Features displayed on the Alpin include a new modular design that’s said to make construction cheaper and more efficient, a compact 4WD system capable of climbing terrain at 45 degrees and a mid-engine layout with a hybrid powerplant. Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport is now reporting the concept also serves as a platform to help major carmakers BMW and Mercedes-Benz bring electric-vehicles to market faster.
The information comes from BMW development boss Klaus Draeger, who told reporters talks between the carmaker and Magna include the feasibility and production possibility of electric vehicles. CEO Norbert Reithofer has also confirmed BMW is looking at launching its own electric-vehicle and has set up the ‘Project i’ taskforce to spearhead development work.
Mercedes, meanwhile, is keen to add alternative powertrains to its next-gen A and B-Class models and we’re likely to see electric versions of the Smart Fortwo enter production as well, according to the source.