BMW Brilliance Automotive previews 5 Series plug-in hybrid prototype



by Aaron Richardson


In the lead-in to the Shanghai Motor Show, BMW has teased an upcoming plug-in hybrid 5 Series that will be exclusive to the Chinese market. The prototype of this greener version of BMW's midsize sedan is based on the China-only long-wheelbase 5 Series platform.

The car is part of a joint venture between BMW and Chinese automaker Brilliance. The car is the tip of an eco-friendly iceberg BMW has aimed squarely at China, a country with an increasing appetite for premium-segment cars and a serious need for green-focused, energy-efficient vehicles.

Despite its size, BMW says the plug-in 5 Series will manage nearly 250 miles on a single charge and tank of gas, with up to 47 miles of those on electric power only, provided you don't creep past 37 miles per hour. Those numbers certainly aren't what you'd call impressive, but they're a step in the right direction and they'd likely be a major help in the thick traffic snarls that China's major cities are famous for. As for the U.S. market, a full plug-in 5 Series is unlikely, but BMW is understood to be planning to bring a traditional mild hybrid version of the car to our shores.
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