Plug-In Hybrid BMW Research Vehicle Revealed In Leaked Patent Drawings

2 years ago by Mark Kane 32

Plug-In Hybrid BMW Research Vehicle Revealed In Leaked Patent Drawings (source: CarNewsChina.com via Autocar)

Plug-In Hybrid BMW Research Vehicle Revealed In Leaked Patent Drawings (source: CarNewsChina.com via Autocar)

BMW i8

BMW i8

BMW is working on a new, radical plug-in hybrid  concept, which could be one of the most efficient cars ever .

All information on the project is unofficial right now, but most of it sounds reasonable.

“A secret new high-tech BMW prototype has been unveiled precipitately in a series of patent register images, providing clues to developments future models from the German car maker’s fledgling i brand are likely to adopt.

The leaked images, lodged by BMW officials at the Shanghai patent register office in China earlier this year, reveal a new wind-cheating plug-in petrol-electric hybrid research vehicle that was constructed at BMW’s R&D centre in Munich, Germany, and has recently pressed into a testing program.”

According to Autocar, who seems to have insiders at BMW, the German company is developing something special, something similar to the Volkswagen XL1.

The secret car is to be a four-seater with weight below 1150 kg (2,535 lbs) thanks to use CFRP. That’s less than the BMW i3. Aerodynamic shape and wheels, as well as mirrors replaced by cameras, brings the drag coefficient down to an ultra low level.

1.0-litre twin-cylinder petrol engine is apparently used in the front, while an electric motor sits out back. 0-100 km/h (62 mph) in under 7 seconds and a top speed of 112 mph (180 km/h) were also mentioned. Battery cells are to be more energy dense than what’s currently used today.

Source: Autocar

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32 responses to "Plug-In Hybrid BMW Research Vehicle Revealed In Leaked Patent Drawings"

  1. David Murray says:

    Well, I hope it doesn’t cost as much as the VW XL-1.

    1. jerryd says:

      The real question is why it weighs so much when made from CF.
      There is no reason this car should weigh over 1400lbs in CF or even medium tech composites that would be better at much less cost.
      Done right a car like this should get 100 mile range on a 12kwhr pack and only need a 25kw REX.

      1. EVcarNut says:

        Well Said! I Agree , Makes Total sense .60 kwh should be Good For 500 Miles….Now You’re talking!

      2. alohart says:

        BMW is using CFRP (carbon fiber reinforced plastic), not the very expensive and extremely lightweight CF (carbon fiber composite). I suspect that this future car’s frame might be aluminum like that of the i3, possibly to make this car somewhat affordable and more easily reparable. Add to that the heavy battery pack and the required safety equipment and its weight is quite remarkable. If a 1400 pound 4-passenger range-extended EV is even possible (unlikely), it would not be affordable.

  2. RexxSee says:

    Hybrid, lol!

  3. offib says:

    You wanna check on the ”full-flesh” Bolt leak if I were you!

    1. Anon says:

      Yeah, I want to talk about how GM ruined the Bolt and pulled another “Bait and Switch” with their prototype.

      I liked the original design, but grafting on Volt and i3 design cues (and that lumpy rear! Diaper Butt AND LOVE HANDLES!!! UNGH!), really looks derivative, aesthetically awkward and uninspired.

      The outsourced guts of this thing come from LG, which may end up being the only redeeming thing about it…

      1. offib says:

        I just dislike how the Volt and now Bolt look like run of the mill Hondas. Not the new ones or that admittedly wonderful Clarity (soon to be PHEV), but the really tasteless ones for car rentals that are at least 3 years old.

        Anyway, the Bolt just looks like a crossover to me. I think it’s just a very dressed up Opel Mokka or Chevrolet Trax.
        Vastly different from the Bolt concept which had a near featureless nose (a la EV1), strong contrasting and is not afraid to look good in Orange.

        1. pjwood1 says:

          I think this Bolt is loud, where the Volt went vanilla. I don’t like it more than the original, but it looks like a trend. The new Maxima has the same triangulated C-pillar look, at the back.

          1. offib says:

            I guess it’s loud part comes from its large headlights. Usually a sign for something more suited for global sale. Fingers crossed
            ! I won’t be too excited to see the interior. The concept was refreshing, I don’t need to see much in the distant leaked pics to see it look too conventional.

        2. Elroy says:

          It does remind me of a HONDA FIT EV.

      2. kdawg says:

        Newsflash: Anon negs on GM again. (yawn)

      3. Martin T. says:

        GM USA F’d it again, prototype looked spot on and then the American A team got to tweak it for the worse I see.
        Another Face palm moment, when they had it looking so dam good to begin with.

        What the hell is going on in some companies these days with so called style?

        If this the real deal, It just $hits me to tears and I bet it has the same effect Australian designers who put their heart and soul into the prototype / concept.

