Held every other year since 1985, Auto Shanghai ranks as one of Asia’s leading motor shows; this year’s event, the 30th, ranks as one of the most significant – for the industry as well as for BMW.

Celebrating its world premiere is the BMW X5 xDrive40e Sports Activity Vehicle, the first plug-in hybrid production model from the BMW brand. Permanent all-wheel drive and the BMW eDrive technology endow it with sensational sportiness and supreme poise, as well as outstanding efficiency.

With a total system output of 313 hp generated by a four-cylinder petrol engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo technology and a synchronous electric motor, the BMW X5 xDrive40e achieves a combined fuel consumption of 3.4 – 3.3 litres per 100 kilometres, and a combined electricity consumption of 15.4 – 15.3 kWh over the same distance.

The use of BMW eDrive technology for exceptionally efficient performance, as well as all-electric mobility with zero tailpipe emissions, ushers in a whole new form of driving experience. At the same time, the BMW X5 xDrive40e reaps the benefits of the technology and know-how transferred from the debut of the BMW i cars.

Energy for the electric motor integrated in the 8-speed Steptronic transmission is drawn from a lithium-ion battery, which also supplies power to the low-voltage battery for the 12V electrical system via a voltage transformer. It can be recharged by connecting to any standard domestic power socket or a BMW i Wallbox, as well as at public charging stations. To save space, the high-voltage battery is housed underneath the luggage compartment floor, where it is also well-protected in the event of a crash.

The driving experience is characterised by versatile and effortless performance. An eDrive button on the centre console allows the driver to adjust the hybrid drive’s operating mode. In the AUTO eDrive basic setting, the engine’s power is boosted when accelerating by the electric drive, whose 184 lb-ft of torque is on tap for instantaneous power delivery. The X5 xDrive40e completes the sprint from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 6.8 seconds.

Alternatively, the MAX eDrive mode can be engaged, enabling the vehicle to run purely on electric power – when driving in urban traffic for instance – resulting in zero local emissions. When the high-voltage battery is fully charged, the vehicle has a range of up to 31 kilometres in the all-electric drive mode with a maximum speed of 120 km/h. The SAVE Battery mode can also be activated at the touch of a button, causing the high-voltage battery’s state of charge to be maintained or allowing energy to be accumulated again.

Regardless of the setting chosen with the eDrive button, the power stemming from both drive sources is permanently transmitted to the road via the intelligent BMW xDrive system. The various vehicle set-ups that can be selected with the Driving Experience Control switch – COMFORT, SPORT and ECO PRO – are also available in all drive modes.

The X5 xDrive40e arrives this fall, and has all the versatility and luxury you’ve come to expect from the latest-generation X5 – and practically all the optional extras offered for the X5 can also be specified for the plug-in hybrid, including bespoke features from BMW Individual.