Displaying another example of German efficiency, BMW has just unveiled their latest concept car at the Leipzig Trade Fair. The new design for the plug-in hybrid sports car is based on the Vision EfficientDynamics concept, which was first unveiled during the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show.  Using a three-cylinder turbodiesel engine, and electric motors at the rear and front axles, the lightweight vehicle is powered by a lithium-polymer battery, which can be fully recharged in just two and a half hours.

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With one look at the design, the car is clearly a BMW, but the four-seater also comes with impressive green credentials. The car’s design has been heavily influenced by the company’s F1 experience, forming a lightweight vehicle that was crafted to be as aerodynamic as possible.  At only 1.24 meters high, the car has a lower drag coefficient than most cars at just 0.22 – as compared to the BMW Z4 which meets 0.34.

However, it’s the plug-in hybrid drive-train that’s really garnering all of the attention.  The system uses a three-cylinder turbodiesel engine, and an electric motor on the rear and front axles to drive the vehicle. The motors are powered by a lithium-polymer battery, which can be fully recharged with a standard power outlet in just two and a half hours. Unfortunately the car doesn’t travel that far on a single charge – just 31 miles on electrical power alone – but using its 24-liter diesel tank in addition, the car can travel up to 435 miles. Together, the combination produces 328 bhp.

Speed-wise, the hybrid can reportedly reach 62 mph in just 4.8 seconds, averaging 75.1 mpg and emitting just 99g/km CO2. In layman’s terms, this vehicle is as quick as the Porsche 911 Carrera.

BMW has not confirmed whether the car will go into mass production, but speculators expect the car to hit the market within four years, after the release of the Megacity electric car, which is already planned for production in 2013.


via Green Auto Blog