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William Maley

BMW News: A Tale of Two BMW 5-Series: 530e iPerformance and M550i xDrive

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BMW is covering the efficiency and performance bases of the new 5-Series with two new models.

On the efficiency front, there is the 2018 530e iPerfomance. This is a plug-in hybrid with a 2.0L turbo-four paired with an electric motor and a 9.2-kWh lithium-ion battery pack. Preliminary figures stand at 248 horsepower and 310 pound-feet. 0-60 mph is said to take 6.1 seconds. Fuel economy figures and overall battery range will be announced at a later time. Recharging the battery takes less than 7 hours when plugged into a 120V outlet and less than 3 hours when plugged into a fast charger.

For performance, there is the 2018 M550i xDrive. Under the hood is a turbocharged 4.4L V8 with 456 horsepower and 480 pound-feet of torque - again, these are preliminary. Paired with an eight-speed automatic and a rear-biased version of BMW's xDrive AWD system, the M550i xDrive can hit 60 mph in "under four seconds". This means the M550i is currently faster than the last-generation M5. The model sits 10 millimeters lower than other 5-Series models and BMW's M division has handled the suspension work.

Both models will be arriving at U.S. dealers this spring. Pricing will be announced towards the launch.

Source: BMW
Press Release is on Page 2


World premiere of the first ever BMW 530e iPerformance. 

  • First BMW iPerformance model to be offered in both sDrive Rear-wheel drive and xDrive All-wheel drive.
  • Fourth member of the growing BMW iPerformance model lineup bearing testimony to the BMW i know-how transfer.
  • Featuring the full wealth of driver assistant systems and latest innovations derived from the all-new BMW 5 Series. 

Woodcliff Lake, NJ – December 17, 2016… Today, BMW announces the latest addition to its iPerformance line-up, the first ever BMW 530e iPerformance.  The BMW 530e iPerformance is a sport sedan that serves up the dynamic driving experience for which the brand is renowned, combined with the option of electric driving. The BMW 530e iPerformance offers the full breath of BMW 5 Series Advanced Driver Assistance systems and the latest technology just premiered in the all-new BMW 5 Series, now with eDrive plug-in hybrid powertrain technology. As for its power source, trailblazing BMW eDrive technology teams up with a BMW TwinPower Turbo gasoline engine to create an exceptionally efficient and powerful plug-in hybrid drive system that fits perfectly with the dynamic, smooth and luxurious character profile of the new BMW 5 Series. The iPerformance badge attached to all of BMW’s plug-in hybrid models bear testimony to the transfer of engineering excellence from BMW i. In the U.S., the BMW 530e iPerformance is the fourth member of a growing portfolio of iPerformance models already available at U.S. dealers.

The 2018 BMW 5 Series iPerformance will be available at U.S. dealers in spring 2017. Pricing will be announced closer to market launch.
 
Power delivery on all electric. 
The BMW eDrive system’s electric motor has an output of 95 hp and offers maximum torque of 184 lb-ft on tap, while the 4-cylinder TwinPower Turbo combustion engine with its 2.0-liter displacement generates 180 hp and 215 lb-ft of torque (preliminary). The overall system output of 248hp (preliminary) and combined peak torque of 310 lb-ft (preliminary) propel the BMW 530e iPerformance from 0 to 60 mph in 6.1 seconds (preliminary) and enable it to reach a top speed of 130 mph (preliminary). The electric motor and combustion engine direct their power to the sedan’s rear wheels in the BMW 530i Sedan or all four wheels in the BMW 530i xDrive sedan via the standard 8-speed Steptronic transmission with paddle shifters. Positioning the electric motor upstream from the transmission allows the transmission’s ratios to be used in all-electric mode too. This dispenses with the need for a torque converter, something that goes a long way towards offsetting the weight penalty of the additional drive unit.

