the first MINI with four doors, a large tailgate, five seats and optional all-wheel drive and a total of more than 540 000 were sold worldwide.

Powerful proportions, matured character

The latest generation of the MINI Countryman goes even further in terms of the model’s versatility, agility and premium character. Thanks to its powerful proportions, the new MINI Countryman has a particularly distinctive presence. Its unmistakable aura is defined by an extended ground clearance and raised seating position, further emphasised by the MINI ALL4 exterior look and high roof rails.

The new MINI Countryman features design elements that are typical of the brand, including the clear three-way structure of the side view – broken down into roof, glass section and main corpus – as well as the short overhangs, large wheel arches and downward increase in width. Precise contours on the generous surfaces create an attractive play of light and shade that underscores the car's athletic shaping and the vertical orientation of the body. The selection of body finishes includes the variants Island Blue metallic and Chestnut, which are now available for a MINI for the first time.

“The new MINI Countryman has essentially grown in size. But it was still possible to retain the typical MINI proportions,” says Julius Schluppkotten, MINI Countryman project manager.

Numerous model-specific design elements such as the striking helmet roof, the upright rear lights, the hexagonal radiator grille and the large headlamps have undergone evolutionary development. The side turn indicator surrounds known as side scuttles exhibit a new arrow-like shape. The roof rails in satin-finished aluminium are combined with silver-coloured side sill tops, thereby lending greater visual emphasis to the car’s height. Horizontal lines dominate at the rear, with the vertically arranged light units providing an appealing contrast.

LED headlamps with peripheral daytime driving light ring for the first time

The striking profile of the headlamp units deviates from the circular shape that is otherwise typical of the brand. Their distinctive, slightly asymmetrically rounded contour goes together with the radiator grille to produce an unmistakable front view. The parking lights integrated in the air inlets are used for the daytime driving light as standard. In conjunction with the optional LED headlamps, the latter is generated for the first time by a band of light running entirely around each headlamp.

More space for premium ambience

In the interior of the new MINI Countryman, a clear increase in space, refined premium ambience and a modern display and operating concept reflect the progress achieved through the change of generation. Both driver and front passenger benefit from extended head and shoulder space, while the adjustment range of the seats has also been enlarged. Electrical adjustment of the driver and front passenger seats is optionally available, including a memory function on the driver's side.

The narrow body columns and the high seating position make for optimum visibility when manoeuvring. At the rear of the new MINI Countryman there are three fully-fledged seats. The rear door openings have been enlarged as compared to the predecessor model, now enabling a more convenient entrance and exit. In addition to interior width, leg space is now significantly more generous, too.

The extensive storage facilities likewise contribute to the car’s optimised functionality. At both front and rear there are door pockets that hold one-litre beverage bottles. The fully-fledged centre console extending up to the instrument panel has an integrated storage compartment and two cup holders in front of the gear or selector lever. The MINI Controller and the switch for the electrical parking brake are also positioned on the centre console. “The interior of the new MINI Countryman emphasises the car's suitability for families and as a primary vehicle. The sense of quality in the interior has been significantly enhanced, too” says Julius Schluppkotten, MINI Countryman project manager.

Distinctive cockpit design

With a clear horizontal structure, stretched lines and generously sized surfaces, the distinctively designed cockpit emphasises the solid character of the new MINI Countryman. The profile of the air vents echoes the vertical orientation of the exterior design elements. In addition to the high-quality materials and precise finish, the modern, ergonomically optimised controls contribute to the car’s exclusive ambience.

The hallmark central instrument is integrated in the instrument panel and is surrounded by an LED ring that provides a lighting display in response to driving situations by way of control feedback. This forms part of the MINI Excitement Package, which also comprises the LED ambient lighting and a projection of the MINI logo from the exterior mirror on the driver’s side when opening and closing the car.

Market launch with four engines

The new edition of the MINI Countryman lines up for the start featuring entirely newly developed engine technology. For the market launch there are two petrol and two diesel engines of the latest generation available to choose from, each with MINI TwinPower Turbo Technology:

MINI Cooper Countryman: 3-cylinder petrol engine, capacity: 1 499 cc, output: 100 kW/136 hp, max. torque: 220 Nm.

MINI Cooper S Countryman: 4-cylinder petrol engine, capacity: 1 998 cc, output: 141 kW/192 hp, max. torque: 280 Nm.

MINI Cooper D Countryman: 4-cylinder diesel engine, capacity: 1 995 cc, output: 110 kW/150 hp, max. torque: 330 Nm.

MINI Cooper SD Countryman: 4-cylinder diesel engine, capacity: 1 995 cc, output: 140 kW/190 hp, max. torque: 400 Nm.

The range also includes the first ever MINI with plug-in hybrid drive:

MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4: 3-cylinder petrol engine, capacity: 1 499 cc, output: 100 kW/136 hp, synchronous electric motor, output: 65 kW/88 hp, system output: 165 kW/224 hp, system torque: 385 Nm.

As an alternative to the standard 6-speed manual transmission, a 6-speed Steptronic transmission is also offered for the new MINI Cooper Countryman. An 8-speed Steptronic transmission is available for the new MINI Cooper S Countryman and the new MINI Cooper D Countryman. This comes as standard in the MINI Cooper SD Countryman.

The latest generation of engines and transmissions gives the new MINI Countryman a perceptible increase in temperament as well as measurable improvements in terms of driving performance figures. For example, the new MINI Cooper S Countryman ALL4 with 8-speed Steptronic transmission sprints in 7.2 seconds from zero to 100 km/h – making it 0.9 seconds faster than its predecessor model. In spite of a significant increase not just in sporty flair but also in space, comfort and fittings, virtually all the engine variants demonstrate further optimised fuel efficiency as compared to their respective predecessor. Depending on the engine, the reduction in fuel consumption amounts to as much as 1.4 litres per 100 kilometres.

The front-runner in terms of efficiency among those model variants powered solely by a combustion engine is the new MINI Cooper D Countryman, with a fuel consumption of 4.5 to 4.3 litres per 100 kilometres and a CO2 emissions figure of 118 to 113 grams per kilometre (EU test cycle figures, dependent on tyre format selected). The figures for the new MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 with plug-in hybrid drive are even lower.

The new all-wheel drive system ALL4: fast and precise, compact and efficient

The new MINI Countryman also achieves outstanding efficiency figures in conjunction with the all-wheel drive system ALL4, which is optionally available for all engine variants. The new version of the all-wheel drive system not only reacts quickly and precisely to changing situations, it is also compact and offers a high level of internal efficiency. It consists of a power take-off unit integrated in the front axle differential, a propeller shaft leading to the rear axle and a hang-on clutch that ensures precisely measured transmission of the drive torque to the rear wheels.

The system's electronic control is interconnected with the Dynamic Stability Control DSC, so it detects any need to adapt power distribution early on. In this way, ALL4 optimises both traction and stability in adverse weather and road surface conditions, as well as ensuring improved agility when taking bends in dynamic style.

