And let the fun begin... Since we're talking about a Sport Activity Coupe that's in essence a hybrid, BMW's tech department was pretty busy to interconnect all things and make the 485 horsepower monster work flawlessly.
As we promised, let's talk a bit about the transmission system. The two-mode unit is based on an ECVT (electric continuously variable transmission) that handles stop-and-go driving plus low speeds and higher speeds plus acceleration. The transmission is connected to the two electric motors that generate 91 hp and 86 hp, respectively, with peak torque values of 192 lb-ft and 206 lb-ft.
Although sounds a little bit complicated, the whole system works pretty simple: once the driver presses the throttle and drives at low speeds, only one electric motor is being used, while the other remains in idle mode. In case the throttle pedal is pressed harder, the second motor joins the play and starts the combustion engine, after which it turns into an electric generator that supplies power to the activated systems inside the car.
Individually, the twin-turbocharged V8 combustion engine is the one that provides the biggest amount of power, as official figures indicate a maximum output of 400 hp between 5,500 and 6,400 rpm while the peak torque of 450 lb-ft is maintained from 1,750 to 4,500 rpm. Obviously, the engine is equipped with state-of-the-art systems, including Piezo-injectors for fast combustion.
Also used on the BMW X6 xDrive50i, the engine was the subject of numerous modifications to be able to work with the adjacent electric motors, so the whole assembly doesn't include starters, alternators or belt drive for the air-conditioning compressor and hydraulic pump anymore.
The two electric motors are also connected to a NiMH high-performance battery pack positioned beneath the floor of the luggage compartment which also supplies power for some of the electronic functions inside the car. Given the fact that the battery is mounted inside the trunk, there's no room for a spare tire, so BMW chose to rely on run-flat as it's the case of several other models belonging to the German carmaker. Obviously, there's also an Brake Energy Regeneration function that uses braking energy to recharge the batteries, with supplied power reaching 50 kW, according to official numbers.
Other tech goodies include a manual mode for the transmission system plus the xDrive all-wheel drive system that uses a 40:60 ratio to supply power to the wheel under normal conditions.
Probably another setback in the X6 - ActiveHybrid comparison is the lack of a rear differential or, if you prefer, the Dynamic Performance Control, which is missing on the latter. The reasons are probably hidden underneath the hood, as the whole assembly would raise the final weight by up to 260 kilos, which isn't exactly a thing to do when dealing with a hybrid.
Last but not least, BMW used a lightweight braking system especially designed for the X6 ActiveHybrid which not only improves braking performance but also reduces overall weight. The system includes aluminum floating calipers and brake rotors with aluminum hubs, plus 15.2 inches brake discs for the front wheels and 13.6 inches discs for the rear.Continue reading
BMW X6 ActiveHybrid technical data summary
Engine: 4395 cm3 cc V8 Hybrid (gasoline and electric)
Transmission: Automatic + CVT
Dimensions: 192 in (4877 mm) length / 78.1 in (1984 mm) width / 66.8 in (1697 mm) height
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