The high-voltage battery pack consisting of lithium-ion cells with a total capacity of 9.2 kWh has been placed in a space-saving location underneath the rear seat and includes efficient refrigerant cooling with a highly integrated low-temperature circuit. Thanks to the battery’s installation, the BMW 530e iPerformance offers full use of the trunk and a flat load compartment floor. The battery can be charged to full capacity in under 7 hours from a residential 120V outlet using the OUC (Occasional Use Cable), while tailor-made solutions enabling safe, straightforward charging are available through BMW 360° Electric Lifestyle, such as the BMW Installation Services and BMW Solar Energy programs. The BMW Charging Station uses its output of 3.6kW - 7.2 kW (16/32 A, 240 V) to reduce charging time to under three hours, to wake up to a fully charged vehicle each day. The progress of the charging process can be tracked via a graphic in the car’s instrument cluster.

iPerformance Characteristics. 
BMW 530e iPerformance is equipped with various elements unique to the iPerformance line-up. Exterior design elements include: blue kidney grille slats, blue wheel hub covers, charging socket located between the front wheel arch and the A-pillar on the driver’s side, “i” badging on the front fenders, “eDrive” emblems on the C?pillars and the “530e” badge on the trunk lid. When passengers open the doors they are welcomed by illuminated door sills bearing the “eDrive” lettering. The BMW 530e iPerformance also comes with an eDrive button on the center console, along with specially designed displays for both the instrument cluster in front of the driver and the central information screen.

BMW eDrive.
As well as the Driving Dynamics Control switch, with its SPORT, COMFORT and ECO PRO settings. The eDrive button, unique to the iPerformance models offers three driving modes: AUTO eDRIVE, MAX eDRIVE and BATTERY CONTROL.

AUTO eDRIVE ensures that the engine and electric motor interact to optimum effect in all driving situations and allows an all-electric top speed of 56 mph (preliminary). This mode is automatically activated as the default setting every time the vehicle is started. When MAX eDRIVE mode is selected, the BMW 530e iPerformance drives on electric power alone. To do so, it uses the electric drive’s full power and can attain a maximum speed of 87 mph. However, if the accelerator is pressed through to kick down the engine will kick in which is whenever an extra boost of power is needed.

BATTERY CONTROL mode lets the driver set the charge level for the high-voltage battery manually. The intelligent battery management of the BMW 530e iPerformance either keeps the high-voltage battery’s charge constant at the selected level or increases it to the pre-set value, with the electric motor acting as a generator. BATTERY CONTROL mode makes it possible to conserve or even increase the reserves of electric power while traveling on the highway to ensure that an upcoming section through an urban area can be driven on pure electric.

Latest-generation iDrive for even more intuitive operation.
As in all the other models in the new BMW 5 Series line-up, the navigation, telephone, entertainment and vehicle functions grouped within the standard high-resolution 10.25-inch iDrive display can be controlled not only using the iDrive Controller, but also by the iDrive Touch screen display or with the help of the Intelligent Voice Assistant. Optional BMW Gesture Control which offers a particularly intuitive and easy way of operating commonly used infotainment system and telephone functions allows the driver and passenger another convenient way of interacting with iDrive 6.0.

Driver Assistance Systems. 
The new BMW 530e iPerformance comes with an extensive range of assistance systems which can be used in conjunction of eDrive mode. Utilizing the Blond Spot Detection system when switching lanes, Active Lane Keeping Assistant with Side Collision Avoidance steers the vehicle back into its lane if the sensors detect another vehicle in the lane.  Two systems, providing a semi-automated driving capability are Active Lane Keeping Assistant & Traffic Jam Assistant.  Together, these systems operate between 0 – 130 mph and use smooth, comfort-enhancing steering interventions to keep the vehicle in lane. The latest generation of the system features improved image recognition and software algorithms to keep the vehicle reliably on course. In certain situations, particularly in stop & go traffic, the system also uses the vehicle in front as an additional reference point.

