The Future is Here, Today: BMW Vision EfficientDynamics arrives in Singapore for the first time

Written by Cheryl Tay on . Posted in Cheryl Tay News | Latest Industry News

Singapore. BMW Asia has announced that it will showcase the BMW Vision EfficientDynamics concept car at the main lobby of the Suntec Convention Centre from December 14 to 18. The futuristic-looking concept car will be available for public viewing with no admission fee required.

P90047168“Governed by the philosophy of Efficient Dynamics, BMW sees technical innovations reducing both emissions and fuel consumption as an elementary part of the brand’s product strategy. Today, there are more than 2 million vehicles from BMW Group featuring the Efficient Dynamics technology, ranging from the entry-level BMW 1 Series to the flagship BMW 7 Series, as well as MINI,” said Mr. Neil Fiorentinos, Managing Director of BMW Group Asia. “Such approach to implement the Efficient Dynamics technology across the entire model range allows each and every customer who drives our vehicle with this technology to contribute to the greater efficiency in energy use and to the conservation of the environment for the long-term sustainability.”

 

The Efficient Dynamics technology has already contributed significantly to the BMW Group being named ‘The World’s Most Sustainable Car Company’ by the DJSI Dow Jones Sustainability Index for the seventh consecutive year. Further, the BMW Vision EfficientDynamics concept car demonstrates the next step in our Efficient Dynamics strategy – the ActiveHybrid technology.

 

Conceived as a 2+2-seater with plug-in full-hybrid technology, this unique car is able to combine the performance of a BMW M Car with a standard of fuel economy and emission management exceeding even the current level achieved by the latest small cars in the market.

 

“This ‘Vision’ will soon turn into reality, as the BMW Vision EfficientDynamics concept car is slated to be developed into a series production under the sub-brand BMW i, which is scheduled for the launch later in 2013,” added Mr Fiorentinos.

 

Holistic Approach to Sustainability

 

BMW Vision EfficientDynamics is the result of an all-inclusive development process starting from a clean sheet of paper. This ensures an improvement of both efficiency and driving pleasure far exceeding the sum total of all individual components and technologies, and is also borne out in the very emotional design of this unique concept car. BMW Vision EfficientDynamics is therefore an unprecedented sports car offering fascinating perspectives for the future of Sheer Driving Pleasure combined in full harmony with maximum efficiency.

 

Presenting this unique concept car, BMW is once again demonstrating the company’s outstanding competence in the development of cutting-edge drive systems. Indeed, BMW Vision EfficientDynamics is the most comprehensive implementation of the BMW EfficientDynamics development strategy seen so far. The drive units provide a top speed limited electronically of 250 km/h, with acceleration to 100 km/h in 4.8 seconds. Average fuel consumption in the EU test cycle is 3.76 liters/100 kilometers, and the CO2 emission rating is 99 grams per kilometer.

 

This outstanding result is made possible by the consistent integration of BMW ActiveHybrid components, their combination with an extremely economical combustion engine, and the outstanding aerodynamic qualities of the BMW Vision EfficientDynamics concept car.

 

In its design, BMW Vision EfficientDynamics for the first time conveys the dynamic look so typical of a BMW sports car to a hybrid vehicle. The body of this unique sports car is an expression of intelligent lightweight technology and supreme aerodynamic efficiency. And in the design of the interior, the focus was likewise on both the fascinating driving experience and, in particular, on transparent, hands-on technology and maximum reduction of weight.

 

Lithium-polymer cells serving as the battery for electrical energy.

 

The energy cells featured in BMW Vision EfficientDynamics are housed in a chassis element running from front to rear through the middle of the car. The front unit is the lithium-polymer complex, an ongoing development of the lithium-ion battery as the currently most efficient technology for storing a high level of electrical energy for maximum performance.

 

Overall, BMW Vision EfficientDynamics comes with a total of 98 lithium-polymer cells, each offering a capacity of 30 amp/hours and developing continuous output of 600 Amps at a voltage of 3.7 V. For a period of 30 seconds, each cell is even able to develop maximum output of 1,200 Amps.

 

Serial arrangement of the lithium-polymer cells serves to generate nominal voltage of 364 V, the gross storage capacity of the battery is 10.8 kW/h. Offering an unusually high discharge capacity of 80 per cent, the battery delivers 8.6 kW/h for driving the car.

 

This superior performance comes on overall weight of the entire energy storage system of just 85 kg or 187 lb. A further advantage is that through their optimum dimensions tailored to the specific qualities and features of the car, the lithium-polymer cells, together with the operating strategy chosen with a concept of energy management looking ahead at upcoming requirements, reduces the thermal load acting on the battery to such an extent that there is no need for active cooling.

 

Plug-in solution: convenient charging of the electric power system on a conventional power socket.

