BMW has pulled the wraps off the plug-in hybrid model it touts as being the sportiest in its entire six-cylinder PHEV lineup: the 545e xDrive saloon, based on the recently refreshed 5 Series. It is the fifth 5 Series PHEV, after the 530e, 530e xDrive and the Touring (estate) variants of both.
Unlike the lower-powered 530e, though, the 545e is only available as a saloon and only with xDrive all-wheel drive (same powertrain as in the 745e and X5 45e). It is powered by BMW’s familiar 3-liter straight-six which is mated to an electric motor (built into the eight-speed automatic gearbox) to deliver 394 bhp and 600 Nm (442 pound-feet) of torque.
Gallery: 2020 BMW 545e xDrive
Claimed sprint time from standstill to 62 mph (100 km/h) is 4.7 seconds and its top speed is electronically pegged at 155 mph (250 km/h). The electric motor draws from a 12 kWh battery pack that grants it a pure electric range of between 33 - 35 miles (54 - 57 km); top speed on electricity is 87 mph (140 km/h), so you can take it on short highway stints without having to fire up the petrol engine.
BMW also claims the 545e delivers between 2.4 - 2.1 l/100km fuel efficiency, which equates to 117 - 135 mpg-UK. However, as is the case with most plug-in hybrids, if you don’t keep their batteries topped up, the vehicle will end up using way more fuel than is advertised; you can only come close to the claimed figure if you keep its battery constantly charged. Pricing has yet to be announced.