By improving the dynamic abilities of their models, BMW has managed to uphold the value of its brand. For decades now, the brand has also ensured that an integral part of its product development strategy include lower fuel consumption and reduced emissions. This is seen in the brand’s EfficientDynamics engineering philosophy which aims to improve driving experience while decreasing the fuel consumption and emissions.
This same philosophy, according to a study by the Environmental Defense, even resulted to a powerful decline in the fleet consumption of automakers for the years 1990 up to 2005. That the EfficientDynamics can be applied to a sports car is best exemplified with the BMW Vision concept car.
The BMW Vision is a 2+2-seater that uses a plug-in full-hybrid technology. What makes this concept car very unique is that it combines the performance expected from the BMW M model with fuel efficiency and an emission level that are better compared to most modern small cars.
All these were made possible by bringing together the components that make up the BMW ActiveHybrid with aerodynamic features and economical combustion engine. The BMW Vision EfficientDynamics is a product of having a "clean-sheet" development process with the goal of being successful in the field of technology, driving pleasure, efficiency, and emotional design. The application of the EfficientDynamics philosophy in the Vision is considered as the most inclusive by far.
With this powertrain, the vehicle has an electronically limited maximum speed of 155 mph and capable of accelerating from 0 to 100 km/h in merely 4.8 seconds. Its average fuel consumption meanwhile has been measured under EU test cycle as 3.76 liters/100 kilometers, or around 62.6 mpg.
CO2 emissions have been rated at 99 grams per kilometer. The management of its CO2 emissions reaches exceptional levels when the battery is charged using a plug-in source and then driven in all-electric mode. Taking into account the amount of emissions generated by the electricity and using the EU formula, the emission lowers to 50 grams per kilometer.
It is this balance between offering driving pleasure and fuel efficiency that the BMW Vision EfficientDynamics is able to exhibit the capability of ActiveHybrid technology. This technology made its debut during the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show and was used in the ActiveHybrid X6 and the ActiveHybrid 7 production models from BMW.
The performance and power are credited to the 3-cylinder turbodiesel and electric motor on each of its axles. It is in how these different parts are cleverly mixed that it manages to have effective controlled energy management. At the same time, improvements in the efficiency and dynamic performance of the vehicle are seen.
The entire system can deliver 356 horsepower and offer a maximum torque of 590 lb.-ft. The layout of the diesel engine and its two motors make all-wheel drive possible even in all-electric mode. The end result is that power loss is at a minimum and power is transmitted regardless of the condition. Design-wise, the BMW Vision EfficientDynamics uses for the first time the look of a BMW sports car in a hybrid car. Using years of Motorsport experience, the body makes good use of aerodynamic efficiency with lightweight technology.
On the interior, it’s clear that the company focused on having an excellent driving experience with hands-on technology and on reducing the weight of the vehicle. For the first model in the BMW Vision EfficientDynamics, the combustion engine features state-of-the-art turbodiesel.
In addition to managing to displace 1.5 liters on its three cylinders, the engine is using the downsizing principle of having a small engine and combining it with a turbocharger in order to lower fuel consumption. Because of its compact dimensions, even with two seats at the back, the 3-cylinder can be installed easily on the front of its rear axle similar to mid-engine sports cars. The fuel is injected using the latest High Precision Direct Injection while the turbocharger has the variable intake geometry that allows maximum efficiency.
The result is an engine output at 163 hp and 214 lb.-ft. of maximum torque. The 109 hp per liter output however is considered as a new standard when it comes to diesel technology. The turbodiesel delivers the power, which is then transmitted by the double-clutch transmission to the rear-axle.
This particular transmission technology enables the driver to change gears without experiencing even the slightest interruption in the power, the same as when one drives the M3 and Z4 Roadster. To ensure both maximum flexibility and efficiency, the dual-clutch transmission features six speeds.