Electric and electrifying: the MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4

In addition to this, the new generation of the MINI Countryman also paves the way to driving fun that is locally emissions-free. The plug-in hybrid drive of the MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 enables purely electric driving at a top speed of 125 km/h. The spontaneously initiating, long-lasting and virtually noiseless power delivery of the electric motor provides an entirely new, ground-breaking perspective on the hallmark MINI go-kart feeling. No less fascinating is the precisely controlled interaction between the electric motor and the combustion engine of the MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4.

The 65 kW/88 hp electric motor directs its power via a single-speed transmission to the rear axle while a 3-cylinder petrol engine with an output of 100 kW/136 hp connected to a 6-speed Steptronic transmission drives the front wheels. This combination produces an electrified all-wheel drive that ensures an optimum balance between driving fun and efficiency at all times. The fuel consumption of the MINI Cooper S E Countryman ALL4 as calculated according to the EU test cycle is 2.1 litres per 100 kilometres, while its CO2 emissions figure 49 grams per kilometre.

Driving fun made to measure: Dynamic Damper Control and MINI Driving Modes

The high-quality suspension of the new MINI Countryman combines the tried-and-tested principle of a single-joint spring strut axle at the front and a multilink rear axle with a design that is optimised for weight and rigidity as well as a model-specific set up. This lays the foundation for precise handling properties and maximum agility. In addition to this there is an electromechanical steering with Servotronic function, powerful brakes and Dynamic Stability Control DSC. 16-inch light alloy wheels come as standard with the new MINI Cooper Countryman and the new MINI Cooper D Countryman, while the other model variants are fitted with 17-inch light alloy wheels. The program of optional extras includes other light alloy wheels in sizes of up to 19 inches.

Dynamic Damper Control is optionally available for the new MINI Countryman. Two program maps can be activated for the electronically controlled dampers via the likewise optional MINI Driving Modes. A rotary switch at the base of the gear or selector lever enables the driver to select a set-up according to one of the three modes MID, SPORT and GREEN. This also influences the accelerator pedal and steering curve, the operating mode of electrically powered comfort features and the engine sound and shift characteristics of the Steptronic transmission, depending on engine and fittings.

MINI Driving Modes in detail

Modes

Drive

Transmi ssion

Steering

Dampers

Sound

Electric comfort function

Mid

normal

normal

normal

normal

normal

normal

Sport

sporty

sporty

sporty

sporty

sporty

normal

Green

eco

eco

normal

normal

normal

eco

Premiere: central instrument with touchscreen display

The standard fittings of the new MINI Countryman include the Radio MINI Boost with four-line display in the central instrument and a Bluetooth hands-free telephone facility. Options include the Radio MINI Visual Boost with 6.5-inch colour display, the Harman Kardon hi-fi speaker system, the MINI navigation system and the MINI navigation system Professional. The features of the Wired package including MINI navigation system Professional comprise not just the Touch Controller on the centre console but also an 8.8-inch colour screen in the central instrument with a new graphic design. It is also a touchscreen, allowing functions to be selected and adjusted at the tip of the finger.

Registers driving fun over demanding terrain: the MINI Country Timer

In conjunction with the Wired package and the MINI navigation system Professional it is possible to use another function developed exclusively for the MINI Countryman that taps into the new model’s all-round talent in a way that is both innovative and entertaining. The MINI Country Timer registers all travel over sloping, uneven, unsurfaced and snow-covered roads and tracks. As soon as the new MINI Countryman moves on demanding terrain, the type and extent of the challenge are detected and shown on the display in the central instrument by means of graphics.

“The driver can then read off on the on-board computer how long and how intensively they have driven over this type of surface,” explains Julius Schluppkotten, MINI Countryman project manager. The driving situation is analysed based on data supplied by the control unit of the Dynamic Stability Control function. In this way it is possible to observe how fast and how persistent the new MINI Countryman is surpassing the status of “Street Cruiser” and striving to achieve the “Cliff Champ” category.

Modern driver assistance systems, high-quality options for increased comfort

Driving fun in the new MINI Countryman is based not just on versatility but also on safety and comfort. The standard and optional driver assistance systems are a key factor here. The standard collision warning with city braking function can be extended to include the Driving Assistant system with camera-based active cruise control, pedestrian warning with initial brake function, high beam assistant and road sign detection. In addition to this, Park Distance Control, rear view camera, Parking Assistant and Head-Up-Display are also optionally available.

The program of optional equipment items further includes a 2-zone automatic air conditioning, a panorama glass roof and an alarm system including red LED status indicator in the fin antenna. A tow hitch with removable ball head is likewise available. Depending on the engine type, the permitted trailer load is between 1 500 and 1 800 kilograms. The broad range of exterior paint finishes, seat upholstery types and interior surfaces enables individualisation of the new MINI Countryman in a way that reflects personal style.

With the MINI Yours Interior Styles option available in three variants, the striking interior surface design in the cockpit is highlighted by means of backlit decorative strips. An atmospheric mood is also created by the optional lighting package comprising LED interior lighting and LED ambient lighting; the latter forms part of the optional MINI Excitement Package and offers continuously variable colour adjustment.

New from MINI Connected: personal mobility assistant and MINI Find Mate

Connectivity also moves into a new dimension with the launch of the new MINI Countryman. MINI Connected now goes beyond the familiar in-car infotainment functions to become a personal mobility assistant as part of a holistic concept that provides support for individual mobility planning outside the vehicle, too. Based on a flexible platform, the Open Mobility Cloud, MINI Connected integrates the vehicle seamlessly into the MINI driver’s digital life via touchpoints such as the Apple iPhone and Apple Watch.

At the heart of this connectivity in the new MINI Countryman lies MINI Connected, the personal mobility assistant available to MINI drivers with new innovative services as of October 2016. Here, individual mobility planning enables punctual, stress-free arrival at appointments. And mobility doesn’t start in the car: MINI Connected informs the driver of the optimum departure time based on calendar entries and current traffic data. Address data and appointments saved by the driver previously on a smartphone via MINI Connected are automatically transferred to the car and do not have to be entered in the navigation system again.

MINI Connected can also save regularly visited places as favourite destinations and it detects frequently covered routes such as the daily run between home and work so as to be able to inform the driver in the event of unexpected traffic delays.

Another new feature in the area of connectivity is MINI Find Mate. This forms part of the Wired package and consists of so-called tags with a wireless tracking function that can be attached to frequently used objects and travel items such as bags, cases, key rings and rucksacks. MINI Find Mate is able to track the location of any such objects connected to the system that the driver wants to be sure not to forget: tracking is done not only on the on-board computer of the MINI Countryman but also on a smartphone.

Providing there is a Bluetooth connection with the tag, an acoustic signal can be activated in the car or on the smartphone to help locate the object. If the tag is outside the Bluetooth range, the driver can be guided to the place at which a connection was last detected.

The new MINI Countryman: combined fuel consumption: 7.0 – 2.1 l/100 km; combined CO2 emissions: 159 – 49 g/km Note: All figures for driving performance, fuel consumption and emissions that appear in this media information are provisional.

