Fantasy garage: BMW Just4/2 meets S1000RR
Letter to Norbert Reithofer, chairman BMW AG ...
Forget all the expensive development work you're putting into the MCV (Mega City Vehicle). You've already got the template down. Remember the Just 4/2?
Here's a city car the guys and gals at FIZ (BMW's R&D centre located in the middle of Munich) could get up and running inside two years if they really put their minds to it.
It's light, compact, highly economical, surely fun to drive and, when built in sufficient numbers, would be cheap enough to produce to give it a sound business case over a six or seven year model cycle.
The structure could even be shared with Mercedes-Benz, whose Smart division could resurrect the much missed Smart Coupe/Roadster along similar lines. You are, after all, looking at ways to create greater economies of scale with your long time German luxury car rival.
Our suggestion: base it around an aluminum space frame like that used in motorcycle manufacture, with the engine placed over the axle at the rear. Send the drive to the rear wheels via a compact seven speed double clutch gearbox like the DQ250 unit that Volkswagen uses in many of its lower end models these days. Getrag, the gearbox specialists, have just such a unit under development right now.
The Just 4/2 weighed 550kg. That's the key to this car. Low weight, acceptable performance. We reckon something in the region of 6.0sec on the run from zero-60mph would easily be achieveable given the right gearing. That, and something around 60mpg.
Engine? That's easy. We at theautoinsider would happily settle for BMW's new 999cm3 four-pot as revealed in your latest motorcycle, the S1000 RR. In its current state of tune it packs 193bhp and 112Nm of torque. But it could easily be retuned to plump out the torque curve.
Better still, a three cylinder engine. You could lob a cylinder off the Mini's 1.6-litre four-cylinder unit. That'd give you a 1.2 litre powerplant that, with turbocharging and direct injection, would give you something like 140bhp. You could even turn out a plug in electric version with the batteries mounted low down in the floor.
So, what do you say Herr Reithofer?