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U.S.-made next-gen 2021 BMW X5 plug-in hybrid SUV debuts with big horsepower bump

BMW has unveiled the next-generation of its plug-in hybrid X5 SUV.

Photo courtesy of BMW

The second-generation of the BMW X5 plug-in hybrid (PHEV) has debuted featuring more horsepower, a quicker zero to 60 mph time, and a long list of fresh technology. It also has a super ultra-low emissions vehicle rating (SULEV), which can benefit owners as the vehicle qualifies for high occupancy lane access stickers.

Dubbed the 2021 BMW X5 xDrive45e, the model is only sold as a PHEV. It is powered by a new twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter six-cylinder engine that replaces the last-gen's 2.0-liter twin-turbo-four. The engine is paired with a 24 kilowatt-hour battery (double the previous model's capacity) and an eight-speed automatic transmission.

2021 BMW X5 xDrive45eThe model retains much of the exterior elements of the traditional X5 model.Photo courtesy of BMW

The new battery allows the car to have a maximum all-electric speed of 84 mph (75 mph in the previous model) and more than double the all-electric range - now 30 miles. With the rear seats up, cargo space is only 0.8 cubic feet less than the standard X5. With the rear seats folded, cargo space is 1.1 cubic feet less.

Combined power is 389 horsepower, an 81 horsepower increase from the last edition, and 443 pound-feet of torque (up 111 pound-feet). The powertrain moves the X5 xDrive45e from zero to 60 mph in 5.3 seconds, making it 1.2 seconds faster than before.

Drivers have three drive modes to choose from: Hybrid, Electric, and Sport. Hybrid is the default at start up and allows the car's computers to decide the best use of gasoline and electric power based on driver input. Electric-only driving is capable up to speeds of 68 mph in this mode.

Using Electric mode, the X5 xDrive45e can go up to 84 mph. To get back to Hybrid mode, the driver simply has to push the throttle back down through the kick-down position or push the button on the center console. Sport drive mode utilizes only the gasoline engine and allows for aggressive energy regeneration from engine and mechanical braking.

2021 BMW X5 xDrive45eIts grille is big but so is its horsepower boost.Photo courtesy of BMW

Sport isn't just a mode. BMW has given the X5 xDrive45e the ability to deliver an engaging drive experience. It has a double-wishbone front and five-link rear suspension, which make it agile. Its standard Dynamic Damper Control system uses electronically controlled shock absorbers.

The X5's ride height can be changed among five selectable levels at the touch of a button. The driver is also able to adjust the body's ground clearance for off-road driving to a maximum of 1.6 inches above the standard setting. Another button lowers the car's height by 1.6 inches to make loading and unloading of the vehicle easier.

BMW equips the car with standard 19-inch V-spoke Style 734 wheels that are wrapped in 265/50R19 all-season run-flat tires. Two 20-inch and two 21-inch wheel options are available.

The SUV is offered in the buyer's choice of nine paint finishes.

A factory-installed available trailer hitch allows the SUV to be rated for up to 7,200 pounds of towing capacity.

2021 BMW X5 xDrive45eBMW offers the car with three drive modes, which are activated using buttons on the center console.Photo courtesy of BMW

The cabin of the X5 xDrive45e is upholstered in standard Sensatec material in either Canberra Beige/Black or in Black. Buyers can upgrade to Vernasca Leather in their choice of five colors: Ivory White, Canberry Beige, Coffee, Cognac, or Black. Additionally, BMW Individual Extended Merino Leather is available as an option Ivory White, Coffee, Tartufo, Black, and Ivory White/Navy Blue.

There are stripe wood high gloss interior accents on the interior in the base model. Alternatively, buyers can choose Aluminum Tetragon, Aluminum Dark Mesh, Brown-Metallic Ash Grain Wood, Fineline Stripe Brown High Gloss Wood, or Anthracite Brown Poplar Matte Finish Wood.

In front of the driver is BMW's Live Cockpit Professional which includes a high-resolution 12.3-inch instrument cluster. A 12.3-inch infotainment screen sits at the center of the dashboard. The system offers haptic controls for the iDrive controller, an advanced tablet-like touch interface. Additionally, there are two USB-C ports and Bluetooth capability. The SUV comes standard with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. Google Assistant, Google Maps, music streaming services like Spotify and Amazon Music and the WhatsApp messaging service are now available to both iPhone and Android users.