Taking inspiration directly from BMW i, the BMW iPerformance range has demonstrated BMW’s commitment to sustainable driving dynamics since it burst onto the scene earlier in 2016. Making its Australian debut with the X5 xDrive40e – a plug-in hybrid version of BMW Australia’s largest-selling vehicle in 2015 – and growing further with the 330e Sedan, BMW now welcomes a third member to the sustainable sub-brand, in the form of the ultra-luxury BMW 740e iPerformance, a halo for BMW’s suite of future technologies.

“The new 7 Series has already set new benchmarks for innovation in its segment,” said Marc Werner, BMW Group Australia Chief Executive Officer. “Now with the 740e iPerformance, we reinforce our commitment to a greener future, without sacrificing the performance and luxury expected of our 7 Series flagship.”

BMW 740e iPerformance pricing: $229,000*

The BMW 740e offers a level of performance that was, until recently, the sole preserve of sports cars. At the heart of the 740e is a sophisticated hybrid system, incorporating a 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder combustion engine with a synchronous electric motor. The combined drivetrain produces a total power output of 240kW, while consuming only 2.2L/100km of fuel and emitting 50g/km of CO2 on the combined cycle. Benchmark zero-100km/h acceleration is achieved in a scant 5.4 seconds.

Coupled to an eight-speed automatic gearbox and driving the rear wheels, this engine generates 190kW of power from 5,000-6,500rpm and an impressive 400Nm of torque, available from 1,550-4,400rpm.

Augmenting the combustion engine is a liquid-cooled electric motor that is integrated into the vehicle’s transmission. The motor delivers 83kW and some 250Nm of torque and can provide emission-free motoring at speeds of up to 140km/h, without any assistance from the combustion engine. EU test cycle electric range is set at 48km, giving the 740e iPerformance the best electric range in its class.

Supplying the electric motor is a high-voltage battery that is stored beneath the rear seat, to maximise cabin space. Luggage capacity is an impressive 420 litres. This lithium-ion battery is liquid-cooled and has a 9.2kWh capacity, with 7.4kWh usable.

BMW eDrive system: Tailoring the hybrid experience

Mounted on the centre console, the eDrive button offers three distinct control modes for the hybrid drivetrain. In the default Auto eDrive mode, the BMW 740e seamlessly melds electric and petrol propulsion. Depending on vehicle load, battery charge and prevailing conditions, the 740e allows pure electric driving at speeds of up to 140km/h. In addition, the combustion engine will automatically engage when additional power is required.

Switching to MAX eDrive mode biases the system to electric power, the petrol engine engaging when the throttle is depressed beyond the kickdown détente or when the gearshift lever is pushed into sport mode. Battery Control mode allows the 740e to engage the combustion engine for the dual purposes of providing drive and charging the battery pack, storing the charge for later electric driving.

Charging options

With the supplied cable enabling connection to a standard 230 volt power supply, the BMW 740e iPerformance can be charged from an ordinary domestic household socket in around five hours. Under the BMW 360º ELECTRIC program, customers can option the BMW I Wallbox to be installed. This enables a charging rate of up to 3.7kW at 16 amps, and can provide a complete charge in a convenient 2.5 hours. BMW also provides a ChargeNow service incorporating a ChargeNow card that grants simple, convenient access to partnered public charging stations.

Opulent equipment levels match 740i for luxury

The BMW 740e iPerformance apes the standard specification of the established 740i.

Highlights include:

  • 19-inch light-alloy Wheels
  • BMW Display Key
  • BMW Touch Command
  • Lane Change Warning with Steering Assist
  • Exterior Design Pure Excellence
  • 16-speaker harman/kardon surround sound system (16 speakers)
  • Heat comfort package, front (heated seats for driver and front passenger, heated armrests for centre console, driver and front passenger doors and steering wheel heating)
  • Instrument panel finished in leather
  • Interior Design Pure Excellence
  • Nappa leather upholstery
  • Professional Navigation with Gesture Control
  • Side Blinds, electric
  • M Sport package (no-cost option)
  • Further standard specification
  • Adaptive 2-axle air suspension
  • Adaptive LED Headlights with BMW Selective Beam
  • Eight-speed Sports automatic transmission with Steptronic
  • Driving Experience Control with ECO PRO mode (including ADAPTIVE mode)
  • Servotronic steering
  • Intelligent Emergency Call
  • TeleServices
  • Remote Services
  • Real Time Traffic Information
  • Concierge Services
  • Internet
  • Active seat ventilation, front
  • Active Park Distance Control, front and rear
  • Comfort Access System, including contactless opening/closing of rear tailgate
  • Comfort seats for driver and front passenger including lumbar support
  • Digital Radio DAB+
  • Driving Assistant Plus (Lane Change and Lane Departure Warning, Steering and Lane Control Assistant, Forward Collision Warning and Pedestrian Warning with light city braking function, Crossing-traffic Warning (front and rear), Rear Collision prevention and Active Cruise Control with Stop and Go function)
  • Head Up Display
  • Parking Assistant
  • Rear View Camera
  • Soft-close function for doors
  • Sport leather steering wheel with Gearshift Paddles
  • Sunblinds, rear and rear side electric
  • Surround View with 360 degree function and panorama view
  • Voice control
  • Glass Sunroof

Additionally the 740e iPerformance gains the following hybrid-specific equipment:

  • Eight-speed Steptronic automatic transmission (replacing sports automatic transmission)
  • Acoustic Protection for Pedestrians
  • BMW ConnectedDrive eDrive Services
  • Six-year/100,000km High Voltage Battery warranty
  • Charging cable

Key options packaged for added convenience

Further personalisation of the 740e iPerformance is possible via an expansive options list. For added convenience, several key options can be grouped into a package designed to provide additional value.

For example, the Rear Seat Indulgence Package offers the following:

  • Active seat ventilation, rear
  • Comfort seats, rear with electrical adjustability of two outside rear seats to a 42.5-degree tilt angle
  • Heat Comfort package, rear
  • Massage function for rear seat passengers
  • Rear Entertainment Experience, with two tiltable independent 10-inch screens and Blue-Ray drive
  • TV function with digital reception

Condition-based Servicing

BMW aims to reduce maintenance costs for the 740e iPerformance, with all maintenance requirements controlled by the Condition Based Servicing (CBS) system. With CBS, sensors and advanced algorithms monitor and calculate the conditions in which a vehicle is used, including mileage, time elapsed since its last service, fuel consumption and how a vehicle is driven.

Based on the information captured, maintenance requirements are determined, identifying whether an annual vehicle inspection or oil service is due. Selected BMW service and maintenance costs can be covered by a single, one-off advance payment with BMW Service Inclusive (BSI), which is available in two packages: Basic or Plus.

Mercedes-Benz Australia has announced that three new Plug-in Hybrid models are to arrive in dealerships this month across three different segments with the C 350e (available in both Sedan and Estate), GLE 500 e 4MATIC and S 500 e.

