BMW claims that it has come up with a concept car that matches the performance of an M3 but has the same fuel economy as a Mini. Officially unveiled at the Frankfurt Motor Show is the Vision EfficientDynamics Concept, which showcases BMW's lightweight body construction, advanced hybrid-drive technology and new packaging and aerodynamic ideas.
These features signal BMW's direction planned for its performance cars. Most of these are under development at BMW's FIZ R&D base, and will be used on forthcoming BMW road cars, including a new range-topping sports car, the Z10 ED, which is expected at around 2015.
At 4600mm in length, 1900mm in width and 1240mm in height, the Vision Efficient Dynamics concept is about the size of a 3-series coupe except that it has a considerably lower roofline.
Powering the Vision Efficient Dynamics is a diesel-electric hybrid system. The engine is a turbocharged 1.5-litre, three-cylinder powerplant that will be introduced in 2011 in the next 1-series.
Moreover, other BMW models, including the next 3-series, will then adopt the motor. With 163bhp and 214lb ft of torque, the engine is more powerful than the latest and most economical version of BMW's existing 2.0-litre, four-cylinder turbodiesel.
It uses the Getrag seven-speed double-clutch gearbox that was introduced on the M3, except it has new shift programs and unique ratios.