        Sad day for GM, I can hear the money running to competitors as another market killer model stuffed up again.

        Guess if the Japanese look influence is so hot, might as well buy next time the real deal. LOL Just tragic – where have all the car guys gone at GM ? Retired or something ?I bet.

        1. Mark C says:

          For the Bolt pictures, it looks like GM kept the guys that designed the Aztek on staff.

          The BMW picture reminds me of the CanAm style flares added to racing vehicles in order to keep huge tires under the fenders, which would be okay if the only place I drove the car was on Road America or Watkins Glen.

        2. krona2k says:

          I agree, I know concepts normally have to be tweaked for practical reasons but all of the weird little changes they have made can’t all be necessary and just make it look a jumbled mess.

          I’ve seen worse cars, but I think if this is what it will really look like in production they’ve really missed an opportunity to show they can do styling.

      4. ffbj says:

        I don’t know, the diaper butt, crack, is funny, butt, since I probably will be wearing one soon, I guess I should not poke fingers.
        Wow, that last sentence required a number of comma’s.

    2. Trollnonymous says:

      It looks like a Honda Fit stretched by 6inches.
      Let’s see what the Model 3 will look like.

      1. offib says:

        Thin, tall, sleek, and of course, very captivating.

        They did say it will look abnormal, did they?

        1. Trollnonymous says:

          Wasn’t The Model 3 supposed to have a CUV/Small SUV version also?

  4. mr. M says:

    looks like the efficient car that BMW developed together with the munich university, i will look if i can find the old article…

    1. mr. M says:

      Here i found it, definitely looks like the Visio concept car. Has been revealed mid of 2014. Read german article if you like:

      https://www.tum.de/die-tum/aktuelles/pressemitteilungen/kurz/article/31634/

      1. JonS says:

        Viele Danke. That article introduced a principle that I had not seen.
        “A further contribution to both the efficiency and the driving dynamics making the active “Torque Vectoring” -Differenzial: A small electric motor in the differential, which can be operated both as an electric motor as a generator, the power ideally distributed on the two rear wheels.
        In particular, when braking in curves can be recovered than without torque vectoring in this manner
        considerably more energy.”

        Great information in a link:
        “Lotus Engineering explains how torque vectoring has the potential to significantly reduce the conflict between stability and response yet enhance ride and fuel economy in electric vehicles”

        http://www.vehicledynamicsinternational.com/downloads/VDI_Lotus_Vector.pdf

  5. liberty says:

    Doesn’t sound all that exciting. Its probably a poke in the eye to toyota or vw or both.

    Honda insight never sold well. They probably should be working on a better range extender for the i3 and a bigger gas tank. It should be easy to do 😉 I’m encouraged by the possible i3 125 mile range with the better battery.

    To tell the truth with a better rex and bigger gas tank, the i3-rex’s 71 mile range and 117 mpge on electricity is pretty good. No reason to make it more expensive by going crazy light weighting the thing. Styling on the i3 isn’t great, and a more aero better looking body wouldn’t hurt, but it doesn’t need to get smaller or lighter.

    1. offib says:

      If they can pull it off and price it to the spec of a top-tier i3, then I say fair play to them!

      Unlike the Insight or XL1, this one is a four seater. It should be a good kick to them to just show off of what BMW is capable of doing and providing. Nevermind the i8.

  6. ggpa says:

    “BMW is working on a new, radical plug-in hybrid concept, which could be one of the most efficient cars ever .”

    The i3 was also radical and efficient. I like that BMW is stretching the limits.

  7. goodbyegascar says:

    I would love for this car to have a 100-mile all-electric range. Combine that with an optional all-wheel drive (yeah, twin motors), and I would be rethinking my retirement plans.

    This BMW could be a great car.

  8. kdawg says:

    I see some design cues from the Gen2 Volt.

    1. Martin T. says:

      Hi Kdawg, correct and that is what stuffed it for me.
      Looks like they attempted a “family” brand look in some foolish attempt.
      Absolute tragedy for GM and EV sales outside of NA (Obviously they must of run USA survey clinics to arrive at this!)

      1. ffbj says:

        Before everyone starting ragging on how it looks, I thought, that looks different from the concept. Boy, Howdy, is it. Martin T. you must be British. Its your accent.

      2. kdawg says:

        I was referring to the BMW leaked photo.

  9. Josh says:

    “as well as mirrors replaced by cameras”

    So it will be a concept car only. It would be more exciting if it was planned to be a 3 series replacement, sold in volume.

  10. Allan LuPone says:

    Ok the most important item is
    1. Actual Cost
    2. Plugin sites per city.
    3. Range at Least to be min. 150 miles
    4. Gas type to be used.
    5. Will our country allow us to have these type of cars??? IE oil lobby. KOCK BROTHERS.
    6. When can we buy one.