It’s been 10 years since the first BMW rolled off the assembly line at the Araquari plant in Santa Clarita, Brazil. It’s the company’s first factory in South America and the place where the luxury brand currently builds the X1, 3 Series, X3, and X4. In an announcement made this week, the bigger X5 will be joining them by the end of the year.

BMW intends to start production of the plug-in hybrid X5 in Araquari during Q4 2024. The PHEV in question is likely the X5 xDrive50e since there aren’t any other electrified versions of the luxury SUV. This version debuted last year with the model’s Life Cycle Impulse and came as a replacement for the X5 xDrive45e sold during the pre-LCI years.

The latest partially electrified X5 is a vast improvement over its predecessor in terms of technical specifications. The xDrive50e packs an extra 94 hp and 73 lb-ft, bringing the grand total to 483 hp and 516 lb-ft. The inline-six “B58” gas engine and electric motor provide a 0 to 60 mph of 4.6 seconds, which is remarkable for a large vehicle that weighs 5,573 pounds.

In addition, BMW has bumped the usable battery capacity by nearly 25%, now at 25.7 kWh. It’s enough juice for an estimated electric range using EPA’s test cycle of 40 miles. This represents an increase of 10 miles over the old X5 xDrive45e.

Although BMW still has news to share about the current X5, the next-gen model is already being developed. Last week, dealers in the United States were given an early look at the “G65” with its X-shaped headlights. However, the fifth-generation model is unlikely to go on sale sooner than 2027. When it does eventually arrive, it’ll still have a V8 engine, but probably only in North America. A fully electric iX5 using the same CLAR bones is expected.

BMW’s original SUV, the E53, turned 25 this year.

Source: BMW