We barely got started blogging about it, and now BMW is already taking the fun out of the speculation. The mysterious car with the front end of last year’s Vision EfficientDynamics concept and the rear of the outgoing 6-series will be built—predictably, without the retro butt.
Journalists got the opportunity to ride in a prototype today at an event in Leipzig, Germany. The two-door coupe is being developed for a market launch in late 2013 and will cost far less than the all-electric Audi e-tron or the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG E-Cell.
There are two 94-hp electric motors, one at the rear and the other coupled with the engine in front—a 161-hp, 1.5-liter, three-cylinder turbo-diesel—for total system power of 323 hp. The 0-to-62-mph dash is estimated at 4.8 seconds, and top speed is governed to 155 mph. There are 98 lithium-polymer cells, which allow the all-wheel-drive car to travel 30 miles on electricity alone. With its 6.3-gallon tank and a fully charged battery, it will supposedly go for 435 miles before you need to refuel or plug in. For series production, we suspect the diesel will be replaced by a less efficient gasoline engine to suit the tastes of U.S. and Asian customers (and, even more important, regulators).
This concept takes off silently but moves rapidly as soon as the internal-combustion engine comes alive. It's a new, artificial kind of sporty driving, but at a projected fuel economy of 63 mpg in the European cycle, we may be willing to compromise.
The new car is just 48.8 inches high and BMW makes "heavy" use of carbon fiber to keep weight down. The styling is polarizing, to say the least, but we like the daring and innovative approach. The front end gives you a good glimpse of the new face of BMW cars. If you thought the brand’s design was going to get more conservative after Chris Bangle's departure, you were clearly mistaken.
Thanks to: Car and Driver