Plug-in Hybrids represent a key technology on our road to a locally emission-free future for the car. This is because they offer customers the best of both worlds; in the city they can drive in all-electric mode, while on long journeys they benefit from the combustion engine's range. Hybridisation also makes the internal combustion engine more efficient, and ensures more dynamic performance.

Horst von Sanden, CEO and Managing Director, Mercedes-Benz Cars Australia/Pacific said: "This is a very exciting time for Mercedes-Benz in Australia with three new Plug-in Hybrid models available to order from our dealerships today. We are in the fortunate position to offer our customers three different options, a medium sized sedan, a large SUV and a luxury saloon, but we won’t stop there.Plug-in Hybrid vehicles are an important part of our future business in Australia and early next year we will also launch the new E 350 e Plug-in Hybrid to continue our growth in alternative powertrain offerings."

As the strengths of Plug-in Hybrids come to the fore in larger vehicles with mixed operating profiles, Mercedes-Benz is opting for this drive concept from the C-Class upwards. The strategic hybrid initiative is decisively facilitated by Mercedes-Benz's intelligent modular hybrid concept: this is scalable to allow it to be transferred to a large number of model series and body versions as well as left and right-hand drive variants.

C 350 e: available as Sedan or Estate

The Mercedes-Benz C 350 e is a Plug-in Hybrid that combines extraordinary levels of efficiency, dynamism and comfort. In either the sedan or estate variant, the performance of a sports car makes it a convincing proposition, especially in combination with a certified consumption of just 2.4 litres of fuel per 100 kilometres and an all-electric range of up to 31 kilometres. Its four-cylinder petrol engine, in conjunction with a powerful electric motor, gives it a total system output of 205 kW with a system torque of 600 Nm. Both the sedan and the estate model are equipped with air suspension and a pre-entry climate control system as standard, delivering a unique level of driving and climate comfort.

GLE 500 e 4MATIC: plug-in hybrid technology meets SUV

The new GLE 500 e 4MATIC with Plug-in Hybrid drive combines the power and refinement of a V8 engine with outstanding fuel economy (just 3.3 litres/100 km combined) and the versatility of a premium SUV. The drive system components comprise a V6 petrol engine with 245 kW and a hybrid module with 85 kW of electric power. The system peak torque is a massive 650 Newton metres.

In addition to impressive acceleration thanks to the boost function, the innovative system drive also offers all-electric driving at speeds up to 130 km/h, optimised energy recovery thanks to the intelligent operating strategy and comfort functions such as pre-entry climate control in summer and winter.

S 500 Plug-in Hybrid: luxury saloon with exceptional efficiency

The S 500 Plug-in Hybrid blends an ultramodern hybrid drive configuration with the unique innovations and luxurious equipment and appointments of the S-Class. This long-wheelbase luxury saloon impresses with its exceptional dynamism and efficiency. Thanks to the standard-specification pre-entry climate control system it also offers outstanding climate comfort.

With a system output of 325 kW and 650 Nm of torque, the Mercedes-Benz S 500 Plug-in Hybrid accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h in 5.2 seconds while boasting an all-electric range of up to 33 km. The certified consumption is 2.8 litres/100 km, which is equivalent to emissions of 65 g CO2/km.

 

C 350 e (Estate)

GLE 500 e 4MATIC

S 500 e

Number of cylinders/arrangement

4/in-line

V6

V6

Displacement (cc)

1991

2996

2996

Rated output (kW at rpm)

155 at 5500

245 at 5250-6000

245 at 5250-6000

Rated torque (Nm at rpm)

350 at 1200-4000

480 at 1600-4000

480 at 1600-4000

Rated output of electric motor (kW at rpm)

60 at 2000

85 at 3500

85 at 3500

Max. rated system output (kW at rpm)

205 at 5000

325 at 5250-5500

325 at 5250-5500

Max. system torque (Nm)

600

650

650

Combined fuel consumption (l/100 km)

2.4 
(2.6)

3.3

2.8

Combined CO2 emissions (g/km)

56 (59)

78

65

Acceleration 0-100 km/h (s)

5.9 (6.2)

5.3

5.2

Top speed (km/h)

210

210

210

On sale

Now

Now

Now

The new Mercedes-Benz Plug-in Hybrid models will launch in July 2016 and are now available to order. The manufacturer’s recommended retail list price is as follows:

  • C 350 e: $75,300 (MRLP)
  • C 350 e Estate: $77,800 (MRLP)
  • GLE 500 e: $124,900 (MRLP)
  • S 500 e: $319,715 (MRLP)

BMW Australia has launched the all-new BMW 330e, furthering its commitment to provide sustainable and efficient alternative vehicles that maintain traditional BMW performance, style and driving enjoyment. The BMW 330e and the recently launched X5 xDrive40e are the first BMW plug-in hybrid iPerformance models to go on sale in Australia and offer exceptionally fuel efficient, low emission alternatives within the iconic 3 Series and X5 ranges.

Utilising advanced technology developed under the auspices of the company’s innovative BMW i brand, the hybrid powertrain in the 330e delivers a combined test fuel consumption of just 2.1L/100km and CO2 emissions of 49g/km. At the same time, this advanced drivetrain is able to power the BMW 330e from 0-100km/h in 6.1 seconds. Top speed is 225km/h.

Chief Executive Officer of BMW Group Australia, Marc Werner, said the all-new BMW 330e offered customers a highly efficient and sustainable alternative that still delivered the outstanding style, sports performance and dynamic driving pleasure that the 3 Series is renowned for.

“The addition of the new plug-in hybrid iPerformance BMW 330e to the 3 Series range proves that BMW trademark performance and driving enjoyment need not be sacrificed in the pursuit of sustainable and highly efficient motoring,” Werner said. “Demonstrating our commitment to providing this unique combination, BMW also believes that customers should not have to pay an excessive premium for the latest hybrid technology with the 330e providing outstanding value priced from $71,900.”

Sharing the same sharper styling, high level of standard features and premium interior ambience as the recently-updated 3 Series models, the new 330e pairs a 135kW/290Nm BMW TwinPower Turbo 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine with a 65kW/250Nm synchronous electric motor to power the rear wheels.

The electric motor is fitted between the petrol engine and standard eight-speed automatic transmission endowing the combined powertrain with a maximum power output of 185kW and peak torque of 420Nm – the same peak power and an additional 70Nm of torque compared to the petrol BMW 330i.

The 330e can also operate on electric power alone with zero emissions, a range of 37km (as tested under the EU test cycle) and the intelligent hybrid powertrain control offering three modes of operation depending on driver requirements.

With the powertrain mounted over the front axle and advanced 7.6kWh (5.7kWh net usable) high-voltage lithium-ion battery that supplies energy for the electric motor located under the boot, the 330e has a near perfect 48/52 (F/R) weight distribution to ensure it continues to deliver agile driving dynamics. Kerb weight increases by 165kg to 1,660kg due to the addition of the battery pack and associated hardware.

In addition to three modes of engine management, the 330e also features BMW’s Driving Experience Control that offers up to four modes of operation – COMFORT, SPORT, SPORT+ (available with Sport Line and M Sport Package) and ECO PRO - to further tailor the powertrain, transmission and steering to personal preferences. 

