BMW greenlights Vision EfficientDynamics coupe
BMW has formerly announced what was widely suspected when it first went live with the mysterious dontblogaboutthis.com website featuring an electric version of the 6-series coupe back in September: the Vision EfficientDynamics will be built.
And not just in small numbers like those Audi is planning for the first of its eTron models and Mercedes-Benz indicates for its SLS E-Cell – just two of the new BMW’s alternative drive rivals. Klaus Draeger, head of research and development at BMW, told TheAutoInsider he's looking at volumes of "thousands rather than hundreds over a life cycle of around seven years" for the new car.
He also confirmed the production version of the Vision EfficientDynamics due out towards the end of 2013 would be sold directly to customers rather than be offered on a limited period lease deal, as BMW as did with its first limited production alternative drive model, the Mini E, and plans to do with next year's 1-series ActiveE.
Further details and video after the jump.
There's no word yet where the spectacularly styled four seater, first revealed at the 2009 Frankfurt auto show, will be assembled, although BMW seemed to provide a big hint when it unveiled its first rolling prototype of the new car in an empty warehouse just up the road from its Leipzig production plant in Germany - the same site chosen for the assembly of the upcoming all-electric MegaCityVehicle (MCV), which is due out around the same time as its more sporting hybrid sibling.
The prototype of the Vision EfficientDynamics runs a combination of two electric motors - one up front with 82kW and a smaller one at the rear with 39kW - along with BMW's upcoming 120kW turbocharged 1.5-litre three-cylinder common rail diesel.
All three can operate alone or in combination, at which it puts out a sturdy 241kW. Drive is either front, rear or four wheel drive depending on what motor and/or engine combination is in use.
BMW claims 0-62mph in 4.8sec and a limited top speed of 155mph. Better still, is the claimed combined consumption: 3.76l/100km, or 63mpg (US) . . . good enough for a range over 400miles.
Draeger admits the diesel could make way for a more powerful turbocharged 1.5-litre three-cylinder gasoline unit because, in his own words, it's unlikely that US customers will ever warm to the thought of such a small diesel".
BMW says it has no plans to provide the production version of the Vision EfficientDynamics with any other powerplant. No turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder. No turbocharged 3.0-litre six-cylinder. And no turbocharged 4.8-litre V8 - as destined for the new M5.
To quote Draeger at the announcement in Leipzig, Germany: “The production version of the Vision Efficient Dynamics will be a hybrid and run a three-cylinder engine”. There’s no pricing yet. But the TheAutoInsider was told the new model is planned to sit at the head of the BMW line-up, above the 760i.