Active Cruise Control with Stop & Go for all driving situations.                        
Dynamic Cruise Control (DCC), which is standard on the BMW 5 Series Sedan, maintains any selected speed between 19 –130mph. It also supports energy-saving coasting by decoupling the engine from the powertrain when the driver lifts off the accelerator at higher speeds. The new and improved Active Cruise Control (ACC) with Stop & Go uses radar to adjust the pre-selected speed to the traffic situation. The system operates at all speeds up to 130 mph and is capable of braking to a standstill in stop & go traffic and automatically senses if the vehicle in front is moving once more. If the vehicle has been placed into standby mode by pushing the resume button on the steering wheel, the all-new BMW 5 Series can automatically start moving again up to 30 seconds after coming to a full-stop. The ACC system now also takes into account highway exits and traffic circles where it adjusts the acceleration dynamics to suit these special traffic situations. The control technology monitors two vehicles ahead so that vehicle speed can be adjusted earlier and smoother.  Heating elements ensure that the front-mounted radar sensor remains fully operational even if it’s snowing.
 
Active Lane Departure Warning.
The Lane Departure Warning system operates at speeds between 40 – 130 mph. If the forward-facing stereo camera detects that the vehicle is straying from its lane, Active Lane Keeping Assistant helps the driver steer back on course with smooth and seamless steering interventions. Utilizing the Active Blind Spot Detection system (12-130 mph) when switching lanes, Active Lane Keeping Assistant with Side Collision Avoidance steers the vehicle back into its lane if its sensors detect another vehicle in the next lane. Side Collision Avoidance, which operates at speeds between 40 and 130 mph, warns drivers by means of a visual signal or steering wheel vibration if another vehicle has drifted too close to the side of the vehicle. If the system detects sufficient room on the other side of the vehicle, it correctively steers the vehicle in this direction and out of a possible accident. This corrective steering assistance can be overridden at any time by the driver.

Evasion Aid: evasive steering around obstacles.
Another new function contained with Active Driving Assistant Plus is the Evasion Aid. If a quick lane change is required, for example when the vehicle in front brakes aggressively, the evasion aid – which operates at speeds up to 100 mph – supports the necessary evasive steering action. Faster steering and counter steering during an evasive maneuver results in reduced vehicle instability, supported by Dynamic Stability Control (DSC). While executing the maneuver, the Evasion Aid also uses information from the vehicle’s sensor systems to check how much unobstructed space is available around the vehicle. At speeds over 100 mph, the system no longer provides actual steering support and instead focuses on maximizing vehicle stability.
 
BMW Connected Onboard.
With the launch of BMW Connected in the USA and Europe in 2016, BMW has introduced an all-encompassing digital concept designed to aid personal mobility. Using the flexible Open Mobility Cloud as a basis, BMW Connected seamlessly integrates the vehicle into the user’s digital life via multiple touchpoints, such as an iPhone, Apple Watch, Android smartphone or smartwatch. New additions, introduced in the new BMW 5 Series Sedan, include BMW Connected Onboard, which allows personal information such as the next navigation destination, estimated arrival time and current weather conditions at the destination to be shown on the car’s display. BMW Connected is also able to transfer the user’s personal mobility agenda from their smartphone straight to their car.

3D Surround View.
Surround View and Remote 3D View offer peace of mind by allowing owners monitor their BMW 5 Series at all times. The system shows a bird’s-eye view of the driver’s car as well as a three-dimensional image of the area surrounding the vehicle. Any obstacles, including curbs, or other vehicles or pedestrians that suddenly appear can be spotted.
 
ParkNow and On-Street Parking Information.
The integration of the ParkNow service means that on-street parking spaces and garages can be easily located, reserved and paid for. Reservations can either be made while en route from the navigation system or in advance via the ParkNow smartphone app or website. Over 150 parking garages are currently affiliated with the ParkNow network in the U.S. alone, with that number expected to grow to over 500 affiliated garages by mid-2017. Once the selection has been made via the navigation system, the driver is directed straight to the chosen parking place and an electronic ticket is generated which grants access to the reserved space.
 
On-Street Parking Information (OSPI) is receiving its world premiere in the all-new BMW 5 Series Sedan. This cutting-edge technology helps to alleviate the problem of vehicles searching for a parking space, which accounts for a large part of traffic congestion in metropolitan areas. OSPI works similar to the Advanced Real Time Traffic Information system, using historical and current data to draw conclusions regarding the availability of parking spaces on route within the coverage area. The system then uses a model to predict the odds of finding an open parking spot. A color coding on the navigation map displays the systems suggestions.

