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Geneva show: BMW debuts plug-in hybrid X3

Green German: BMW has revealed a PHEV X3, with the car-maker’s local arm interesting in bringing it here.

BMW expands plug-in hybrid family with addition of X3 xDrive30e, Australia keen

11 Mar 2019

BMW has revealed the latest member of its plug-in hybrid portfolio, in the form of the X3 xDrive30e mid-size SUV, which has been shown at the Geneva motor show ahead of global production commencing in December.


According to BMW Australia product communications manager Adam Davis, the company’s local arm is keen to get its hands on the X3 PHEV, however, there is no timeline yet for its arrival.


Regardless, 2019 will be a big year for BMW PHEVs in Australia, with the arrival of the new 330e, 745e and X5 xDrive45e, the latter two of which now feature six-cylinder petrol engines instead of four-pot engines in previous-generation guise.


The X3 xDrive30e teams a 2.0-litre turbo-petrol engine to a lithium-ion battery pack for a combined output of 185kW, which can be temporarily increased by 30kW via an overboost function in the electric motor.


Torque has not been disclosed, but the X3’s power figure matches that of the 530e that also produces 420Nm.


Power is sent to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission, while the X3 is capable of a pure-electric driving range of up to 50km.


Tested using the Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP), fuel consumption is down to 2.4 litres per 100km, while combined CO2 emissions are pegged at 56 grams per km.


Reaching 100km/h from standstill takes 6.5 seconds – 0.2s slower than the 185kW/350Nm petrol-powered X3 xDrive30i.


The battery packs are positioned underneath the rear seats, which means luggage volume is reduced by 100 litres, to 450L.


BMW previewed full-electric version of the X3 at the Beijing motor show last April, in the form of the Concept iX3, which is likely to be revealed in production guise sometime this year.


Set to take on the likes of the Mercedes-Benz EQC, Jaguar I-Pace and Audi e-tron, the iX3 features a driving range of more than 400km from a 70kWh battery pack.


Exact powertrain details are yet to be confirmed, but the iX3 is set to use a drive system producing more than 200kW.


Currently, the only other plug-in hybrid in the premium mid-size-SUV segment is the Volvo XC60, which in T8 guise pumps out 300kW from its twin-charged petrol engine and electric motor.


Mercedes-Benz offers a PHEV version of the GLC in other markets, while other offerings such as the Lexus NX are available with hybrid powertrains.


More details on the X3 xDrive30e, including specification and interior highlights, will be made available closer to its launch.

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