Search 4,000 EV News articles

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

BMW ActiveHybrid X6 review

Two years ago, when BMW first unveiled the X6, its high-performance, high-end crossover SUV, it announced a hybrid version as well. Now that hybrid has arrived, and if turning a 5,688-lb luxury SUV with a twin-turbo V-8 into a hybrid seems like a bit of a contradiction, well, the 2010 BMW ActiveHybrid X6 is.

This is the most powerful hybrid ever put into production. Its 400-horsepower gas engine and two electric motors combine to produce 485 horsepower and 575 lb-ft of torque. It can race to 60 mph in 5.4 seconds. It delivers power to all four wheels via a seven-speed automatic transmission.

Why would BMW choose such a beast to become its first full hybrid? The company says it's because of the high-percentage gain in fuel economy you get from making low-mpg vehicles more efficient. Turn a 12mpg vehicle into a 17mpg vehicle, and you're getting more than 40 percent better mileage.

To get there, the ActiveHybrid X6 uses a two-mode hybrid system developed in conjunction with General Motors and the former DaimlerChrysler; it's the same system already found in the Cadillac Escalade Hybrid. An electric continuously variable transmission (ECVT) distributes power through two different drive modes; one is used during stop-and-go driving and the other when driving at higher speeds. The two-mode system allows the X6 to cruise up to 37 mph on electric power alone, only switching to engine power if the driver depresses the throttle more forcefully.

The ActiveHybrid X6 is rated at 17 mpg city, 19 mpg highway -- up from 12/18 in the xDrive50i, that's a 20-percent improvement. BMW are asking for a $22,000 premium for the ActiveHybrid over the base X6 xDrive50i.

2010 BMW ActiveHybrid X6
Price: $89,275 (including destination and handling)
Mileage: (city/highway): 17/19
Horsepower: 485
Torque: 575 lb-ft
0-60: 5.4 seconds

Blog Widget by LinkWithin

No comments:

Post a Comment