BMW Announces the First Ever BMW M550i xDrive.

  • The Fastest 5 Series to date – 0-60 mph in under 4 seconds.
  • BMW M Performance TwinPower Turbo technology engine delivering 456 horsepower* and 480 lb-ft* of torque.
  • BMW M specially tuned chassis deliver even sharper steering responses.
  • BMW xDrive with rear-wheel bias allow sportiness and everyday practicality.      

Woodcliff Lake, NJ-  December 17, 2016… BMW announced today, an first ever BMW M Performance version of the world’s most successful business sedan. The first ever BMW M550i xDrive will take the spot as the top of the line performance vehicle in the current BMW 5 Series line-up. Boasting a mighty M Performance TwinPower Turbo technology engine developing 456 hp* and 480 lb-ft*, the abundant torque reserves and high-revving characteristics serve up to an outstanding blend of performance and uncompromised everyday usability. Adding to this state-of-the-art engine are BMW xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive with rear-wheel bias and a bespoke M Performance chassis set-up, help create the fastest and most agile BMW 5 Series to date.
 
The first ever 2018 BMW M550i xDrive will be available at U.S. dealerships in spring 2017 with pricing announced closer to market launch.
 
M Performance engine merges power with efficiency. 
The first ever BMW M550i xDrive is also the first M Performance model to be powered by a specifically modified M Performance TwinPower Turbo 4.4 liter 8-cylinder engine. This V8 unit is equipped with two twin-scroll turbochargers and features a High Precision Injection system, Valvetronic fully variable valve lift and Double-VANOS variable camshaft timing control. This technology adds up to an output of 456 hp* at 5,500 rpm* and peak torque of 480 lb?ft* from just 1,800 rpm* propelling the BMW M550i xDrive from 0 to 60 mph in under 4.0 seconds and then on to an electronically limited top speed of 155 mph.
 
Steptronic Sport transmission and BMW xDrive intelligent all-wheel drive. 
The all-new BMW M Performance 5 Series Sedan sends all its power via a specially tuned Steptronic Sport 8-speed transmission, playing a key role in the dynamics of the BMW M550i xDrive. The M Performance configuration of the shift modes has been tailored to the characteristics of the V8 engine, for even faster engagement across the entire rev range. The 8-speed Steptronic Sport transmission can also be operated using the shift paddles on the steering wheel or the shifter in the center console.
 
BMW intelligent xDrive all-wheel-drive system in the BMW M550i xDrive splits drive power between all four wheels as the situation demands – intelligently and with a rear-wheel bias. BMW xDrive is key to delivering two fundamental elements of the trademark M Performance driving experience under all conditions: increased driving performance and extremely precise handling. The Adaptive M Sport suspension lowers ride height by 10 millimeters and is paired to either the standard 19-inch M light-alloy wheels in Cerium Grey metallic matte or the optional** 20-inch M light-alloy wheels (in an exclusive design, also painted in the Cerium Grey metallic matte finish).
 
* Preliminary figures
** Scheduled to be available later in 2017.

In addition, the power steering with M-specific responses in SPORT and SPORT+ modes serves to highlight the crisp handling and precise driving characteristics of the all-new BMW 5 Series. Steering commands deliver the driver the necessary feedback when powering along on twisty roads maximizing the driving experience. The performance-enhancing specification of the BMW M550i xDrive is completed to perfection by the M Sport brakes with brake calipers in Blue metallic and M badging, which combine outstanding stopping power with excellent feel.
 
M Performance equipment.
The exterior of the first ever BMW M550i xDrive boldly expresses the sedan’s dynamic performance capabilities. The M aerodynamic kit, including an M rear spoiler on the trunk lid, accentuates the sporty lines and at the same time, it optimizes the airflow guiding the air around and over the car. The exterior mirror caps, the kidney grille frame, the special M Performance design accents on the front air intake and the two Air Breathers on the front fenders, exclusively feature Cerium Grey metallic finish, while the high-gloss Shadow Line trim around the windows gives added impact to this sport sedan’s undeniably dynamic appearance. An M sports exhaust system – with exclusive tailpipes in Black chrome are responsible for producing the unmistakable and exciting BMW M roar.
 
