Prompting electric vehicle fans to ask the age old road-trip question – "are we there yet?" – BMW says it is about to start production on a plug-in hybrid version of its new X5 SUV. Motoring.com.au, citing a presentation that BMW executive Peter Wolf made at the official X5 launch, is reporting that Bimmer is "close to" production of the PHEV. No time frame was given, but the German automaker is saying it will one day make plug-in hybrid versions of all of its models once it solves battery packaging issues.
BMW first showed off what it called the Concept X5 eDrive at the Frankfurt Auto Show earlier this month, and the numbers claimed by the company were pretty impressive, with emissions levels the same as a Toyota Prius. The SUV pairs a turbocharged four-cylinder gas engine with an electric motor that can run the vehicle for 19 miles on electricity alone. Most impressively, the powertrain allows the model to get about 62 miles per gallon (per the more lenient European driving cycle) while propelling the car from 0 to 60 miles per hour in less than seven seconds. The line for a test drive starts here.