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Published Date: 25/09/2012

When BMW’s EfficientDynamics programme was launched in 2007, it immediately raised the technological bar for competitors, providing drivers with a range of cars that not only offered enhanced performance over their predecessors, but also unrivalled fuel efficiency and significantly reduced running costs.

M3 performance, 99g/km CO2 emissions

The BMW Vision EfficientDynamics concept car, unveiled at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show, looks set to raise the bar higher still. Showcasing new advanced hybrid-drive technology, BMW’s trademark lightweight body construction and an ultra-aerodynamic design, the Vision EfficientDynamics concept delivers M3-rivalling performance with the fuel economy and the low running costs of a small car.

BMW’s latest concept is powered by a new diesel-electric hybrid system. A 1.5-litre turbodiesel engine, which will debut in the next-generation BMW 1 Series, works in tandem with two electric motors, one at the front of the car and one at the rear. This unique combination allows the Vision EfficientDynamics to accelerate to 60mph in just 4.8 seconds and reach an electronically limited top speed of 155mph: all this while returning a combined consumption of 75.1mpg and emitting a mere 99 grams of CO2 per kilometre – just a third of the emissions of the current M3!

Combined power

Capable of running on either the electric motors for up to 31 miles or the diesel engine for 400 miles, the Vision EfficientDynamics concept car is also capable of combining both power sources. The onboard management system can utilise the power from all three sources when short bursts of speed are required, such as when overtaking or accelerating from junctions. The car’s performance is further enhanced by design details borrowed from the BMW F1 Sauber team. For example, the A-pillars not only support the roof, they also channel airflow cleanly along the side of the car while a flat under-tray improves high-speed stability and further lowers drag.

Spacecraft technology

The resultant design is more than merely efficient; the floating rear LED lights, transparent roof and dramatic glass panel gull wing doors are sure to turn heads. The BMW Vision EfficientDynamics is practical too; those doors allow access to two rear seats, which can be tilted forwards to increase storage space in the boot. A new thermo-electric generator (originally developed for use on spacecraft) situated in the exhaust even creates its own electricity from the car’s exhaust gases to power the air conditioning, electronic seat adjustment and power steering.

 

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