Visually, the BMW 330e maintains the dynamic flair that is a trademark of all 3 Series models, incorporating standard LED lights and large 19-inch light alloy wheels. The model is defined by its charging socket located in the left front wing, 330e badging and ‘eDrive’ logo on the bootlid and door sills.

Inside, the 330e is offered in Sport Line, Luxury Line or M Sport trim packages and features a high level of standard equipment for comfort, convenience and safety, together with BMW ConnectedDrive Services. Dual-zone climate control – with cabin preconditioning available thanks to the auxiliary heating/cooling unit – keyless Comfort Access System, cruise control with braking function, interior LED ambient lights package, Rain Sensor automatic windscreen wipers and lights, electric seats, Dakota leather upholstery and multifunction steering wheel with gearshift paddles are all standard.

Providing optimum safety and driver assistance are six airbags, Dynamic Stability Control, Acoustic Protection for pedestrians, Driving Assistant, Rear View Camera with Surround View, Head-Up Display and front and rear Park Distance Control. The 330e also features a hybrid specific version of the BMW Remote app, eDrive Services, which allows checking the battery status and locating public charging stations, along with instrument cluster and control display information tailored to the hybrid drive.

The lithium-ion battery that supplies energy for the electric motor comes with a six-year warranty and is able to be charged from empty from a standard domestic power socket in three hours and 15 minutes, via the high-speed and efficient BMW i Wallbox in two hours and 15 minutes, or through the growing number of public charging stations.

BMW 330e Australian Pricing*:

  • BMW 330e: $71,900

*Manufacturer’s Recommended List Price is shown and includes GST and Luxury Car Tax (LCT) – if applicable, but excludes dealer charges, stamp duty, statutory charges and on-road charges, which are additional and vary between dealers and States/Territories. Customers are advised to contact their nearest BMW dealer for all pricing inquiries.

Powertrain

As the second core BMW iPerformance model, joining the X5 xDrive40e, on sale in May 2016 in Australia, the 330e is powered by an advanced plug-in hybrid powertrain that benefits from the expertise of BMW i gained through the development of the BMW i8 sports car. The powertrain combines a four-cylinder BMW TwinPower Turbo petrol engine, a synchronous electric motor integrated with the eight-speed Steptronic automatic transmission and a high voltage lithium-ion battery pack to provide effortless rear-drive performance and supreme efficiency.

Incorporating renowned BMW technologies including a TwinScroll turbocharger, High Precision Injection, VALVETRONIC variable valve timing and Double-VANOS variable camshaft control, the award-winning 2.0-litre four-cylinder petrol engine generates a maximum power of 135kW from 5000-6500rpm and peak torque of 290Nm between 1350rpm and 4250rpm.

To provide a high level of sports performance, the 65kW electric motor contributes a permanent electric boost of 100Nm to supplement the torque from the petrol engine with up to 250Nm available for short periods to deliver outstanding acceleration from standstill or when a quick burst of speed is required.

The arrangement of the synchronous electric motor in the drive system between the petrol engine and eight-speed automatic transmission allows all transmission ratios to be used even in electric-only mode. This helps reduce mechanical and thermal stresses placed on the motor by operating at sustained high revs ensuring greater durability of the system while also alleviating the need for a torque converter, thereby assisting with overall weight reduction.

Providing energy for the electric motor, as well supplying power to the low-voltage battery for the 330e’s 12v electrical system, is a high-voltage 7.6kWh (5.7kWh net usable) lithium-ion battery pack housed underneath the boot floor.

When working together through the advanced powertrain control system, the BMW TwinPower Turbo engine and electric motor produce a maximum system output of 185kW and 420Nm, enabling the 330e to cover 0-100km/h in 6.1 seconds before going on to a top speed of 225km/h.

At the same time, it offers outstanding efficiency with a combined test fuel consumption figure of 2.1L/100km producing CO2 emissions of 49g/km. With a 41-litre stainless steel pressure petrol tank, the BMW 330e offers a realistic range of up to 600km in everyday driving conditions.

Power delivery in the BMW 330e is managed by an intelligent powertrain control system that offers three modes of operation selected via the eDrive button on the centre console to deliver optimal efficiency and performance according to road conditions and driving style.

The default AUTO eDrive is automatically activated when the vehicle is started and allows the petrol engine and electric motor to work in tandem for optimal efficiency. During normal acceleration, the vehicle starts off under electric power, up to a pure-electric top speed of 80km/h - with the petrol engine cutting in when the intelligent management system automatically determines a need for more power.

MAX eDrive is the purely electric mode with the car operating only on power from the electric motor for urban zero emission journeys of up to 37km with a limited top speed of 120km/h. The petrol engine will cut in if the accelerator pedal is pushed beyond its kickdown position when more power is needed such as during overtaking manoeuvres.

For selective use of the vehicle’s electric power, the SAVE Battery mode allows the driver to save or regenerate the battery’s energy level to be deployed when needed. This mode has two settings and if the battery charge is less than 50 per cent, it will be recharged with power from the petrol engine up to 50 per cent. If the battery charge is over 50 per cent, it will be ‘frozen’ at that level and can be used later for electric-only mode when travelling through towns, for example. The petrol engine will also be engaged whenever the transmission is moved into manual mode, regardless of the drive mode selected, allowing the battery to be recharged up to 80 per cent while on the road.

Dynamics

The BMW 3 Series has long been renowned as a sports sedan with a superb balance of agile handling and sublime ride comfort. And with the BMW 330e sharing the same lightweight aluminium front double-joint strut and rear five-link suspension and Servotronic Electric Power Steering (EPS) as its siblings, it maintains those hallmark dynamic driving characteristics.

In addition to the three powertrain control modes, the BMW 330e is fitted with the Driving Experience Control found on all BMW 3 Series models that offers a choice of COMFORT, SPORT, SPORT+ (available with Sport Line and M Sport Package) and ECO PRO modes to further tailor the driving enjoyment. 

As well as automatically adjusting throttle and automatic transmission response and steering characteristics, the Driving Experience Control in the 330e also allows changes to the operating strategy of the hybrid drive system to provide either top-end performance, efficient cruising comfort or maximum electric efficiency and energy regeneration.

In SPORT mode, for example, both the electric motor and petrol engine are permanently engaged to provide full system output and exhilarating performance while the ECO PRO mode optimises use of the electrical energy for the greatest overall efficiency. To further enhance the sustainability of the 330e, the ECO PRO mode also optimises energy consumption for features including the dual-zone automatic climate control and seat and mirror heating. The 330e also incorporates standard Auto Start/Stop and Brake Energy Regeneration for even greater efficiency. 

In order to preserve the dynamic handling of the 330e, BMW has carefully balanced the drive system components with the engine, electric motor and transmission over the front axle and battery pack over the rear axle ensuring a near perfect 48/52 weight distribution.

