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BMW introduces 530e iPerformance hybrid

by Byron Hurd

New PHEV 5-Series model will bow in 2017.

BMW revealed its new 530e iPerformance plug-in hybrid model ahead of its expected world debut at the North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit next month.

Introducing it as "a sport sedan that serves up the dynamic driving experience for which the brand is renowned, combined with the option of electric driving," BMW touted its high-output hybrid powertrain along with its flexible drive modes.

Under the hood, you'll find a two-liter, turbocharged four-cylinder gas engine along with an electric motor. The 9.2-kWh Li-ion battery pack resides under the rear seat, allowing full use of the trunk.

The gasoline engine contributes 180 horsepower and 215lb-ft of torque; the electric motor is good for 95 horsepower and 184lb-ft. Combined, BMW estimates their total peak output at 248 horsepower and 310lb-ft of torque.

BMW expects the 530e iPerformance to do 0-60 in 6.1 seconds and achieve a top speed of 130 mph. Charge times will vary depending on electricity sources, but BMW says a 120V source can charge the battery pack in under seven hours; dedicated home chargers will do it in under three.

BMW's powertrain layout places both the gasoline and electric motors upstream of the eight-speed automatic transmission, meaning the output ratios are fixed even when the 530e iPerformance is operating on all-electric power.

As an added bonus, this layout dispenses with the need for a torque converter, eliminating weight and an additional source of parasitic loss. The 530e iPerformance will be available in either rear- or all-wheel-drive variants.

BMW's full suite of semi-autonomous driving aids will be available. These include adaptive cruise control with stop & go, active lane departure warning, and BMW's "Evasion Aid."

The BMW 530e iPerformance will go on sale in 2017 as a 2018 model. Stay tuned for live images and further specs and details as they become available.

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