New Sasol GTC cars set for thrills

The iconic Grand Prix Circuit will present a new challenge to the GTC drivers as they tackle the country’s fastest racetrack on June 16.

Suzuki’s new Swift hatch and sedan in SA

Suzuki kicks off its new model assault with an all new Swift hatchback and standalone sedan called the Dzire.

BMW ups ante with bold hybrid X5

2008-02-22 08:55
BMW is to unveil an exciting environmentally-friendly concept version of the X5 at next month's Geneva Motor Show. According to BMW the X5 Vision Efficient Dynamics concept is a production-feasible seven-seat SUV.

What is more is that performance isn't taking a backseat for fuel consumption and emissions.

At the heart of the X5 Vision is a hybrid drivetrain which will apparently find its way to several new BMWs within three years, including the next X3.

It is different from the full hybrid system unveiled on the X6 Active Hybrid at last year's Frankfurt Motor Show as it uses a diesel engine supplemented by an electric motor.

The concept is powered by the twin-turbo 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel as seen in the 123d.

It develops an impressive 148 kW while torque is a useful 400 Nm at 2 000 r/min enabling the X5 vision to go from 0-100 km/h in 8.9 seconds.

Backing it up is an electric motor mounted within the gearbox housing developing 15 kW and a maximum 210 Nm of torque. It is propelled by electricity produced by the generator on a trailing throttle and under braking, stored in a lithium-ion battery pack mounted at the rear.

Channelling drive permanently to all four wheels is an eight-speed automatic box incorporating the generator and management system for the electric motor.

It also comes with BMW's stop/start function to boos efficiency even further. A battery pack provides power for the air conditioning and other systems reliant on electricity when the engine is off.

Along with the advanced drivetrain, BMW has further modified the X5 to boost efficiency. In addition to the conventional 12 volt electrical system, there is also a 120 volt arrangement supporting electricity from one of two lithium-ion battery packs to various components, including the EDC (electronic damper control) system.

Another gizmos giving credit to the vehicle's green credentials is a solar panel in the roof that acts as an additional electrical source - and preheats the oil while powering entertainment and HVAC systems when the car is stationary.

The standard wheels have also been swapped for futuristic looking alloys developed in BMW's wind tunnel. Their shape is claimed to play an important part in reducing fuel consumption.

This green X5 has produces 172 g/km of CO2 - 42 g/km less than the most frugal X5 on sale currently. The average fuel consumption is 6.5 litres per 100 kilometer.


There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.