BMW Vision EfficientDynamics

And here we have it, BMW’s secretive concept car with the radical rear tail lamps set for its Frankfurt showcase unveiled before the show – the BMW Vision EfficientDynamics. If you’ve been following the motoring scene closely you’ll remember back in early 2008 there was another concept car with the exact same name but with a much less radical body. Come to think of it the design was probably inspired by the GINA concept. 2008’s Vision EfficientDynamics Concept was built using the body of an X5 but featured a 2.0 litre twin turbodiesel (from the 123d) with 204hp mated to a 15kW electric motor.

BMW Vision EfficientDynamics

For this new vehicle, you can see its clearly a sports car, a 2+2 seater to be exact. It’s very aerodynamic, rated at 0.22 for its CX drag coefficient. The car’s 0.22 figure for its aerodynamics were achieved using various methods. At the front, you have active air flaps which channel only the required amount of air smoothly into the car. A number of body elements are used as air deflectors and guide vanes, like the A-pillar. The underbody is completely covered with a smooth surface.

BMW says this car’s development concept was to offer the performance of a BMW M Car and a highly emotional character combined with the fuel economy and emission management of a modern small car in the premium class. Make no mistake, it’s a hint that future M cars might have KERS-like hybrid electric motors for power assist.

BMW Vision EfficientDynamics

Under the hood of the new BMW Vision EfficientDynamics is something very interesting. It’s BMW’s first modern three-cylinder engine in a long time – a 1.5 litre inline-3, mated to two electric motors, one each on the front and rear axle. It is mounted in a mid-engine position behind the rear seats and puts out 163hp and 290Nm of torque by itself, and is mated to a 6-speed twin clutch transmission with its TCU tuned for fuel economy (other twin clutch previously announced by BMW have been 7-speed). Overall system output – 356hp and a massive 800Nm of torque.

0 to 100km/h takes 4.8 seconds and the car goes up to an electronically limited top speed of 250km/h. EU test cycle fuel consumption is rated at 3.76 litres per 100km, and CO2 output is pegged at just 99g/km. BMW says it can go up to 700km or just 650km on the diesel motor alone.

BMW Vision EfficientDynamics

The rear motor sits between the turbodiesel and its twin clutch transmission, while the front motor stands on its own and puts its drive through a two stage single speed reduced ratio transmission. It puts out 60kW on its own with a peak torque of 220Nm but can boost this up to 84kW for up to 30 seconds and even up to 104kW in 10 seconds.

The rear motor makes more torque – 290Nm but less power at 25kW constant to a peak of 38kW. The rear motor also performs the brake energy regeneration functions. The exhaust system even has a Thermo-Electric Generator which scavenges exhaust gas heat to generate power – up to 200 watts in this instance.

BMW Vision EfficientDynamics

The Vision EfficientDynamics can run on electric power alone for about 50km – an EV mode as people usually call it. And the 10.8kWh (80% discharged capacity) lithium polymer batteries (98 cells) on-board can be recharged via your wall socket, not just through brake energy regeneration. When plugged in, a full charge can be done in 2.5 hours with a regular 220V wall plug, or down to 44 minutes at most with a 380V quick charger.

I like how BMW is honest in saying EV mode emissions are rated at about 50g/km when you take into account how the electricity that you pump in from the grid is generated typically in Europe. The rest of the manufacturers claim completely zero emissions – of course there are emissions, just not from your tailpipe.

BMW Vision EfficientDynamics

You’re going to have trouble finding tyres for this guy though, the size is quite weird. 195/55R21. The whole chassis and suspension are made out of aluminium while the roof and outer skin of the doors are made out of a special polycarbonate glass which have a darkening function when there is excessive light. Weight is pegged at just 1,395kg with a low centre of gravity. The Vision ED measures 4,600mm in length, 1,900mm in width and 1,240mm in height. Maximum luggage capacity is 150kg, which BMW says the shape and size is enough for 2 golf bags.

Look after the jump for hi-res images of the new Vision ED. Also check out the video which reveals alot more about how the Vision ED looks like especially at night, and how the front flaps move – this isn’t found in the photo gallery.

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