BMW ConnectedDrive

BMW ConnectedDrive offers a combination of driver assistance, safety, communication and convenience technologies and in the new BMW 330e, these have been tailored to complement the hybrid drive system and further improve efficiency and sustainability. The Navigation system Professional adds the location of public charging stations to its points of interest on the navigation map whenever guidance is activated.

Another ConnectedDrive feature unique to the plug-in hybrid models is eDrive Services that can be accessed through the iDrive Controller or carried out remotely on a smartphone through the BMW Remote app available for iOS and Android operating systems. As well as the standard BMW Remote app functions such as remote locking/unlocking, headlight flash, vehicle finder and Google local search and send-to-car function, the system offers additional hybrid-specific functions.

These include search and display of public charging stations, battery charge and vehicle range status, charge timer settings, efficiency evaluations of journeys travelled, distances driven on electric power and fuel saved, and climate control pre-conditioning. This latter feature uses the car’s auxiliary electrically-operated heating and cooling systems to pre-heat or cool the cabin of the BMW 330e using either power from the battery or the electrical mains, when it is plugged in for recharging.

The pre-conditioning of the cabin can also be activated via a button on the car key fob or using the two-week timer setting accessed through the iDrive system in the 330e. Recharging the battery in the BMW 330e simply requires plugging one end of the supplied cable into a domestic power outlet and the other into the socket beneath the flap in the front left wing. The charging socket on the car features an illuminated ring that flashes blue while charging before turning a solid green when the process is completed with the battery able to be fully charged from empty in three hours and 15 minutes.

For faster and more efficient charging, under the BMW 360° Electric concept, BMW also offers fast charging units that can be installed at the home. The BMW i Wallbox Pure enables the 330e’s battery to be fully charged in about two hours and 15 minutes and provides a graphic display of the charging progress in the vehicle’s instrument cluster or via the BMW Remote app.

Through BMW’s partnership with ChargePoint, the 330e can also be charged at public charging facilities using the ChargeNow card for cashless payments. BMW ConnectedDrive also provides a range of driver assistance and safety systems with the BMW 330e featuring cruise control with braking function, Rear View Camera with Surround View, BMW Head-Up Display, front and rear Park Distance Control, Lane Change Warning System, and the camera-based Driving Assistant.

The Driving Assistant is a comprehensive package that incorporates Lane Departure Warning and Collision and Pedestrian warnings with Light City Braking Function. For pedestrian safety, the 330e also features Acoustic Protection that delivers a discreet drive sound when operating on electric power only at speeds of up to 30kmh to alert pedestrians of the vehicle’s presence.

With its built-in SIM card, the 330e’s ConnectedDrive Lifestyle package also provides access to internet services; automated transmission of any service related data to the customer’s preferred BMW dealer through BMW TeleServices including ongoing monitoring of the battery; and any breakdown calls to Roadside Assistance.

For absolute safety and peace of mind, the system includes an Intelligent Emergency Call function that in the event of an accident, automatically transmits vehicle location, accident severity and initiates a phone call for assistance to the BMW ConnectedDrive Call Centre to ensure rapid and effective response.

The BMW ConnectedDrive Lifestyle package also includes the full suite of BMW Online Services and Apps, Real Time Traffic Information and Remote Services.

Form and function

Like all BMW 3 Series models, the 330e offers a sporty elegant aesthetic that perfectly reflects its luxury, comfort and driver appeal. The exterior design combines a sharp front end dominated by the wide trademark kidney grille neatly integrated with the LED headlights, big 19-inch alloy Double Spoke wheels fitted with low profile 225/40 front and 255/35 rear tyres, and at the rear, L-shaped LED tail lights and dual exhaust pipes to emphasise the car’s broad road hugging stance.

Exclusive design touches on the model’s exterior clearly identify the BMW 330e’s unique hybrid capabilities include the charging socket located in the left front wing and an “eDrive” logo on the tailgate, engine cover and doorsill strips. Inside, the 330e maintains the comfort, luxurious ambience and high quality fit and finish of its siblings and is available in a choice of Luxury Line, Sport Line or M Sport trim.

With its trademark driver-oriented cockpit, all controls and iDrive functions - including a number of hybrid-specific functions - fall easily to hand with all information displayed on a large 8.8-inch colour screen. The hybrid-specific functions include providing information such as the eDrive mode selected, electric and total range, fuel or electricity consumption, progress of battery charging, Brake Energy Regeneration levels and real-time energy flow between the petrol engine and electric motor.

As a premium sports sedan, the 330e features a high level of equipment to deliver sublime comfort and practical convenience. Standard features include Dakota leather upholstery, dual-zone climate control, multifunction steering wheel with gearshift paddles, Navigation system Professional, electric front seats, keyless Comfort Access, LED ambient Lights Package, and Rain Sensor automatic windscreen wipers and lights.

Superb entertainment is provided by the six-speaker Stereo Loudspeaker audio system with DAB+ digital radio tuner, and USB and auxiliary inputs while the extended Bluetooth functionality for audio streaming and hands-free phone operation enables complete smartphone connectivity. 

The 330e also maintains BMW’s high levels of safety incorporating six airbags, Dynamic Stability Control featuring Anti-lock Braking System, Brake Assist, Cornering Brake Control and Dynamic Traction Control, and Dynamic Braking Lights. In addition to the comfortable seating for five occupants, the 330e offers plenty of storage space and a standard 40/20/40-split rear seat back to enable expansion of the boot space. With the battery located beneath the boot, luggage capacity has been reduced compared to other 3 Series models but it still offers a generous 370-litre capacity with its level floor enabling full use of the load through facility. 

In addition to the fuel cost savings offered by the plug-in hybrid drivetrain, BMW also aims to help reduce maintenance costs for the 330e with all maintenance requirements controlled by the Condition Based Servicing (CBS) system. With CBS, sensors and advanced algorithms monitor and calculate the conditions in which a vehicle is used, including mileage, time elapsed since its last service, fuel consumption and how a vehicle is driven.

Based on the information captured, maintenance requirements are determined, identifying whether an annual vehicle inspection or oil service is due. Selected BMW service and maintenance costs can be covered by a single, one-off advance payment with BMW Service Inclusive (BSI), which is available in two packages: Basic or Plus.

With the Australian launch of the new BMW X5 xDrive40e, BMW Group has demonstrated its commitment to remaining at the forefront in the production of sustainable vehicles that deliver trademark BMW performance with low emission, fuel-efficient motoring. The first model to arrive here under the new iPerformance banner, the X5 xDrive40e is a showcase of the latest generation BMW plug-in hybrid technology that has been developed under the auspices of the company’s innovative BMW i brand.

Joining the X5 xDrive40e in May will be a second iPerformance model, the BMW 330e Sedan, with both new vehicles demonstrating the increasing transfer of cutting-edge technology developed for groundbreaking products like the BMW i8 sports car to a broader range of models.

Chief Executive Officer of BMW Group Australia, Marc Werner, said the advanced technology developed by BMW i would be implemented in a growing range of models across the BMW lineup with the new iPerformance models providing a bridge for customers that wanted sustainable alternative-fuel vehicles but were still unsure about pure electric powertrains.