 

Brake Energy Regeneration consistently transfers electric power generated while driving without any additional fuel consumption to the battery, which may subsequently be used to supply power to both the electric motors and the on-board network. A further option is to connect the lithium-polymer cells to a conventional power socket for a simple and efficient charge process, using a plug-in connector in the front right wing of the car. Connected to the regular domestic power mains (220 V, 16 Amps), the system requires a maximum of 2 ½ hours to fully charge the lithium-polymer cells. And wherever a power source with higher voltage and amperage (380 V, 32 Amps) is available, the charge time is an even shorter 44 minutes at the very most.

 

Performance, fuel economy and emission management opening up new dimensions in hybrid motoring.

 

The power delivered by the three power units gives the BMW Vision EfficientDynamics concept car a level of dynamic performance far superior to anything provided so far by any hybrid vehicle. Indeed, the performance and consumption figures determined by standardized computer simulations show an exceptionally good balance of driving pleasure and fuel economy even for a hybrid. Acceleration from a standstill to 100 km/h, for example, comes in just 4.8 seconds and the car’s top speed would be over 250 km/h, requiring electrical limitation of top speed in accordance with BMW’s corporate philosophy through electronic engine control now also on a full-hybrid sports car.

 

The objective to develop a vehicle offering the performance of a BMW M Car combined with supreme all-round efficiency therefore comes to bear completely and without the slightest restriction in BMW Vision EfficientDynamics. At the same time fuel economy and emission management now reach a standard only achieved so far, if at all, by far less powerful small cars conceived primarily for city traffic and short distances. Applying the criteria of the EU test cycle currently prescribed by law, BMW Vision EfficientDynamics offers average fuel consumption of just 3.76 liters per 100 kilometers. CO2 emissions, in turn, are 99 grams per kilometer.

 

Aerodynamic qualities and Lightweight Engineering in Perfect Harmony

 

BMW Vision EfficientDynamics also takes a new approach in its design and streamlining, the body and the interior clearly expressing the unique combination of supreme efficiency and the sporting performance so typical of the brand. Following the design language so characteristic of BMW, this unprecedented concept car clearly visualizes both highly efficient aerodynamics and consistent lightweight construction.

 

In its design, BMW Vision EfficientDynamics differs significantly from the usual low-emission cars seen so far. And since the principle of “form follows function” is not reduced in this case just to the overall look of the car, but rather embraces each and every detail, BMW Vision EfficientDynamics combines unique aesthetic appeal with a highly emotional impact. Through its design alone, therefore, BMW Vision EfficientDynamics clearly proves that Sheer Driving Pleasure in typical BMW style may also be offered without restrictions in a brand-new, innovative car concept.

 

Measuring only 1.24 meters in height and boasting a sweeping, arch-like roofline, BMW Vision EfficientDynamics offers the slender silhouette of a classic Gran Turismo. With the combustion engine fitted in front of the rear axle, the designers have furthermore succeeded in giving the car a very low and sleek front end, with the flow of air depending on driving conditions being further smoothened by active louvers in the radiator closing completely whenever the need for cooling air is relatively low.

 

This efficient function follows in the footsteps of the active air flap control already used as a feature of BMW EfficientDynamics in many of BMW’s current production models. And as a further highlight, BMW Vision EfficientDynamics guides air smoothly and exactly as required into the car through an active air intake at the front.

 

The under-floor of the car is fully covered from front to rear and from one side to the other, thus maintaining a smooth surface to avoid any air swirl liable to increase fuel consumption. Slender openings around the front air dam guide the air fl owing in specifically into two closed ducts leading inside the front air dam to the wheel arches where the air comes out again through a very slim aperture at high speed, fl owing just next to the outer wheel flanks. This air jet rests on the front wheels like a curtain and is therefore referred to most appropriately as the air curtain with its highly stabilizing effect.

 

To further optimize the aerodynamic qualities of the entire vehicle and keep rolling resistance to a minimum, BMW Vision EfficientDynamics comes with tyres and rims of quite unusual size on a sports car. The tyres measure 195/55 in their width-to-height ratio, while large 21-inch rims provide a contact surface on the road otherwise offered only by a much wider tyre. In combination with the sophisticated axle kinematics, this ensures particularly agile driving behavior.

 

The extra-large rim covers extending over part of the tyre flanks add to the unique, very different look of BMW Vision EfficientDynamics from the side. he blade profile integrated in the rims serves furthermore to reduce the negative effect of the turning wheels on the overall aerodynamics of the car. In all, these features optimizing the aerodynamic qualities of the car give the BMW Vision EfficientDynamics concept car a very low drag factor (Cd) of just 0.22.

 

Technological look as a strong impression of Intelligent lightweight construction.

 

In both its exterior and interior design, BMW Vision EfficientDynamics stands out clearly as a strong spearhead in technology. Many components of the vehicle are presented in full view expressing the “transparent” character of the car as a powerful visual feature of lightweight technology. The chassis and suspension of BMW Vision EfficientDynamics are made completely of aluminium, the roof and the outer skin on the large doors are made almost completely of a special polycarbonate glass automatically darkening as a function of the light shining on the car.

