BMW Launches X1 Plug-in Hybrid at Chengdu Motor Show

BMW has added another plug-in hybrid to its X Series sport utility vehicles with the September 2 launch of the BMW X1 xDrive25Le iPerformance at the Chengdu Motor Show 2016 in China.

The BMW X1 xDrive25Le is being manufactured by BMW Brilliance in China for sale in the China market. It follows the BMW X5 plug-in hybrid, which is manufactured in the U.S. Spy photos were uncovered earlier this year of a plug-in hybrid variant of the X1 SUV model being tested in Europe, according to BMWBlog.

The X1’s gasoline engine and electric motor power the front and rear wheels with BMW’s intelligent energy management system overseeing on-demand power response and energy efficiency maximization, according to the BMW press release. The German automaker says that the design was inspired by bringing over innovations from the BMW i8 to other series-produced BMW models.

The BMW X1 xDrive25Le has a 1.5-liter gasoline engine at the front axle mated to a six-speed integrated gearbox and rear axle electric motor. The gas engine is able to produce the equivalent of 100 kW of power output, and reaches a peak torque level of 220 Nm. The electric motor at the rear axle produces up to 70 kW of power and a peak torque of 165 Nm. BMW’s proprietary eBoost function integrates the systems for a peak torque of 385 Nm and acceleration of zero to 100 kilometers per hour (about 62 mph) in 7.4 seconds.

BMW says that a high-voltage lithium battery with a net capacity of 10.7 kWh provides an electric-only cruising range of 60 kilometers (about 37 miles) and a combined cruising range of 630 km (about 391 miles) when working in tandem with the 35‑liter (about 9.24 gallon) fuel tank.

SEE ALSO: BMW To Launch X1 PHEV in 2016

The new BMW X1 plug-in hybrid “combines driving pleasure with cleanliness and environmental protection in addition to luxury and quality,” according to the BMW press release. It falls in line with the Chinese government’s “new energy vehicles” policy to incentivize the manufacturing and sale of plug-in hybrid and all-electric models in that national market. The BMW X1 xDrive25Le will be the first plug-in hybrid in the compact luxury SUV segment, according to the company.

It will also be poised to compete with the Tesla Model X sport utility vehicle. Launched this summer in China, the Model X 75D has been priced at 841,000 yuan or $125,630. The same car costs $83,000 in the U.S., according to Forbes.

The price differential for the Model X is caused partly by import taxes. BMW hasn’t released the base price for the BMW X1 xDrive25Le in China, but it’s likely to be much more affordable than the Tesla Model X in that market.