Additional elements include illuminated door sills bearing the “M550i xDrive” inscription. Standard Multi-contour seats are upholstered in Black Dakota leather with blue contrast stitching (Nappa Leather optionally available), the latest version of the M sports steering wheel, M design floor mats and pedals made from aluminum highlight the sporty exclusivity that is a hallmark of all BMW M Performance Automobiles.
 
Advanced Driver Assistance Systems.
Featured across the all-new BMW 5 Series line-up, the BMW M550i xDrive also offers a wide choice of assistance systems. These include the optionally available Active Driving Assistant Plus, including Active Cruise Control (ACC) with Stop & Go, Evasion Aid and Active Lane Keeping Assistant now featuring extended functionality.
 
BMW Connected – Forging an even closer link between man, machine and the outside world.
The latest generation of the BMW 5 Series enables close-knit connectivity between the driver, vehicle and outside world thanks to BMW Connected. This new system links up devices such as smartphones, smartwatches, computers and tablets, as well as the vehicle’s navigation system, via the BMW servers. This technology is capable of identifying driving patterns as well as personal preferences, turning it into a de facto personal mobility manager that helps users to overcome with ease the increasingly complex challenges of day-to-day mobility. Before the journey has even started, BMW Connected automatically factors in Advanced Real Time Traffic Information (ARTTI) for route-planning purposes, and recommends departing earlier if a detour has deemed necessary due to traffic hold-ups. BMW Connected uses the vehicle’s location as the basis for calculating the route in the usual way but it also considers the BMW driver’s location for its calculations too.
 
The new system also merges the functions and services of the familiar BMW Remote App and BMW Connected App. Now, users are able to access products such as ParkNow for digitized reservation and payment of parking spaces or use On-Street Parking Information to identify the areas of a town where drivers are most likely to find an available parking spot. The system provides the driver the information via the 10.25” iDrive Display. The optional Remote Control Parking system allows the driver to maneuver the BMW 5 Series Sedan into even the tightest spaces from outside the vehicle with the help of the BMW Display Key. Once the car has been parked, BMW Connected helps to guide users to their final destination on foot.


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This is actually a damn nice update.. I can see that the whole of luxury will now have to incorporate such a thing. Lexus already does this with the GS line in this segment. Wondering whether the next gen "CTS" will do the same utilizing the PHEV parts or knowledge from the CT6?

Estimated acceleration is impressive.. and Caddy definetly needs to counter considering the 3.6-liter, twin-turbo V-6 makes 420 hp and 430 lb-ft of torque and a 0-60 to 4.5 while this 550i will be touting a twin-turbo V-8 with 36 more hp and 50 more lb-ft of torque

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Mercedes can beat their plug in, theirs has 275 hp and 443 lb-ft, they just need to get it on the E-class here.  The M550i does beat the E43 in performance, the E43 is fast, but not turbo V8 fast.  That is a weak spot Mercedes has left by dropping the V8 E-class and I wonder if they'll drop the V8 CLS too and go with the new inline six next year.

Speaking of, we have an inline 4 hybrid and a V8, but this is a BMW, were is the straight six?  That is what the BMW fans want.

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13 hours ago, smk4565 said:

Speaking of, we have an inline 4 hybrid and a V8, but this is a BMW, were is the straight six?  That is what the BMW fans want.

Made redundant. 