 

Measuring 4.60 meters in length, 1.90 meters in width and 1.24 meters in height, this unique concept car offers ample space for up to four passengers and their luggage. Thanks to the consistent lightweight construction strategy applied on the car, unladen weight according to the DIN standard is limited to 1,395 kg, with the centre of gravity relevant to motoring comfort and driving dynamics remaining very low.

 

Considering the wide range of high-performance hybrid drive components and the high-capacity lithium-polymer battery fitted in the car, these figures clearly confirm the overall concept of BMW Vision EfficientDynamics with its great commitment to outstanding efficiency. In its power-to-weight ratio, the BMW Vision EfficientDynamics concept car is far superior to all conventional hybrid cars, achieving the same standard as extremely dynamic sports cars with a conventional combustion engine

 

Carrying a maximum load of 445 kg, this unique 2+2-seater is fully suited for everyday traffic. Luggage capacity of 150 liters, in turn, allows the driver and passengers to conveniently take along, say, two golf bags. And to meet additional loading requirements the backrests of the two rear seats may be tilted down individually to provide extra storage space.

 

Concept car serving as a spearhead in technology for BMW EfficientDynamics.

 

The most obvious areas where BMW Vision EfficientDynamics points into the near future of the BMW EfficientDynamics development strategy are the drivetrain and the aerodynamics of the car. But even the individual details show highly innovative solutions, the concept car, for example, boasting not only technologies already proven for years in production models, such as Brake Energy Regeneration, Auto Start Stop and Active Air Flap Control, but also a wider range of innovative system components serving to further reduce both fuel consumption and emissions. Again, therefore, these new components are already in the final phase of development or are being tested in prototypes.

 

One objective of BMW’s engineers was, wherever possible, to further reduce the loss of energy still quite substantial even on the most efficient combustion engines. Precisely this is why a water-cooled TEG Thermo-Electrical Generator is integrated in the exhaust system of BMW Vision EfficientDynamics, serving to convert a lot of the thermal energy contained in the exhaust emissions into electric power.

 

This technology originally developed for spacecraft uses the so-called Seebeck effect generating a certain voltage through a temperature gradient within metal-based semi-conductors. On BMW Vision EfficientDynamics the Thermo-Electrical Generator, which has already proven its practical qualities in a BMW 5 Series test car, develops maximum output of up to 200 W. The pipes and manifolds in the exhaust system are designed in this case to maintain the full power and all the characteristics typical of the combustion engine also when using this generator system.

 

BMW Vision EfficientDynamics: The future of BMW EfficientDynamics.

 

The BMW Vision EfficientDynamics concept car demonstrates the potential of the BMW EfficientDynamics development strategy to an extent never seen before. In this way BMW once again shows the company’s unusual skill and competence in developing particularly efficient high-performance drivetrain technologies.

 

Applying this philosophy, BMW is able to develop vehicles meeting the need for saving natural resources and at the same time offering a new rendition of Sheer Driving Pleasure. A sports car with the dynamic performance of a BMW M Car and the fuel economy of a modern small car indeed opens up highly attractive perspectives for individual mobility in the world of tomorrow.

 

The concept car offers a particularly fascinating experience through its individual character. BMW Vision EfficientDynamics is neither a mere variant of a production car built for maximum efficiency nor a purely visionary study completely separated from series development. Rather, all the technologies contributing to the car’s outstanding efficiency come from a development process conceived for regular production. Indeed, some of these technologies are already in use in current BMW models, others are approaching production standard or have already proven their functional benefits in practical tests and in prototypes.

 

The future qualities and the typical character of BMW ActiveHybrid technology come out particularly clearly and strikingly in BMW Vision EfficientDynamics. In conjunction with the most sophisticated energy management, the intelligent combination of the electric motor and the combustion engine ensures outstandingly good fuel economy and emission management combined with a significant improvement of driving dynamics.

 

BMW Vision EfficientDynamics is therefore a particularly innovative rendition of hybrid technology BMW-style and at the same time offers a fascinating outlook into the future of BMW EfficientDynamics as an overall philosophy and a significant contribution to future-proof mobility.

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Cheryl Tay

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Singapore’s only female full-time motoring and motorsports photojournalist. Independent automotive consultant and prominent local motorsports personality Cheryl Tay is uniquely passionate about all things cars and motorsports. She also has a strong passion to share her interest and knowledge, hence having a dream to become the ‘Oprah Winfrey of cars and motorsports’ and create a multimedia platform for her sharing. - A female in a male-dominated world, Cheryl Tay is Singapore’s only female full-time motoring journalist and motorsports blogger and she regularly writes for prominent titles in Singapore, Asia and internationally. (See full list of titles that Cheryl Tay writes for here.)

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