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September 16, 2009

Frankfurt 2009: BMW ActiveHybrid X6 throws down

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BMW ActiveHybrid X6 – Click above for high-res image gallery

Your dilemma: you have a burning desire for a 5,000 pound, four-passenger truck that accelerates as fast as your Dodge Challenger, but you want to use as little gasoline as possible while doing so. BMW feels your pain, and they have a solution for you. Ladies and germs, meet the ActiveHybrid X6, BMW’s first full-hybrid. Here’s the great part: engine-wise you get both the 4.4-liter twin-turbo humdinger of a V8 and two electric motors for a total combined output of 485 hp and 575 lb-ft of torque. Just to refresh your memory, the X6 M, which our own Lavrinc called a “highrider GT-R,” makes just 500 lb-ft (though 550 psycho horsepower).

Ah, but it’s a hybrid. So it gets almost 24 mpg. Unlike the X6 M, which… doesn’t. Unlike the ActiveHybrid 7 Series, which uses a lightweight, hella-pricey lithium-ion battery, the X6 makes do with a plain old nickel metal hydride power pack. But hey, it’s already 2.5 tons, what’s a couple of hundred more pounds? BMW also employs a bit of electronic black wizardry, that let’s one motor act as a generator to gather up kinetic energy from the brakes (or simply coming off the throttle) to feed into the battery while the other electric motor keeps the car moving. Nifty, no doubt. Also, the ActiveHybrid X6 can travel up to 37 miles per hour in pure electric mode before that dirty ICE kicks on.

Like a lot of vehicles coming out of BMW these days, the X6 is a love it or hate it proposition. Admittedly, the Autoblog staff here at Frankfurt is split right down the middle. Forgetting about the haters, the pro-X6 side thinks that a torque-monster hybrid “Sports Activity Coupe” is just fine. Really, can you say no to 575 lb-ft of twist? All we really hate is the name.

Frankfurt 2009: BMW ActiveHybrid X6 throws down originally appeared on Autoblog Green on Wed, 16 Sep 2009 08:56:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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