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      Press Release is on Page 2


      FORD LAUNCHES ITS FIRST PLUG-IN HYBRID VEHICLE FOR POLICE AND GOVERNMENT CUSTOMERS
      New Ford police vehicle debuts offering battery-only electric mode, plus the driving range of a gasoline-electric hybrid New vehicle designed for police and fire chiefs, detectives, and other non-pursuit law enforcement personnel 7.6-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery propels new police Special Service Plug-In Hybrid Sedan up to 21 miles on a charge and up to 85 mph on battery power alone; new offering brings the added flexibility of a full hybrid-electric powertrain with a range surpassing 500 miles DEARBORN, Mich., Nov. 20, 2017 – Earlier this year, Ford revealed the world’s first-ever pursuit-rated hybrid police vehicle. Today, the company is giving law enforcement an even more efficient option with the reveal of a plug-in hybrid vehicle capable of driving up to 21 miles without a drop of gas.
      The Special Service Plug-In Hybrid Sedan, the first plug-in hybrid police vehicle from Ford, is designed for police and fire chiefs, detectives, and other government personnel whose jobs don’t require a pursuit-rated vehicle.
      “This is the first Ford police vehicle that can potentially get through an entire shift using no gasoline whatsoever,” said Stephen Tyler, Ford police brand marketing manager. “Anyone can plug this in to any wall outlet to run gas- and emissions-free on battery-only operation.”
      The vehicle’s 3.3-kilowatt onboard charger allows agencies to fully charge the 7.6-kilowatt-hour battery in just 2.5 hours on a 240-volt, level-two charger. But Ford is confident most agencies won’t need anything more than a regular 120-volt wall outlet to recharge. The lithium-ion battery can move the vehicle up to 21 miles on a single charge and up to 85 mph on battery power alone. Once the battery runs down, the vehicle is powered by its gasoline-electric hybrid powerplant – with a range surpassing 500 miles – eliminating any concerns of range anxiety typically associated with battery-only electrics.
      The custom interior features heavy-duty cloth front seats with reduced bolsters, for officer comfort, and rear anti-stab plates, plus vinyl rear seating and flooring. Other highlights include a reinforced top tray for mounting equipment, metal console mounting plate, red and white task lighting in the overhead console, police engine-idle feature, unique alloy wheels and an auxiliary power distribution box in the trunk.
      Several unique options are available for the Special Service Plug-In Hybrid Sedan, including a driver spot lamp, a trunk storage vault, trunk ventilation system, and a rear door control-disabling feature. A special dark-car feature turns off interior lighting and allows the dash cluster to be dimmed 100 percent for surveillance, and several emergency lighting packages like those found on other Ford police vehicles are also available.
      The new Special Service Plug-In Hybrid Sedan joins two other Ford police vehicles revealed this year – Ford Police Responder Hybrid Sedan and F-150 Police Responder. Recently, both successfully completed rigorous testing conducted by Michigan State Police at Grattan Raceway in Belding, Michigan, and Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.
      Customers will be able to order the Special Service Plug-In Hybrid Sedan in December with sales starting next summer.

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Ford is expanding their green options to governments with the launch of the Special Service Plug-In Hybrid Sedan. The model will be positioned for those who don't need a pursuit-rated vehicle such as Police and Fire Chiefs, detectives, and other government officials.
      Based on the Fusion Energi, the Special Service Plug-In Hybrid Sedan comes with the 2.0L Atkinson-cycle four-cylinder and a larger 7.6-kWh lithium-ion battery. Ford says the electric range of 21 miles should be enough for most folks to get through a shift without needing a recharge. If the battery does become depleted, the gas engine will kick on to provide a total range of over 500 miles.
      “This is the first Ford police vehicle that can potentially get through an entire shift using no gasoline whatsoever. Anyone can plug this in to any wall outlet to run gas- and emissions-free on battery-only operation,” said Stephen Tyler, Ford police brand marketing manager.
      Recharging is said to take about 7 hours from a conventional 110-volt outlet or 2.5 hours when using a 240-volt charger.
      Ford has fitted a number of features for those wearing a badge. The front seats come upholstered in heavy-duty cloth and feature smaller side bolsters for improved comfort. Anti-stab plates are installed in the backside of the front seats to provide extra protection. Optional equipment includes spot lights, storage vault for the trunk, and a dark-car feature that turns completely turns off all interior lighting for surveillance purposes.
      The order books for the Special Service Plug-In Hybrid Sedan open next month with deliveries beginning next summer.
      Source: Ford
      Press Release is on Page 2


