BMW X6 Hybrid

In 2005, when BMW joined General Motors and DaimlerChrysler in a collaboration to develop hybrid technology, it seemed like a strange partnership. The two American companies were working on hybrids for heavyweights—a technology that could provide better fuel efficiency on three-ton full-size SUVs designed to carry seven or eight passengers, extra cargo, and tons of extra weight towed in back.

BMW’s Burkhard Göschel promised, “The technologies will be adapted to the individual vehicle models.” He said, “The participating brands will retain their distinctive characters.” The BMW Concept X6 ActiveHybrid, unveiled at the 2007 Frankfurt auto show, gives shape to the company’s distinctive interpretation of the full-hybrid technology.

The BMW X6 is a cross-over SUV that has crossed over into sports car territory. The company calls the vehicle a “sport activity coupe.” Its chief characteristics are a sleek profile, sloping roof line, low-slung stance, short front overhang, long rear overhang, long wheelbase, muscular wheel arches, large wheels, four-wheel drive, stability control, and lots of performance. And it’s the world’s most powerful gas-electric vehicle.

The drive system consists of a 400 horsepower twin-turbocharged V8 gasoline engine and two electric synchronous motors delivering 91 hp and 86 hp, respectively. Maximum system output is 480 hp. Interaction of the three power units optimizes the overall efficiency of the BMW ActiveHybrid X6 at all speeds, with acceleration from a standstill to 60 mph in 5.4 seconds. Top speed of the BMW ActiveHybrid X6 is limited electronically to 130 mph.

The two-mode full hybrid—which appears in American form as the Chevy Tahoe and GMC Yukon, and the discontinued hemi-powered Chrysler Aspen and Dodge Durango—has been BMW-ized in the X6 hybrid. The two-mode’s motors, batteries, gearsets and sophisticated software add up to a 20 percent fuel efficiency improvement over the conventional X6.

When we spoke with Tom Purves, chairman and CEO for BMW of North America, at the Detroit Auto Show, he said “A BMW customer may not be desperately worried about paying his gasoline bill. But he would like to have bragging rights that his new 7 series doesn’t just go fast, it actually uses a bit less fuel.” The BMW X6 ActiveHybrid is another example of how the company is keeping its focus on luxury and performance, while integrating slow steady fuel efficiency improvements which, by the way, come with the package. It’s a BMW first, and a hybrid second.


  • 20 percent improvement compared with conventional version
  • Sleek styling
  • Very fast
  • Performance is emphasized over efficiency
  • Combined 18 mpg is not spectacular
  • Pricey

Price quote for BMW X6

BMW X6 Hybrid
Base MSRP: $90,000
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  • Stefan

    Yes, it’s great that Toyota has pushed other car companies to increase their gas mileage without having to sacrifice performance and luxury. I find its Two-Mode hybrid system to be more complicated than the Hybrid Synergy Drive but I’ll be interested to see how it works, as in the details. I do know there’s the input-split mode for city driving and the compound-split mode for highway and heavy-load driving.

    Anyway, if Al Gore can have that 20-room mansion with solar panels, energy efficient windows, fluorescent lights, and others, then somebody can drive that BMW X6 ActiveHybrid.

  • Charles

    First off, I give props to BMW for pursuing the hybrid technology. A company of their caliber ought to be on the forefront anyway, IMHO. However, the preformentioned product seemily resembles the Lexus flagship hybrid, in the sense that those that can afford to pay six figures for a car, can do so, and coincidentally participate in the effort to reduce oil consumption. But here’s where Toyota get its props more often and ahead of anyone else. They FIRST design a car that works and can be afforded by a greater percentage of the general public (PRIUS). If they choose to develop a luxury flagship afterwards, great! How much of a breakthrough does it become when you start with an expensive car, and make it more expensive with hybrid tech. Start from scratch Mr. Bavarian……. then you’ll really impress us.

  • Dom

    You guys are silly. First off when you think of BMW, do you think “for the masses”? No! Hello!?! It’s BMW! So yes, it’s going to be expensive.

    Second, Toyota is not the greenest automaker. I believe that would be Honda. Toyota is just the media darling of greenness. BMW is probably like the other European automakers and has been making efficient diesel cars for years, but some duffus in the US/media decided that diesel’s are bad, and hybrids are good. So to enhance their appearance of greenness, they need a hybrid, and then the media will give them kudos. Blame the media, and stop giving Toyota more credit than they’re due. Thankfully, BMW will also be bringing a new clean diesel to the US.

  • Stan Smart

    You’d think that the BMW – Chrysler – GM partnership strange. But remember this …
    BMW autos use GM transmissions in
    most of their vehicles!

  • Max Reid

    Good that BMW is catching up. Actually 4 companies GM, Benz, BMW & Chrysler have pooled their resources for this 2-Mode Hybrid, hope it should be good.

    But none of their vehicle can match the sales of Prius, since the vehicles they sell are either bigger or expensive.

