Road and Track just published their own test drive of the 2010 BMW X6 ActiveHybrid, a model that was recently unveiled at the L.A. Auto Show where our own Josh had a chance to drive it as well (the review will be coming up).
In the mean time, let’s have a look at R&T’s first impressions of BMW’s first production ready hybrid.
“During our quick drive, we achieved a consistent maximum speed of 34 mph with a fully charged battery on flat asphalt, but a light foot is needed to keep the car in electric mode. In normal driving, the electric motor will kick in when your foot is to the floor to provide additional boost.
During full electric running, we achieved stints of about a mile in light city traffic before the gas engine would activate. Regardless of engine load or speed, the transition from electric to gas was seamless. The 312-volt nickel-metal hydride battery pack is liquid cooled and at full throttle can deliver 57 kilowatts to the motors. The battery’s cooling system dumps heat into either the air conditioning system (the a/c system can energize on its own) or the power steering cooling loop.
Like other electrically motivated vehicles, the ActiveHybrid charges the battery pack primarily during braking. The brake-by-wire system blends regenerative and hydraulic braking systems excellently, but pedal feel is spongy and vague. There was an almost imperceptible “clunk” sound at very low speeds that lets you know the transmission is shifting modes. When in either Sport or Manual mode, the engine will not auto-stop and will instead charge the batteries at idle.
BMW claims that the ActiveHybrid is 20 percent more efficient than the gas version, with a similar emissions reduction to boot. We achieved 19.6 mpg (versus 14 mpg) during our mixed-mode drive. And while some may criticize the X6’s overall concept, it’s hard to fault its seamless hybrid system.”
Full review at Road and Track