      FORD LAUNCHES ITS FIRST PLUG-IN HYBRID VEHICLE FOR POLICE AND GOVERNMENT CUSTOMERS
      New Ford police vehicle debuts offering battery-only electric mode, plus the driving range of a gasoline-electric hybrid New vehicle designed for police and fire chiefs, detectives, and other non-pursuit law enforcement personnel 7.6-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion battery propels new police Special Service Plug-In Hybrid Sedan up to 21 miles on a charge and up to 85 mph on battery power alone; new offering brings the added flexibility of a full hybrid-electric powertrain with a range surpassing 500 miles DEARBORN, Mich., Nov. 20, 2017 – Earlier this year, Ford revealed the world’s first-ever pursuit-rated hybrid police vehicle. Today, the company is giving law enforcement an even more efficient option with the reveal of a plug-in hybrid vehicle capable of driving up to 21 miles without a drop of gas.
      The Special Service Plug-In Hybrid Sedan, the first plug-in hybrid police vehicle from Ford, is designed for police and fire chiefs, detectives, and other government personnel whose jobs don’t require a pursuit-rated vehicle.
      “This is the first Ford police vehicle that can potentially get through an entire shift using no gasoline whatsoever,” said Stephen Tyler, Ford police brand marketing manager. “Anyone can plug this in to any wall outlet to run gas- and emissions-free on battery-only operation.”
      The vehicle’s 3.3-kilowatt onboard charger allows agencies to fully charge the 7.6-kilowatt-hour battery in just 2.5 hours on a 240-volt, level-two charger. But Ford is confident most agencies won’t need anything more than a regular 120-volt wall outlet to recharge. The lithium-ion battery can move the vehicle up to 21 miles on a single charge and up to 85 mph on battery power alone. Once the battery runs down, the vehicle is powered by its gasoline-electric hybrid powerplant – with a range surpassing 500 miles – eliminating any concerns of range anxiety typically associated with battery-only electrics.
      The custom interior features heavy-duty cloth front seats with reduced bolsters, for officer comfort, and rear anti-stab plates, plus vinyl rear seating and flooring. Other highlights include a reinforced top tray for mounting equipment, metal console mounting plate, red and white task lighting in the overhead console, police engine-idle feature, unique alloy wheels and an auxiliary power distribution box in the trunk.
      Several unique options are available for the Special Service Plug-In Hybrid Sedan, including a driver spot lamp, a trunk storage vault, trunk ventilation system, and a rear door control-disabling feature. A special dark-car feature turns off interior lighting and allows the dash cluster to be dimmed 100 percent for surveillance, and several emergency lighting packages like those found on other Ford police vehicles are also available.
      The new Special Service Plug-In Hybrid Sedan joins two other Ford police vehicles revealed this year – Ford Police Responder Hybrid Sedan and F-150 Police Responder. Recently, both successfully completed rigorous testing conducted by Michigan State Police at Grattan Raceway in Belding, Michigan, and Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department at Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, California.
      Customers will be able to order the Special Service Plug-In Hybrid Sedan in December with sales starting next summer.
    • By William Maley
      BMW previewed their upcoming three-row crossover with the the X7 iPerformance concept at the Frankfurt Motor Show. There is now talk about adding a coupe-like design derivative known as the X8.
      BMW’s head of development, Klaus Fröhlich told Autocar that the company is considering such a model, but there are  no concrete plans for this.
      “The sector is growing fast, so there will be opportunity, It is early to talk about X8, but one of the first decisions I made when I worked on product strategy was to take the X5 and make the X6," said Fröhlich.
      “There is room for X8 – especially in markets like China – but there are no decisions yet. Each car must have a distinct character, and these are the sort of areas that take time to evaluate.”
      Autocar reports discussions at the moment deal with the design. BMW is looking into either doing something like the X4 and X6 or designing a long-wheelbase variant that would free up space in the back to allow for a sweeping coupe roof. The latter option is said to be favored by many, but could make this project complex as it would make BMW create a new platform that will be a hybrid of the CLAR modular platform and the upcoming modular platform for Rolls-Royce.
      No matter which design BMW decides to go with, the X8 is said to have seating for four or five people and provide a number of luxuries for those sitting in the back.
      Source: Autocar
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