BMW WILL treat its polarising X6 "sports activity vehicle" to a new performance-oriented hybrid powertrain before the end of 2009, gifting the big BMW with both startling acceleration and respectable fuel economy.
Plans for a petrol-electric X6 have long been in the offing. Now, with the vehicle's late-2009 launch date nearing, technical details have begun to surface.
The ActiveHybrid X6 will be powered by the same twin-turbocharged 4.4 litre V8 from the X6 xDrive50i, except with two 67kW electric assistance motors hooked up to the seven-speed gearbox and standard xDrive AWD system.
The motors and their attendant nickel-metal-hydride batteries add roughly 200kg to the X6's kerb weight, however the extra grunt they provide is expected to propel the 2.5-tonne SUV to 100km/h in around 5.6 seconds. Top speed? A heady 250km/h.
It's not all about speed though: the ActiveHybrid X6 will be able to move under electric power only for up to three kilometres, meaning negotiating congested city centres should be able to be done without firing up the X6's monstrous V8.
Fuel consumption is expected to be around the 10.0 l/100km mark on the combined cycle.
The X6 hybrid's petrol-electric technology will soon be transplanted into the 7 Series limousine, however the chances of either model coming here are pretty slim.
BMW Australia told TMR in May that no ActiveHybrid models are planned for the Australian market, and that BMW intends to manufacture its hybrids in LHD only.
As BMW's application of hybrid tech extends across the rest of its range, we may eventually receive our own RHD models. At this stage though, don't bank on seeing an X6 hybrid at your local BMW dealer.