BMW saves first plug-in hybrid compact luxury SUV for China

The new BMW X1 xDrive25Le iPerformance joins others in the German make's plug-in hybrid vehicle line(Credit: BMW)

Continuing the trend of tailoring vehicles for the Chinese market, BMW has unveiled what it touts as the first plug-in hybrid in the compact luxury SUV segment at the Chengdu Motor Show. Destined for Chinese showrooms only, the X1 xDrive25Le iPerformance features a gasoline engine up front and electric motors at the rear, working in tandem or individually to propel the vehicle.

The engine in question is a 1.5-liter turbocharged powerplant producing 134 hp (100 kW) and 162 lb-ft (220 Nm) of peak torque. The electric motor at the rear axle produces 94 hp (70 kW) and 122 lb-ft (165 Nm) of torque. Combined, the two motivators can create 284 lb-ft (385 Nm) of torque, which equates to a 0-100 km/h (0-62 mph) time of just 7.4 seconds, while fuel consumption is rated at up to 130.6 mpg (1.8 L/100km).

A six-speed automated gearbox is attached to the engine and a liquid-cooled 10.7 kWh lithium battery powers the motor. The battery allows an all-electric cruising range of about 37 miles (60 km) per charge.

As with other iPerformance vehicles, the X1 xDrive25Le iPerformance has a three-mode drive mode selector called Driving Experience Control that allows the driver to select drive modes to control throttle response and how aggressive the powertrain is with the engine and electric drive. The eDrive push button for forcing EV mode (when enough battery power is available) is also standard. BMW calls its driver-contolled efficiency management system "Efficiencytainment." It's based on the infotainment screen interface at the center of the dashboard.

Plug-in time for recharge from empty is as little as 3.7 hours with a 220 volt, 16 amp wall box, with an 80 percent charge taking 2.9 hours.

BMW engineered the X1 xDrive25Le iPerformance's energy management system to optimize energy use throughout the vehicle. To save engine power and allow for things like climate controls to function when driving in all-electric mode, the A/C compressor is electrically driven and the same battery powering that also powers other in-car electrics. That battery can also be charged via the engine at times, depending on the battery charge status and driving needs.

To further enhance energy savings, the X1 plug-in will add electric drive power to augment the engine when needed in order to hold the engine at optimal RPM for maximum fuel efficiency.

Other equipment found in the standard X1 models is also found in the X1 xDrive25Le iPerformance, including the 40:20:40 split-fold rear seating, automated rear cargo hatch, and near-automated parking with Park Assist. Unique to the X1 xDrive25Le iPerformance are BMW Remote app functions for setting up climate controls and other convenience functions via a smartphone when the car is equipped with advanced BMW ConnectedDrive. This app also allows the user to find the charge state of the X1's battery, time to full charge (if plugged in), find driving routes before getting into the car, and more.

Only available in China, the BMW X1 xDrive25Le iPerformance will come with basic installation of a 220 v/16 A charging wall box that can fully charge the battery in 3.7 hours, along with semi-public community charging access, and public charging access for owners.

Source: BMW

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