2010 BMW ActiveHybrid X6 Test Drive Popular Mechanics

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BMW X6 Electric Cars

2010 BMW ActiveHybrid X6 Test

BMW’s ActiveHybrid X6 is a forward-looking with a hatchback SUV-style But does the performance-oriented hybrid enough efficiency to make it an extra 20 grand? Let’s

November 16, 2009 12:00 AM

The

The Ultimate Driving Machine be, well, ultimate. The watered-down, driving experience conveyed by hybrids would be inappropriate in a right? That’s why BMW has tuned its execution of the two-mode hybrid for responsive performance first, only modestly boosting economy.

The crossover’s two-mode system was developed in partnership General Motors, Chrysler and (when the latter two were on the same team), and the others already launched their of the technology. BMW has used the extra to develop more sophisticated software for its version of the transmission, project leader Peter While the other companies use the four physical gears the transmission, BMW exploits the hybrid-electric CVT capability to add three virtual so the X6 ActiveHybrid displays seven gear ratios.


There is actually an eighth that is not apparent because it is used on deceleration to maximize the of electricity while braking.

The announces its status with a power dome in the hood. Hot of the past may have needed humps in the hood to clear intake manifolds or superchargers, but the X6 may be the of the coming wave of power stamped into hood metal to provide clearance for an drive electronics box that is atop the engine.

Oh, the engine. right, there is a gasoline in there too, and it is a good though that is easy to when there is some impressive electric-drive technology on The 400-hp twin-turbo direct-injection V8 debuted in the X6 xDrive50i nestles its two in the valley of the engine’s vee for a shorter to the turbos and improved throttle

In this hybrid configuration the is stripped of all its conventional accessories, all ancillary systems converted to power rather than drive belts that on the engine spinning.

The combined gas and systems crank out an impressive of 480 hp and a diesel-like 575 lb-ft of torque. BMW for the complexity, weight and cost of cooling for the ActiveHybrid’s battery because it permits the battery to be and discharged more quickly would otherwise be possible, to the company.

The Drive

The ActiveHybrid’s sprightly acceleration its extra 419 pounds of batteries and motors well. And twisting the thick-rimmed steering wheel the same kind of taut, response drivers expect BMW. This despite the use of electric power steering, a that is frequently maligned, but can be well.

Step on the gas pedal and the X6 effortlessly to Miami freeway mph—and beyond with no of any exertion. Off the line, the hybrid is than the xDrive50i thanks to the from its electric motors, but a few seconds the gas version would in the hybrid, courtesy of the gas version’s mass, according to Tunnermann.

BMW X6 Electric Cars

hybrids are intrusive when as the vehicle attempts to capture last watt of kinetic for storage and reuse when the turns green. Their generators cause the braking to be and disconcerting. The X6 ActiveHybrid’s system is calibrated so that the regeneration is noticeable.

In most circumstances the energy is invisible.

But when driving at a low speed that the BMW is running on drive only, there are two speeds for the electric motor. it downshifts as the car slows, there is a lurch as the engine braking It isn’t terribly bothersome, noteworthy as the only time the is apparent to the driver.

BMW boasts it is possible to drive the X6 ActiveHybrid at up to 60 kilometers per hour (37.5 and distances up to 2.5 km (1.56 miles) in mode. But this state to be elusive on our test drive, as the gas hummed to life at lower with very little application. The explanation by engineers on was that while the battery deliver as much as 60 kilowatts (80 hp) of to the electric motors, the system taps half that for reasons, so requests for more 40 hp are filled by the gas engine.

The Bottom Line

The X6 ActiveHybrid for $89,775. That’s 22 grand than the X6 xDrive50i, for an improvement in fuel economy of about a and a half per gallon. The ActiveHybrid 17 mpg city and 19 highway on the EPA test compared to 15 city and 18 highway for the V8 version.

Over the Miami route we took, the BMW returned mpg. There is no point in out the accountant’s eye shade here; numbers are never going to so forget trying to rationalize the for a lower gas bill.

The ActiveHybrid be the vehicle of choice for people who to play with new technology and who mind paying for it. BMW’s of the jointly developed two-mode system is impressive, both on and in the metal. The effortless way the X6 ActiveHybrid forward can’t be duplicated by drivetrains, making BMW’s of gas and electric power as appealing, if not

BMW X6 Electric Cars
BMW X6 Electric Cars
BMW X6 Electric Cars
BMW X6 Electric Cars
BMW X6 Electric Cars

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