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BMW to launch economical versions of X5 4x4

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BMW will launch two new versions of its X5 4-wheel drive that come in below the proposed 225g/km London Congestion Charge threshold which requires that drivers pay £25 to enter the capital each week day.

Deliveries of the new 3.0 D and 3.0 SD X5s will begin in December. The 3-litre D records CO2 emissions of 214g/km, the more powerful SD 216g/km. The improvements, which have been specifically developed for the UK market, have been achieved by fitting a regenerative breaking system, an intelligent alternator (it mainly operates when the engine is decelerating, saving fuel) and intelligent air flaps behind the radiator grille that improves the car's aerodynamics at speed, features that have recently appeared on other BMWs as part of its Efficient Dynamics programme.

The revisions will make these two models and the Hybrid Lexus RX400h, the only large 4-wheel drives that do not attract the proposed £25 charge. BMW is also working to improve its 318d 3 Series, which currently emits 122g/km, to get it below the 120g/km threshold that Transport for London have said will be exempt from any charge next February.