LA Peview: BMW’s Hugely Powerful, But Not So Efficient, X6 Hybrid Headed to Los Angeles

LA Peview: BMW’s Hugely Powerful, But Not So Efficient, X6 Hybrid Headed to Los Angeles
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When BMW first introduced its X6 model, one of the many questions surrounding it was, “who wants a vehicle like this?” Apparently the answer is BMW engineers.

The X6 platform seems to be a favorite for the German automaker’s latest and greatest technology. After introducing two standard gasoline versions of the CUV, it was then handed over to BMW’s M department where the power-hungry group delivered a 555-hp X6 M. Since then, the platform was sent over to the “green” engineers responsible for BMW’s Efficient Dynamics philosophy, who have turned the X6 into a hybrid.

First debuting at the Frankfurt Auto Show, the X6 ActiveHybrid is now set to make its U.S. debut at the LA Auto Show, just as sales of the green crossover begin.

Using a 400hp twin-turbocharged V8 engine from the X6 and combining it with two electric motors, the X6 hybrid achieves a massive 480-hp and 575 ft-lbs of torque, enabling it to hit 60 mph in just 5.4 seconds. By comparison the X6 M makes just 500 ft-lbs of torque. It, however, can hit 60 mph in just 4.5 seconds.

As a two-mode hybrid system, the X6 ActiveHybrid will be able to travel on pure electric power up to a speed of 37 mph. Unfortunately it can’t drive on electric power long, just 1.6 miles at speeds up to 37mph, before the gasoline engine kicks in.

Interestingly the X6 ActiveHybrid makes use of a 7-speed automatic transmission that can be shifted by the driver. BMW says the tranny is “based on” a CVT transmission and works in two separate modes. There is one mode for around town where one electric motor operates and when the speed is increase or more power is called for the second electric motor kicks in an engages the gasoline engine. That second electric motor then powers the vehicle’s electric systems (power steering, radio, etc.).

When the hybrid crossover debuted in Frankfurt BMW claimed a fuel-economy rating of around 23.8 mpg (average) on the European cycle. The EPA’s numbers aren’t so impressive, at just 17/19 mpg (city/highway), which is only slightly better than the V8’s 13/18 mpg rating.

The X6 ActiveHybrid is priced from $89,775.

AutoGuide’s Live 2009 LA Auto Show Coverage Starts Here December 2nd

GALLERY: BMW X6 ActiveHybrid Debut in Frankfurt

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