BMW has confirmed that it will have a plug-in BMW X5 hybrid launch in 2021. Being so far out from the market, BMW is yet to confirm specifications for the new X5 plug-in hybrid, whose official name is X5 xDrive45e iPerformance. However, the BMW is confident the electric range shall be substantially higher than the 23 Kilometres of the previous model. Something closer to 80 Kilometres on a single charge is expected.
The other big change is a switch from the predecessor’s 2.0-liter inline-4 in favour of a 3.0-liter inline-6. The engine is turbocharged and working with an electric motor integrated with the eight-speed automatic transmission sees system output register at 293kW/600Nm of torque, enough for 100km/h acceleration in a brisk 5.6 seconds and a top speed of 234 km/h.
Drive is to all four wheels via the X5’s standard all-wheel-drive system. The battery is a high-voltage lithium-ion unit positioned in the underbody area of the vehicle, helping to minimize the loss of interior space as well as lowering the vehicle’s centre of gravity. BMW says the trunk volume decreases about 5.3 cubic feet compared to the regular X5. Nevertheless, there’s still a generous 60 cubic feet of storage when all seats are folded. We anticipate it will arrive in sub-Sahara Africa by mid- 2021.
FAW To Rejuvenate its Luxury HongQi Brand
Chinese automotive giant FAW Group has set the ball rolling in reviving its luxury sub-brand HongQI and has hired the services of the former design chief of Rolls-Royce to pen the new models.
FAW announced that Giles Taylor, who led the design team at Rolls-Royce from 2012 to June of this year, will serve as its new Global Vice President of Design and Chief Creative Officer.
Working out of FAW Group’s advanced design centre in Munich, Germany, Giles has been tasked with crafting the new look for HongQI as well as establishing a new design development system and philosophy for FAW’s various design teams.
He is a graduate of the Royal College of Art in London and worked at Jaguar before joining Rolls-Royce. During his career, he oversaw the design of vehicles like the current Jaguar XJ and Rolls-Royce Phantom, as well as the latest Rolls-Royce Cullinan.
FAW is certainly serious about turning HongQI into a reputable player in the luxury segment, with plans in place to launch a spiritual successor to the CA770.
Helping with the development of Hongi’s new cars is Chinese electric car startup Byton, which was co-founded by ex-BMW executives and includes financial backing from FAW.
FAW Chairman Xu Liuping has previously said he wants to increase HongQi’s sales 100-fold by 2025 to around 300,000 vehicles annually.
“Mr Taylor is familiar with HongQI and Chinese culture. He possesses a deep understanding of this brand. His rich experiences in the design of high-end luxury cars and his insight into the trend of global designs and innovations highly match the brand positioning, product layout and future planning of FAW and HongQI,” Xu said. “I believe his joining will help HongQI achieve the target of building a new noble brand, the best in China and famous around the world.”