BMW Vision EfficientDynamics Concept: Official Details

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Frankfurt's auto show shaping up as its greenest, most wired ever--and BMW's new concept coupe is leading the charge.

MotorAuthority has reported for weeks on the Vision EfficientDynamics concept in the works for the 2009 Frankfurt auto show. Rumors placed the car as a coupe, then a four-door, then a little unbelievably as a three-cylinder hybrid.

Almost all of the leaked details have turned out to be true, as BMW confirms the details of the new concept set for a world debut at the 2009 Frankfurt auto show.

At its core, the Vision EfficientDynamics concept is a sportscar in the BMW vein, with promised M-car performance levels. It's the drivetrains that are the shockers: this particular vision sees a future BMW sportscar sporting a three-cylinder diesel plug-in hybrid powertrain. It's a tour de force--at least in concept, since no automaker has yet produced a diesel hybrid, or a mass-market plug-in hybrid, not to mention a combination of the two.

BMW Vision EfficientDynamics: Greener Than Thou

With the new Vision concept, BMW isn't simply keeping pace with the Chevy Volts, Prius plug-ins and Peugeot diesel hybrid concepts floated by those automakers. It's a trump card that marries all those technologies into a single halo car that could lead the way to lighter, more efficient, more dramatically styled BMW coupes of the future.

It could also be the engineering equivalent of conjecture. There's so much going on beneath its body, it's difficult to imagine all the green-car technologies knitted together in harmony. It's hard to write them in a single sentence without running on, even. There's a direct-injection, 1.5-liter, 163-hp, three-cylinder turbodiesel, two electric motors (one per axle), a set of lithium-ion batteries, and a software controller that modulates and marries both powertrains to a combined total of 356 horsepower and 590 pound-feet of torque.

The EfficientDynamics concept uses all three in tandem or selectively. Using only the diesel engine's power, a six-speed dual-clutch transmission sends power to the rear wheels. The hybrid powertrain is actually two distinct applications, a "conventional" hybrid system applied to the rear wheels and a hybrid motor hooked to the front wheels. The rear-wheel hybrid system operates in tandem with the diesel engine, while the front system operates on battery power alone. As such, BMW says the Vision EfficientDynamics could provide all-wheel drive in electric-only mode, with battery power twisting its front and rear axles simultaneously.

The EfficientDynamics concept's performance is geared to convince Bimmerphiles that green and clean doesn't mean thin power and willowy handling. BMW claims a 155-mph top speed and a 0-60 mph time of less than 4.8 seconds, while providing fuel economy of almost 63 mpg, and for European enthusiasts, CO2 emissions of 99 grams per kilometer.

Because it's also a plug-in hybrid, those controversial CO2 emissions could be halved to 50 grams per kilometer, if the Vision EfficientDynamics were juiced up with electricity and driven on battery power alone. The plug-in technology used means the concept car would use a standard 220-volt household outlet to recharge its batteries. A 2.5-hour recharge time is predicted, though on a 380-volt line, BMW says a 44-minute full recharge is possible.

Driving range could pass 400 miles with fuel or 31 miles on electricity alone, BMW also adds.

BMW Vision EfficientDynamics: dial M for model

Is this the future look of BMW? BMW only says the grand tourer body uses aerodynamics extensively as functional design elements. A low front end and active louvers cool the drivetrain when needed, and close to improve airflow when unnecessary. The racing-inspired details continue with well-managed airflow--so tightly tuned, the EfficientDynamics concept generates a coefficient of drag of 0.22, while today's best production cars sit at 0.24 (pointedly, that car is the 2010 Mercedes-Benz E-Class Coupe.)

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Comments (8)
  1. "The hybrid powertrain is actually two distinct applications, a "conventional" hybrid system applied to the rear wheels and a hybrid motor hooked to the front wheels. The rear-wheel hybrid system operates in tandem with the diesel engine, while the front system operates on battery power alone."
    Um, the front motor isn't a hybrid without an IC engine component...
    ...therefore, it's called an "Electric" motor

  2. I think it's a really cool concept from the guys at BMW, although it slices through the air at a very low 0.22 late production Porsche 924 achieved a drag coefficient of 0.24 without resorting to a lot of aero add-ons and that was a long time ago.. It has a lot aerodynamic features especially those floating body panels that doubles as wings/winglets which is largely F1 inspired, dunno about the purpose of those twin-kidney grille opening and having an ambient l.e.d. lighting on them are though. Fantastic performance and fuel economy ( 0-60mph = 4.8 and 63mpg! ) from a 1.5 3cyl. turbodiesel with the help of 2 in-board electric motors wow!

  3. It is an eye catching and attention grabbing conccept for all the right reasons. It certainly looks the part and knowing BMW it will most likely perform as well as it looks.

  4. So BMW knocked 275 lbs off the weight of 328 Coupe or 507 lbs off a 328xi coupe, and we are to be impressed by the weight savings?! This car is still over 3000 lbs!! A Honda Insight (although it is 9 inches shorter) is able to come in at 2723 lbs for a production ready hybrid. Yes I know it is a concept car, but BMW sure seems to be making it more complicated than it needs to be. Think how expensive it will be to fix or maintain........bottom line a 2500lb. curb weight (or less) would be impressive, 3076lbs is not. Ford built a composite LTD in 1979 and it weighed 2500lbs vs the production versions 3740 lbs. curb weight (and the LTD was 209 inches long vs BMW's 181). A BMW with the dimentions listed, a curb weight of 2000 - 2200 lbs, seats 4, costs $40K, and a turbo diesel engine would be impressive and FUN! If this car were to make it to production as is, ti would probably cost as much as a Tesla roadster.

  5. They cancelled their F1 program for this????? Ten years from now we will all be saying two things. 1.Remember hybrids? 2. Wow, that does'nt sound like a diesel.
    I'm stunned! The only thing out there with this is the styling.

  6. It’s amazing what car manufacturers claim in their concepts, isn’t it? The great thing is, nobody can prove them wrong! :)
    btw, looks quite similar to the Citroen GT Concept around the rear. I think. No bad thing!

  7. EfficientDynamics means to me under 20k if it is going to be called "Dynamic" no where did it mention price. When they dont give ball park price up front WATCH OUT you will pay for it. Sorry I'll stick around with my daily driver 09 R1 Yamaha and wait for 2nd and 3rd generation vehicals like this.

  8. Hi I just felt like commenting because this car looks cool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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