If there's any pent-up demand out there for a plug-in hybrid SUV - and we imagine there is a fair amount - BMW could be getting ready to cash in quicker than we thought. First unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September, the plug-in hybrid X5 eDrive Concept showed off what BMW was working on, but the message at the time was, "we don't know when we're going to build this." Given a brand new set of spy shots in our inbox today, it looks like BMW may be further along than they've been willing to say.
Our spy photographers found "several" X5 prototypes cruising the streets of Germany emblazoned with the words "Hybrid Test Vehicle." Other than that, the on-road version looks incredibly similar to the concept we saw on the auto show stage, and the CarPix guys say they "wouldn't be surpriced if it hits the market in late 2014." That's a lot sooner than, "we don't know."
The powertrain in the concept X5 eDrive used a turbocharged four-cylinder engine of unknown output and a 95-horsepower electric motor to his 62 miles per hour in under seven seconds. Top speed on EV power was 75 mph and the EV range was 19 miles. Fuel efficiency was pegged at around 62 mile per gallon.