Sep 14 2009 Steve Hughes
BMW has designs on the future
THE remarkable strides that are being made by car makers in the quest for the greenest models possible have been revealed by BMW.
The company best known for its EfficientDynamics has moved into the world of hybrids to perfect the ultimate combination of performance and economy in an ultra-low polluting vehicle.
Revealed at the Frankfurt Motor Show, the concept car shows just what will be possible for the mainstream market within a matter of months.
Remarkably, it matches the performance of the renowned BMW M sports models yet uses less fuel than the smallest diesels and has such low exhaust emissions that it will be free of road tax.
Taking the name of Vision EfficientDynamics, it combines a turbocharged three-cylinder diesel engine with two electric motors to generate a whopping 356bhp and awesome pulling power of 800Nm.
Power is transmitted to all four wheels via separate electric motors on the front and rear axles, enabling the sleek sportster to accelerate to 60mph in just over four and a half seconds.
The vehicle is so powerful that the top speed has to be electronically limited to 155mph in the name of political correctness yet is still able to achieve economy of more than 75mpg with CO2 emissions of under 100g/km.
BMW says that as a plug-in hybrid the vehicle will be able to run entirely on electric power for most journeys, which makes it completely emissions-free.
Wind-cheating aerodynamics become of critical importance at speed and have been developed in association with BMW's Formula One racing programme.
The gull-wing doors give easier access to the low-slung interior, where there are just two seats.
The car incorporates a raft of the very latest technologies including special glass that automatically eliminates glare by becoming darker as the outside glare becomes brighter.
This means that the air conditioning system works less, which in turn saves fuel.
It is expected that although the vehicle is said to be a concept car at this stage, it will form the basis of future high-efficiency mainstream models soon.