Who would have thought a couple of decades ago that ‘AWD’, ‘PHEV’, ‘Minivan’ and ‘BMW’ would go together in the same sentence, but it’s happening right in front of our eyes. We won’t even comment on the “M” badge nestled under the new 225xe’s battery plug cap…
BMW is bringing the 225xe to the 2015 Frankfurt Motor Show for its world premiere on September 15 where it will be joined by another plug-in hybrid addition to the firm’s range with the dedicated “e” moniker, the 330e sedan.
While aimed at the masses, the new 225xe takes inspiration from the i8 sports car, since it uses the same 1.5-liter three-cylinder turbocharged gasoline unit (though positioned on the front this time) and electric motor configuration.
In the Active Tourer, the 1.5L mill produces 136PS (134hp) and 220Nm (162 lb-ft) of torque, driving the front wheels via a six-speed Steptronic automatic transmission, while an 88PS (87hp) electric motor is integrated into the rear axle. Together, the two drive systems produce a combined 224PS (221hp) and 385Nm (284 lb-ft) of peak torque.
The cool thing about BMW’s system is that it can power the front, rear or all four wheels, depending on the drive mode. When using both, the 225xe can accelerate to 100km/h (62mph) in 6.7 seconds and top out at 202km/h (126mph).
There are three pure electric modes named ‘AUTO eDRIVE’, ‘MAX eDRIVE’ and SAVE BATTERY. The 225xe has a top speed of up to 125km/h (78mph) in MAX eDrive mode and 80km/h (50mph) in AUTO eDRIVE. BMW quotes an electric range of up to 41 kilometers (25 miles).
Electric power comes from a lithium-ion battery positioned under the rear seat bench, with BMW claiming that “primary” boot capacity remains unchanged over the conventional 2-Series Active Tourer models at 400 liters.
The battery can be charged either by means of brake energy recuperation or by plugging into a domestic socket, which takes around 3 hours and 15 minutes from empty, or via the optional BMW iWallbox that cuts that time by an hour.
According to the Germans, the 225xe’s combined fuel economy that includes use of the battery, is 2.0l/100km or 117.6mpg US / 141.2mpg UK.
The 225xe will go on sale in Europe towards the end of the year with prices in Germany starting from €37,800 ($42,400), which is slightly less than the 192PS 2.0-liter turbo 225i that begins from €38,000. You probably already suspected this, but the 225xe will not be offered in the States.