    BTW, Toyota is becoming less greener day by day as they are pushing Tundras with heavy discounts.

  • john


  • Linz

    americans are attached to the personality a car communicates. both the prius and the insight look like crap. why are manufacturers taking so long to produce something that looks good enough to drive AND saves the environment??!! truth is they are capable… they are just dragging their feet because going green is inconvenient. sorry to get ugly about it, but spade=spade.

  • Karl

    If a large hybrid was easy to make then everyone would have one.

    Small hybrids have huge advantages since they are better aerodynamically (small cross-section). Also the power required to move them is less so efficient electrical components are easier/cheaper to come by.

    Those dorky looking hybrids are the way they are to improve aerodynamics and mileage.

    There will never be a 100 mpg carburetor, but a 100 mpg car will be affordable in a decade.

  • M. Hefner

    this car is beautiful

    i get married in 2010…i think you should make this affordable and so i can have it for my wedding gift =]

  • kerlyn

    To Charles I say “right on!” If BMW actually wants to MAKE A DIFFERENCE then they should hybrid-ize the Mini. 70K miles on my PRIUS and loving it…

  • A

    pretty? – yes
    efficient and green? i don’t know. Now VW is going back to its roots w/ 200MPG lightweight planed to come out in 2010:

  • Lex

    It´s good to be german and ridin´ a car like X6. 🙂

  • Lex

    It´s good to be german and ridin´ a car like X6. 🙂

  • cepal

    hybid <> fuel economic in global; I simply dun understand why Prius, Honda Civic Hybrid use fuel inefficient petrol engines – BMW has similar fuel economies these hybrid have without hybrid technology in their comparable size 116i, 118d models and even for comparable price !!! Who dare would bother with heavy expensive to run (lifecycle etc.) batteries yet in low-end brand like Honda when for the same money I can have BMW with same fuel economy?!

    So there are other ways of fuel economy than quite uneconomic petrol-electric hybrid…

    But of course, I am lacking for BMW X6 with 3-liter I6 diesel-hybrid with city fuel economy same as mini cars have (as the highway fuel economy of X63.0d and the same with hybrid would not differ, of course, or even the hybrid would take more due to weight etc.).


  • Estetik

    its meaningless, you will buy such a big and atractive machine with giving big money, and try to have it green.. people who need green will go through real green cars, not showoffs like this..

  • Benson

    I just paid $95K for this vehicle replacing my 2007 4.8i X5 and I must tell you, this car is the ultimate driving machine, the acceleration, the smoothnes ,the luxury is all in one also I should add the 20% savings on my gas bill.
    I drove all types of car in the world market, this is my ultimate choice.

  • Jasmere

    Dont Nobody Care About That You Want This Car For You Damn Wedding Gift . !

  • Yegor

    Canadian Fuel Consumption Guide:

    BMW ActiveHybrid X6:
    Eng. Size/Cyl: 4.4/8
    City 12.6 L/100lm
    Hwy 10.3 L/100km

    BMW X6 xDrive50i (none-hybrid):
    Eng. Size/Cyl: 4.4/8
    City 17.1 L/100lm
    Hwy 11.0 L/100km

  • Car news

    Great that SUV lovers get such a great car with hybrid technology. It’s about time when big company’s start to think “green” 🙂

    Here’s the new BMW X6 Performance package
    New BMW X6 Performance package

    It’s really impressive!

  • karl

    I think all these hybrid technology is still in the crappy stage because these car should be designed to get at least 50% more than the conventional gasoline vehicle. 20 to 30 percent is not a good aim. Keep working on it guys the public is not impress by the MPG and the price. Not proportional saving.

  • Matthew

    17 / 19 MPG? Are you serious? What’s the point of buying a hybrid that gets worse mileage than most non-hybrids? BMW, if you didn’t plan on taking it seriously, you shouldn’t have even bothered. Are you even interested in being competitive? Ultimate driving machine? In your dreams.

  • devvon

    Hybrid BMW’s are a good news for the forever fans of BMW. Not anyone can afford a BMW and that’s because BMW are strong heavy power cars with a relatively high fuel consumption. Let’s hope the fuel consumption part will soon change, that would make the BMW parts more appealing.

  • Anonymous

    bmws suck balls

  • Anonymous

    if you drive one must suck balls to

  • mohamed thoufiq ali

    which types of hybrid technologies your using and which motor using why that motor using.which battery using and why you tack that battery usinig

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    hello.your web is very good.but I want to know how to work x6 hybrid.

  • treck

    Hybrid BMW’s are a good news for the forever fans of BMW. Not anyone can afford a BMW and that’s because BMW are strong heavy power cars with a relatively high fuel consumption. Let’s hope the fuel consumption part will soon change, that would make the

  • DeHLiZ1

    Very cool engine…

  • Raphael

    That’s an SUV and a half. I love it…

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  • Anonymous

    How fantastic dis ride is,thank u americans

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