BMW ActiveHybrid X6

The BMW ActiveHybrid X6 is truly mind-boggling. It’s an SUV, but the sloping roofline and two seats at the back kind of limit its utility and storage space. And it’s a hybrid which people usually associate with economy, yet its mated to a massive V8 twin turbocharged engine. There is not one but two electric motors, and the vehicle ends up having more torque than the BMW X6 M, a full 100Nm more to be exact.

The V8 motor puts out 407 horses, while the two electric motors make 91 horses and 86 horses respectively. All three propulsion devices running at the same time produces a peak 485 horses, with a massive peak torque of 780Nm.

BMW ActiveHybrid X6

This not only makes the X6 M the most powerful hybrid ever, but its also the most torquey BMW ever, beating the 760Li’s 750Nm by 30Nm. Only the upcoming BMW-built Rolls-Royce Ghost’s 6.6 litre V12 engine equals the ActiveHybrid X6’s 780Nm. 0 to 100km/h takes just 5.6 seconds, the car puts out 231g/km of CO2, while fuel consumption on the EU5 cycle is 9.9 litres per 100km.

Interestingly, BMW says this vehicle uses a 7-speed automatic transmission. Since when does BMW have a 7-speed automatic, other than the DCT and M DCT systems? This is not a conventional gearbox, as BMW says the transmission is “provided by the electric motors”.

BMW ActiveHybrid X6

It is an e-CVT, which is quite similiar to how the Prius’s e-CVT is also not a real transmission but instead is the result of the car’s two electric motors working together with various other components. Like the Prius too, one motor acts mostly as a generator while the other motor actually drives the vehicle. The two motors linked by three planetary gearsets are able to provide 7 different ratios.

The ActiveHybrid X6 can also run on an EV mode, which means on the motors only, at speeds of up to 60km/h for distances of up to 2.5km. Of course for EV mode the car must be driven gently – step on it abit more than the threshold and the V8 springs to life to provide you with the acceleration that the car thinks you need. Of course like any other hybrid it has a auto start-stop feature.

BMW ActiveHybrid X6

Unlike the ActiveHybrid 7-Series which uses lithium ion batteries, the ActiveHybrid X6 uses NiMH batteries and they are positioned beneath the floor of the luggage compartment. The batteries are liquid cooled with a heat exchanger that is cooled via outside air flow and also optionally through the air conditioning cooling circuits, depending on the cooling requirements needed.

Look after the jump for loads of hi-res photos of the new X6 hybrid.

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