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BMW’s visionary diesel hybrid

2009-08-31 09:07
BMW has unveiled details surrounding its stunning new plug-in hybrid concept, due for public debut in three weeks at the Frankfurt Motor Show.

German manufacturers take their domestic motor show, the biennial IAA, very seriously, and BMW is no different.

The Frankfurt event ushers in a frenzy of activity as design departments try to best each other by producing the most striking concept cars possible.

This year, BMW’s concept car assault at Frankfurt will be spearheaded by an environmentally-conscious performance car -- the Vision EfficientDynamics Concept.

BMW says it combines M-division driving dynamics with a negligible environmental footprint, very much in-line with 21st century customer demands.

If Batman was German, he would be driving one of these. Vision EfficientDynamics Concept's surfacing is otherworldly. Wheels are curiously sized 195/55s on 21-inch alloys.

Turbodiesel high performance?

The concept is powered by a diesel/electric hybrid drivetrain.

Internal combustion power is from a 1.5-litre compression ignition triple, mounted in front of the rear axle.

This engine is essentially half a N57 unit, the renowned 3l in-line six which powers BMW’s 335d.

Fuelled by high-pressure Siemens piezo injectors, the triple produces 121kW of power with rotational force peaking at 290Nm.

The presence of this 1.5l triple is significant, as BMW’s 3 Series model line is expected to be reconfigured with vastly smaller displacement engines in the future.

Vision EfficientDynamics Concept's 1.5l triple could possibly be the first application of what is to become BMW's mainstay entry-level powerplant.

DCT transmission onboard too

Drive to the rear wheels is managed via a six-speed DCT transmission, derived from the excellent dual-clutch transmission currently available in the M3 and Z4, yet featuring one less forward ratio.

Enabling all-wheel drive are two electric motors.

One of these, located between the engine and transmission, provides 24kW of power, whilst the second, servicing the front axle, brings 59kW to the mix.

Characteristic of electric motors, the Vision EfficientDynamics Concept's axle electric motors major on rotational force instead of outright power.

The 24kW unit offers 290Nm and the 59kW motor, 219Nm. The latter electric motor is able to boost 83kW for a ten second burst during overtaking, when a surge of acceleration is needed.

Interior shapes to a collection of outrageous curves. Vision EfficientDynamics Concept will seat four in comfort, much like BMW's X6.

BMW’s battery system is of the contemporary lithium polymer type (more advanced than nickel metalhydride) and tallies to 10.8 kWh in configuration, generating a nominal charge of 364V.

Able to recharge on the move via BMW’s brake energy regeneration system, the Vision EfficientDynamics Concept’s plug-in capability is rechargeable via a standard 220V EU power outlet. The plug-in connector resides in the concept’s right front-wing.

Charging the concept up to full power requires two and a half hours, with this timeframe being reduced to only 44 minutes when plugged into a 380V power source.

Total combined compression ignition/electric power output on the drivetrain is 262kW and 800Nm, which factors in rapid performance - especially as the Vision EfficientDynamics Concept is only 1 350kg.

BMW claims a sub-five second 0-100km/h sprint time of 4.8 seconds for the Vision Concept.The car will cover 50km on electric power alone, whilst average EU cycle consumption figures are 3.75l/100km.

The Vision EfficientDynamics Concept features a host of F1-derived aerodynamic refinements to aid airflow management. Seating configuration is 2+2.


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