“The leading role of BMW i in terms of development is already being reflected in the increased scale of electrification in other models and the launch of the new X5 xDrive40e iPerformance model is only the beginning as BMW prepares to offer a broader variety of sustainable technologies for all our customers,” Werner said. “By combining a small yet powerful BMW TwinPower Turbo petrol engine with a highly efficient electric motor, together with an eight-speed Steptronic automatic transmission and further fuel saving technologies, the BMW X5 xDrive40e delivers outstanding fuel consumption and low emissions without any sacrifice of BMW trademark driving pleasure.”

The X5 xDrive40e can operate on electric power alone with zero emissions for short urban commuting with a range of 31km with the intelligent hybrid powertrain control offering three modes of operation depending on driver requirements. Delivering all the versatility, luxurious ambience and style of BMW X models, the X5 xDrive40e pairs a 180kW/350Nm BMW TwinPower Turbo 2.0-litre four cylinder engine with an 83kW/250Nm synchronous electric motor that drives through BMW’s intelligent xDrive all-wheel drive system – even in electric mode.

This advanced drivetrain is able to power the BMW X5 xDrive40e from 0-100km/h in 6.8 seconds, while returning a fuel consumption figure on the combined test of 3.3l/100km and CO2 emissions of 77g/km. In addition to its advanced plug-in hybrid powertrain, the X5 xDrive40e maintains typical BMW appeal with high levels of standard equipment. This includes BMW Connected Drive driver assistance systems, extensive connectivity and other services, practical interior design and luxurious fit and finish and characteristic style with a dynamic on-road presence.

Through BMW ConnectedDrive, the X5 xDrive40e gains other technologies to further its sustainability. These include an intelligent energy management function for the standard Navigation system Professional, a hybrid specific version of the BMW Remote app that allows checking the battery status and locating public charging stations, and instrument cluster and control display information tailored to the hybrid drive.

It also features model-specific tuning of the xDrive all-wheel drive chassis to ensure an optimal balance of ride comfort and dynamic handling.

The advanced high-voltage lithium-ion battery that supplies energy for the electric motor is able to be charged from a standard domestic power socket, via the high-speed and efficient BMW i Wallbox, or through the growing number of public charging stations.

BMW X5 xDrive40e in detail

 Powertrain

At the heart of the X5 xDrive40e is a plug-in hybrid powertrain that benefits from the expertise of BMW i gained through the development of the BMW i8 sports car. The powertrain combines a four-cylinder BMW TwinPower Turbo petrol engine, a synchronous electric motor integrated with the 8-speed Steptronic automatic transmission and BMW xDrive all-wheel drive technology to deliver effortless performance and supreme efficiency.

Incorporating renowned BMW technologies including a TwinScroll turbocharger, High Precision Injection, VALVETRONIC variable valve timing and Double-VANOS variable camshaft control, the award-winning 2.0-litre petrol engine generates a maximum power of 180kW from 5000-6500rpm and peak torque of 350Nm between 1250 and 4800rpm.

The synchronous electric motor integrated with the 8-speed automatic transmission offers a maximum power output of 83kW with its 250Nm of torque available instantaneously providing outstanding acceleration whether from standstill or when a quick burst of speed is required. Providing energy for the electric motor, as well supplying power to the low-voltage battery for the X5’s 12v electrical system, is a high-voltage 9kWh lithium-ion battery pack housed underneath the rear luggage compartment.

Through the application of an intelligent powertrain control system that offers three driver-selectable modes of operation, the two power units are able to deliver optimal efficiency and performance according to road conditions and driving style.

These two factors also affect where the power is directed with the permanent xDrive all-wheel drive system providing fully variable distribution of the drive torque between the front and rear axles – even in purely electric mode - to ensure supreme traction, agility and handling stability in all weather and road conditions.

Operating in concert through the advanced powertrain control system, the BMW TwinPower Turbo engine and electric motor produce maximum outputs of 230kW and 450Nm, enough to propel the X5 xDrive40e from 0-100km/h in just 6.8 seconds before going on to a limited top speed of 210km/h. From an efficiency perspective, the plug-in hybrid powertrain delivers a fuel consumption on the combined test of just 3.3l/100km producing CO2 emissions of 77g/km.

The X5 xDrive40e can also, of course, be driven in purely electric mode producing zero emissions with a range of up to 31km and a limited top speed of 120km/h.

Smart software

While the state-of-the-art powertrain hardware provides the performance, it is the intelligent software control systems in the X5 xDrive40e that deliver the outstanding driving experience that can be extensively tailored to personal preferences or conditions. Managing the hybrid powertrain control is carried out via the eDrive button on the centre console that allows the driver to select from three modes – AUTO eDrive, MAX eDrive and SAVE Battery.

The default AUTO eDrive is automatically activated when the vehicle is started and allows the petrol engine and electric motor to work in tandem for optimal efficiency. Under normal acceleration, the vehicle starts off under electric power with the petrol engine cutting in at about 70km/h or when the driver requires sharper acceleration. In this mode, the intelligent management system automatically determines and adapts the energy mix for the most efficient drive combination at all times.

MAX eDrive is the purely electric mode with the car operating only on power from the electric motor for urban zero emission journeys of up to 31km, and at speeds up to 120 km per hour.

For selective use of the vehicle’s electric power, the SAVE Battery mode allows the driver to save or regenerate the battery’s energy level to be deployed when needed. For example on a longer journey, drivers may want to fully charge the battery on highway sections and then use electric-only mode when travelling through towns or cities.

In addition to the three powertrain control modes, the X5 xDrive40e is also fitted with Auto Stop/Start and the Driving Experience Control found on all BMW X5 models that offers a choice of COMFORT, SPORT and ECO PRO modes. The Driving Experience Control system automatically adjusts throttle and automatic transmission response, steering characteristics and the adaptive dampers to deliver a more comfortable, sporty or efficiency-oriented driving experience.

To further enhance the sustainability of the X5 xDrive40e, the ECO PRO mode also optimises energy consumption for features including the dual-zone automatic climate control and seat and mirror heating for increased efficiency. This mode also features a coasting function that shuts off the engine on overrun at speeds up to 160km/h to further save fuel.

Each Driving Experience Control mode can be paired with any of the three powertrain control modes to allow the powertrain and vehicle set-up to be specifically tailored to driver preferences and road conditions.

In addition, an eBOOST function gives maximum performance from the combination of both the petrol engine and electric motor for short spurts. Especially useful when overtaking, this combination gives high performance while utilising the efficiency and extra boost of the electric motor.

Helping to deliver the optimal balance of road comfort and sporting driving dynamics, the X5 xDrive40e combines Servotronic electric power steering with the standard Adaptive Suspension Package Comfort. This suspension package features Dynamic Damper Control together with a double wishbone front axle and automatic self-levelling rear air suspension that has been tuned specifically for the plug-in hybrid X5 model.

ConnectedDrive

BMW’s ConnectedDrive offers a combination of driver assistance, safety, communication and convenience technologies and in the new X5 xDrive40e, these have been tailored to complement the hybrid drive system and further improve efficiency and sustainability. The system also adds the location of public charging stations to its points of interest on the navigation map whenever guidance is activated.

