Plug-in SUV to bolster iPerformance range, joining X5 xDrive45e in electrified line-up.
BMW’s CEO has confirmed the marque is planning an X3 plug-in hybrid for launch next year, according to new reports from overseas.
In a statement released to overseas media, Harald Kruger, CEO for BMW said the mid-size SUV would gain a PHEV variant sometime next year, joining the already-revealed, larger X5 xDrive45e iPerformance.
While full specifications and details are yet to be confirmed, it’s believed the X3 iPerformance will draw upon the same plug-in hybrid system already used in the 330e sedan, meaning a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine paired with an electric motor and lithium-ion battery pack.
Currently, the outgoing 330e iPerformance boasts system outputs of 185kW and 420Nm, pairing the 135kW/290Nm 2.0-litre turbo four from the 320i with a 65kW/250Nm electric motor.
Meanwhile, the 7.6kWh lithium-ion battery pack of the previous-generation model allows for up to 37 kilometres of zero-emissions driving – we’re expecting the X3 iPerformance to offer a larger battery with more EV range, though.
As for the X5, BMW revealed the xDrive45e iPerformance (below) in September, which combines a 3.0-litre turbocharged inline six with an electric motor for combined outputs of 290kW and 600Nm.
The marque hasn’t actually disclosed the capacity of the X5 PHEV’s battery pack, though it does claim the hybrid SUV can drive for up to 80km per charge, and sip on just 2.1L/100km (combined).
BMW’s local division was unable to confirm whether the X3 and X5 PHEVs will be making it to local showrooms anytime soon, though Australian communications boss, Lenore Fletcher, indicated the local arm is keen.
“It is a little too early for us to be commenting on these specific models, however, it is quite a safe bet to say that BMW Australia will be very interested in understanding the business case around these vehicles, with a view to offering them on the local market,” she said.
“Given the increasing interest of (especially) state and local governments to the EV technology, and the growing number of manufacturers who are planning the importation of their own alternative fuel vehicles, we feel confident that low emission vehicles are finally gathering momentum in this market.”