The new BMW ActiveHybrid X6 rolled out earlier this month, setting a new benchmark for the idea of conserving fuel.
The high-performance crossover, dubbed the world’s first “Sports Activity Coupé” with full hybrid drive, features a combination of a V8 gasoline engine and electric drive.
The hybrid X6 reduces fuel consumption and emissions by approximately 20 percent compared to the combustion engine. The technology features three different drive modes — electric power alone, use of the combustion engine, or the combination of both drive modes.
Driving completely free of CO2 in the electric mode is possible up to a speed of 37 mph. The combustion engine then cuts in as required, as a function of load conditions, notes BMW, and is automatically switched off when driving in overrun at a speed of less than 40 mph.
While driving electrically, the BMW ActiveHybrid X6 retains all its safety and comfort functions. The brakes remain fully operative thanks to electric vacuum supply and don’t require the combustion engine to develop their full effect. The same applies to the Electronic Power Steering, with steering assistance being generated on demand by an electric motor.
The X6 hybrid features a high-performance battery pack comes with its own liquid cooling system incorporating a heat exchanger to cool the battery pack through the flow of air from the outside and, additionally, through a cooling circuit from the air conditioning system.
Even the air conditioning remains fully available without any restrictions, running efficiently on an electrically operated air-conditioning compressor. Since the battery pack supplies the electric power to the 12-volt on-board network through a voltage converter, all other systems such as the lights, infotainment, and safety systems remain fully functional.
The drive system featured in the BMW ActiveHybrid X6 consists of a 407 hp V8 power unit with BMW’s twin power turbo technology and two electric motors. Peak torque is 575 lb-ft.
The crossover will do 60 mph in 5.4 seconds with a top speed limited electronically of 130 mph, which are hardly the kind of numbers you typically hear associated with a hybrid. No wonder BMW touts it as the most powerful hybrid vehicle in the world.
Pricing is around $90,000, about the same price as the X6 M with a few more extras like 20-inch “Aero” wheels, a rear view camera and a head-up display.