Many of these features, as well as the ability to manage the vehicle’s battery charge through planning and real time data, can also be carried out remotely on a smartphone through the BMW Remote app available for IOS and Android operating systems. As well as the standard BMW Remote app functions such as remote locking/unlocking, ventilation control, headlight flash and Google local search and send-to-car function, the system offers additional hybrid-specific functions.

These include search and display of public charging stations, battery charge and vehicle range status, charge timer settings, efficiency evaluations of journeys travelled, distances driven on electric power and fuel saved, and climate control pre-conditioning. This latter feature uses the car’s auxiliary electrically-operated heating and cooling systems to pre-heat or cool the cabin of the X5 using either power from the battery or the electrical mains, when it is plugged in for recharging. Recharging the BMW X5 xDrive40e is carried out simply by plugging the recharging lead into a standard domestic power outlet that can fully charge the battery from flat in about 5 hours.

For faster and more efficient charging, under the BMW 360° Electric concept, the company also offers fast charging units that can be installed at the home. The BMW i Wallbox Pure enables the X5’s battery to be fully charged in about 2 hours and 30 minutes and provides a graphic display of the charging progress in the vehicle’s instrument cluster or via the BMW Remote app.

Through BMW’s partnership with ChargePoint, the X5 xDrive40e can also be charged at public charging facilities using the ChargeNow card. BMW ConnectedDrive also delivers a range of driver assistance and safety systems that include cruise control with braking function, BMW Head-Up Display, front and rear Park Distance Control, Parking Assistant and the camera-based Driving Assistant.

The Driving Assistant is a comprehensive package that incorporates Surround View with Rear, Top and Side View Cameras, High Beam Assist, Lane Departure Warning, and Collision and Pedestrian warnings with Light City Braking Function. For pedestrian safety, the X5 xDrive40e also features a discreet drive sound when operating on electric power only at speeds of up to 30kmh to alert pedestrians of the vehicle’s presence.

With its built-in SIM card, the X5 xDrive40e’s ConnectedDrive services also provide access to internet and Concierge Services. It also ensures automated transmission of any service related data to the customer’s preferred BMW dealer through BMW TeleServices, and provides ongoing monitoring of the battery and any breakdown calls to Roadside Assistance.

For absolute safety and peace of mind, the system includes an Intelligent Emergency Call function that in the event of accident, automatically transmits vehicle location, accident severity and initiates a phone call for assistance to the BMW ConnectedDrive Call Centre to ensure rapid and effective response.

Form and function

Like all BMW X5 models, the X5 xDrive40e provides a stylish aesthetic that perfectly reflects its functionality and driver appeal with dynamic upright proportions, wide road hugging stance, big 19-inch alloy wheels, adaptive bi-Xenon headlights and aerodynamic details.

Complementing this is the Pure Experience exterior design theme that includes satin aluminium roof rails, twin trapezoidal tailpipes in a silver matt finish, underbody protection in brushed stainless steel, and front air intakes, the trademark BMW kidney grille, and accents on the rear bumper and side air intakes all finished in a silver matt colour.

Exclusive design touches on the model’s exterior however, clearly identify the BMW X5 xDrive40e as a classic sports activity vehicle while also making its unique hybrid capabilities plain to see. The most noticeable feature is the charging connection for the high-voltage battery located in the left front wing that features a blue light effect at the start of the charging process.

Subtle model badging on the lower front doors is complemented by an “eDrive” logo on the tailgate and doorsill strips, which also carry over the blue background colour theme.

Comfort and convenience

The design of the hybrid powertrain has been cleverly integrated in the X5 with the only change to the interior compared to the petrol and diesel X5 models being a slight decrease in the rear luggage capacity due to the location of the battery pack. This positioning ensures the battery pack is properly protected in the event of a crash and also makes the optional third row seating unavailable in the X5 xDrive40e.

However, with its 40/20/40-split folding rear seat, the X5 xDrive40e maintains the practical versatility of its siblings with a luggage capacity of between 500 and 1720 litres. The cabin of the X5 xDrive40e provides typical BMW luxurious ambience, convenience features and high quality fit and finish with standard Dakota leather upholstery, dual-zone climate control, electric sport front seats, keyless Comfort Access, electric automatic tailgate, sports leather steering wheel with gearshift paddles, and Rain Sensor automatic windscreen wipers and lights.

Superb entertainment and smartphone connectivity is provided by the 16-speaker Harman Kardon Surround Sound audio system with DAB+ digital radio tuner, USB and auxiliary inputs, extended Bluetooth functionality for audio streaming and hands-free phone operation, and voice control, with all functions displayed on a large 10.25-inch touchscreen.

The X5 xDrive40e also maintains BMW’s high levels of safety incorporating six airbags, active front headrests, Hill Descent Control and Dynamic Stability Control featuring Anti-lock Braking System, Brake Assist, Cornering Brake Control and Dynamic Traction Control. Like all X5 models, the driver-oriented instrument panel is designed to provide easy access to all controls, iDrive functions and information with the standard “black panel” instrument cluster featuring a number of hybrid-specific functions and displays.

Upon pressing the Start/Stop button, the display in the rev counter switches from Off to Ready while a graphic showing the battery charge appears below the gear display. The eDrive and Driver Experience Control modes are also shown and depending on the mode selected, the instruments can display information such as the electric and total range, fuel or electricity consumption, progress of battery charging and Brake Energy Regeneration levels.

Other menu options enable the display of real-time energy flow between the petrol engine and electric motor while a timer function accessed through the iDrive controller can also be used to set mains power recharging sessions as well as the pre-conditioning of the climate control system to ensure the car is warmed up or cooled down when needed.

In addition to the fuel cost savings offered by the plug-in hybrid drivetrain, BMW also aims to help reduce maintenance costs for the X5 xDrive 40e with all maintenance requirements controlled by the Condition Based Servicing (CBS) system. With CBS, sensors and advanced algorithms monitor and calculate the conditions in which a vehicle is used, including mileage, time elapsed since its last service, fuel consumption and how a vehicle is driven. Based on the information captured, maintenance requirements are determined, identifying whether an annual vehicle inspection or oil service is due.

Selected BMW service and maintenance costs can be covered by a single, one-off advance payment with BMW Service Inclusive (BSI), which is available in two packages:

  • Basic ($1,540 for five years or 80,000 km) or
  • Plus ($4,272 for five years or 80,000 km).

The new BMW X5 xDrive 40e is covered by BMW’s three year/unlimited warranty on the vehicle, and six year/100,000 km warranty on the High Voltage battery.

BMW X5 xDrive40e Australian Pricing*:

BMW X5 xDrive40e: $118,900

*Manufacturer’s Recommended List Price is shown and includes GST and Luxury Car Tax (LCT) – if applicable, but excludes dealer charges, stamp duty, statutory charges and on-road charges, which are additional and vary between dealers and States/Territories. Customers are advised to contact their nearest BMW dealer for all pricing inquiries.