• BMW's new X5 eDrive uses electric and gasoline engines
  • The plug-in hybrid model can travel up to 19 miles on a charge
  • New system lets drivers choose vehicle's driving mode

BMW has officially revealed its upcoming plug-in hybrid X5 SUV. The automaker recently revealed photos of the fuel-efficient new X5 and announced a few details about its powertrain ahead of the SUV's debut at this year's Frankfurt Auto Show.

Dubbed the X5 eDrive, the latest model is based on the all-new, third-generation BMW X5. BMW says power will come from a 4-cylinder gasoline engine -- a first in an X5 -- mated to a 95-horsepower electric motor. The result is a powerplant that can move the X5 in either fully electric mode or standard gas-powered driving.

But just how far can the X5 go using only electricity? According to BMW, the X5 can go 19 miles. That places the X5 eDrive slightly behind the plug-in hybrid Chevrolet Volt, which can reach up to 30 miles on a single charge. The automaker says the X5 eDrive is limited to 75 miles per hour in fully electric driving.

Shoppers serious about going green will like the ability to drive in electric-only mode, and they'll also appreciate a few of the X5 eDrive's features. For example, BMW plans to include a toggle switch that lets X5 eDrive owners choose the vehicle's driving mode: Pure Electric, Hybrid Drive and Save Battery.

In addition to its new powertrain, the X5 eDrive also boasts a few exciting upgrades over a standard model. Such revisions include 21-inch wheels, blue trim, unique roof rails and, of course, a fender-mounted flap over the SUV's charging socket.

Speaking of the charging socket, BMW hasn't said how long the X5 eDrive will take to recharge from a depleted state. But based on the Volt's recharge times, we'd be surprised if it's more than a few hours, provided you have a 220-volt charger. It will likely take much longer to recharge the SUV using a standard electrical outlet.

We're not sure what the X5 eDrive will cost or when it will come out, though we expect to learn those details in the coming months. In the meantime, we'll have more information on the X5 eDrive and other BMW models coming to Frankfurt during our coverage of this year's auto show.

What it means to you: The BMW X5 eDrive brings a fuel-efficient new engine choice to the popular BMW X5 lineup.

See all Frankfurt Auto Show news

BMW previews X5 eDrive plug-in hybrid: http://www.leftlanenews.com/bmw-concept-x5-edrive.html
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Doug DeMuro has a wide range of automotive industry experience, from work at a Ferrari dealership to a manager for Porsche North America. A lifelong car enthusiast, Doug's eclectic vehicle purchases include a Porsche 911 Turbo, an E63 AMG wagon, an old Range Rover and a Mercedes Benz G-wagen.

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