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It’s been two years since BMW let us know about the 2021 BMW X5 xDrive45e iPerformance plug-in hybrid crossover, which has evolved from the X5 xDrive40e, the first BMW to adopt the iPerformance tag. BMWBlog says it got word of the price, the X5 xDrive45e reported to start at $65,400 when order books open this summer, which turns into $66,395 after BMW’s $995 handing and destination charge. That makes the plug-in $4,300 more than the non-electrified X5 xDrive40i, and almost $11,000 less than the twin-turbo V8-powered X5 xDrive50i. Far more important, the price is only $1,650 more than the xDrive40e to get a lot more in return.
The previous crossover qualified for a $4,668 federal tax credit; the larger battery makes the new version eligible for the full $7,500 credit.
The new PHEV ditches the former 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder for the same motivation found in the 745e, meaning a boosted 3.0-liter inline-six making 286 horsepower. The new mill is paired to a 112-hp electric motor for a total system output of 388 hp and 443 pound-feet of torque, a salubrious bump over the 309 hp and 332 lb-ft of yore. An eight-speed automatic transmission connects the powertrain to BMW’s xDrive all-wheel drive. Acceleration to 60 takes 5.6 seconds, one second faster than its predecessor, and top speed is bumped up to 146 mph, 87 mph of that possible in all-electric mode.
A 24-kWh lithium-ion battery under the luggage compartment replaces the 9.0-kWh unit, delivering a commensurate rise in all-electric range from the old EPA-rated 14 miles to around 50 miles, which will be the longest EV range of any BMW PHEV. The other side of the compromise is found in the luggage bay, the gas tank, and on the scales. The rear cargo area shrinks by 5.1 cubic feet to 17.2 cu. ft., the gas tank gets 4.2 gallons smaller, now holding 18.2 gallons. The bigger battery and associated equipment ups weight by 440 pounds.
First deliveries of the 2021 X5 xDrive45e are expected to begin later this year.