2021 BMW X5 xDrive45eThree different types of upholstery are available in the new SUV.Photo courtesy of BMW

The 2021 BMW X5 xDrive45e is available with a wide variety of standard and optional driver assistance systems. The standard Active Driving Assistant includes blind spot detection, lane departure warning, rear collision warning, front collision warning and pedestrian with city collision mitigation (which now also alerts the driver if cyclists are detected) rear cross traffic alert, and speed limit information.

Adding the Driving Assistance Professional Package gives drivers access to adaptive cruise control with stop and go functionality, including the ability to stop the car and pull away again automatically after being stationary for up to 30 seconds. Lake keeping assist with active side collision protection; evasion aid, which reacts to pedestrians; and front cross traffic alert are also included.

A drive recorder is available with the Parking Assistance Package and uses cameras of the various driver assistance systems to record video footage from the front and/or rear view points of the vehicle before storing the recordings. The saved video files can be either watched later on the center control display when the car is stationary or exported via the USB port. When activated, the drive recorder shoots and stores up to 40 seconds of video. In the event of a collision, a period of up to 20 seconds around the moment of impact is automatically recorded and saved.

2021 BMW X5 xDrive45eTwo 12.3-inch screens make up the displays at the front.Photo courtesy of BMW

BMW makes the X5 xDrive45e at its plant in Spartanburg, South Carolina.

The model goes on sale later this year. Pricing will be announced closer to its on-sale date.

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New electric SUV

Honda teases its first EV

The Prologue will go on sale as a 2024 model.

Honda

Honda is nearing the unveiling of its first electric vehicle, the Prologue, and today the automaker gave us our first glimps of the new vehicle. It's just a sketch, but Honda did share some production details and information on its product roadmap.

Honda DealerHonda plans to sell half a million EVs by the end of the decade. Honda

Honda says the Prologue will be an adventure-ready SUV "capable of satisfying everyday driving and weekend getaways with a strong hint of the well-received Honda e in the front fascia." The SUV was developed in Honda's Design Studio in Los Angeles, and was designed with an eye on Honda's global EV models. Honda said it focused on aerodynamics and fine-tuning the body to reducelines and improve range.

The Japanese automaker developed the Prologue alongside GM, but it has other EVs coming to market by 2026. By 2030, Honda says it will release 30 new EVs globally with a production volume of two million units. The co-developed vehicle is the first, but the rest will be built on Honda e:Architecture. In 2027, the automaker will begin building and selling a line of affordable EVs using the architecture developed with General Motors. Honda says it plans to sell half a million EVs in North America by the end of hte decade.

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New electric SUV

The Genesis GV60 is on sale now

The GV60 is on sale in the U.S. now.

Genesis

Today, Genesis announced that its newest vehicle, the electric GV60, is on sale in the United States. The vehicle brings a load of new tech and innovations, and features the brand's distinctive, attractive styling.

The GV60 will be offered in two configurations in the United States. The GV60 Advanced AWD starts at $58,890 and features a facial unlocking system, a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster and touchscreen, and a Bang & Olufsen audio system. The GV60 Performance AWD starts at $67,890 and brings more power, leather upholstery, a massaging driver's seat, and more.

2023 Genesis GV60Buyers get three years of free charging. Genesis

The Advanced model comes with a 74-kW front and 160-kW rear electric motor for a total of 314 horsepower. A 77.4-kWh battery provides juice for the operation, and returns a range of 248 miles. The Performance AWD model features a 160-kW front and 160-kW rear motor for a combined 429 horsepower, with up to 483 ponies available with a temporary boost mode.

Genesis partnered with Electrify America to provide GV60 owners with three years of free 30-minute charging sessions. Owners can charge anywhere in the United States, and can locate charging stations using their vehicle's navigation system. The GV60 is also the first Genesis to feature Connected Care, which includes several connected services such as enhanced roadside assistance, an SOS emergency notification feature, vehicle health reports, and more.

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