BMW’s 75-MPG Plug-In Sports Car Is a Go
BMW says its first plug-in hybrid will be an an all-wheel-drive sports car that performs like an M6, and we’ll see it in 2013.
The boys from Bavaria say the “overwhelming response” the Vision Efficient Dynamics concept received at the Frankfurt auto show last year — and the design awards it has won since — prompted the brass to greenlight the project. We suspect the fact that Mercedes-Benz is developing the awesome electric AMG SLS Gullwing and that Porsche will build the amazing Porsche 918 hybrid supercar played a role in BMW’s decision as well.
“There was a widespread desire to put the car on the road, and the realization of this desire is moving considerably closer,” the company says.
The car features an all-alloy 1.5-liter three-cylinder turbodiesel-and-electric motor up front and another electric motor at the rear. All told, the system’s good for 328 horsepower. BMW says the car will do zero to 100 kilometers an hour [62 mph] in 4.8 seconds, while returning 75.1 mpg and emitting 99 grams of CO2 per kilometer. Those are mighty impressive numbers for a car of this caliber — assuming it actually gets built, of course. A lithium-polymer battery of undisclosed size would allow you to tool around on electricity for up to 31 miles. Auto Express says we can expect production versions to use a gasoline engine and one electric motor to simplify things.
People will either love or hate the carbon-fiber–reinforced plastic bodywork of the concept. The car is just 1.24 meters [49 inches] tall, with transparent wing-like doors and a super-low drag coefficient of 0.22. It’s a safe bet the wild styling will be toned down for production.
For all the gee-whiz tech and futuristic styling, BMW says the concept — with a claimed top speed of 155 mph — was built largely with components that are production-ready. The company rolled out a road-ready version today in Leipzig, Germany.
The super-hybrid will be the flagship of a range of electrics and plug-ins that BMW is developing. We’ve already seen the all-electric Mini E leased in small numbers, and the company has impressed a lot of people with an electric 1-Series called the Active-E. BMW promises to have a battery-electric called the Megacity on the road in 2013.
BMW also announced today that it will spend 400 million euro (about $564.6 million) expanding its factory in Leipzig to produce electric vehicles and add another 800 employees to the roster between now and 2013.
No word on what the Vision Efficient Dynamics concept will be called when it rolls into showrooms or what it might cost. For what it’s worth, the M6 coupe starts at $102,350. Bloomberg, quoting BMW execs, says the car will be sold in all BMW’s major markets.