BMW has detailed the specifications of its upcoming 545e hybrid, confirming that it’ll mate a battery-powered electric motor with the marque’s turbocharged straight-six to produce a combined 394hp and 443lb ft of torque. The plug-in hybrid model gets 286hp from its petrol engine, with the electric side injecting 108hp, while also being able to take full control and giving the car a maximum EV range of up to 33 miles. It can do that thanks to the inclusion of a 12kWh battery pack.
Flat out, the hybrid setup can sprint BMW’s G30 5 Series model from 0-62mph in 4.7 seconds, so it’s certainly brisk, but the car’s focus is clearly on reducing tailpipe emissions. This is emphasised by a new eDrive zone feature, a clever location-based system that will be rolled out on all upcoming PHEV BMWs. Starting in London and Birmingham, the tech automatically recognises when the car’s entering a built-up urban area, like an inner city, and switches to all-electric running. In means this 394hp saloon looks to offer the best of both worlds.
The German car maker has also confirmed that it’ll producing a Touring version of the 530e, where the same 12kWh battery-driven electric motor pairs up with BMW’s turbo four-pot for 252hp and a circa-30-mile EV range. Both this and 545e arrive as part of BMW’s wider push to electrify everything, with the brand expecting a quarter of its sales to be for plug-ins of hybrid or full electric form by 2021. Predictions suggest that’ll go up to 50 per cent by the end of the decade. The other half, are expected to be mild hybrid combustion powered cars – hence BMW’s continued investment in the tech.
BMW is one of few mainstream brands still investing in diesel power, for example, alongside petrol technology. The Bavarian firm will mate every non-plug-in petrol and diesel model with mild hybrid power in the next two years, trimming their CO2 and, of course, the brand’s fleet average, while not requiring any habitual changes for those running such cars. Still, the brand is obviously most keen to get drivers into its more significantly electrified cars; it emphasises that by announcing a new strategy designed to further the sustainability on offer – including the ditching of rare earth metals and the use of batteries for local power once they’re removed from cars after about 10 years.
It's not yet clear when BMW will follow-up its i8, which went out of production in June after six years on sale, with another electrified sports halo. The all-electric M Next Concept offered a glimpse of what to expect; but for now, the 545e is officially the quickest electrified BMW on sale. Which is likely to count for something.
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