First Ride: BMW Power eDrive Prototype (Aka “The Tesla Killer”)
“The Tesla-killer” has arrived in prototype form, according to BMW.
The BMW Power eDrive prototype highlights the future direction of plug-in hybrid for the German automaker.
“The idea behind the new plug-in petrol-electric hybrid Power eDrive system is to provide a scaleable basis for BMW‘s future performance and upper luxury car needs.”
“Right now, it says the Power eDrive system can be adapted to generate anything from 250bhp all the way up to 650bhp, as sampled here.”
And, believe it or not, it’s BMW who is using “the Tesla-killer” phrase in describing the PHEV seen here:
“As an indication of where the efforts of BMW’s concept driveline engineers are focused with Power eDrive, the otherwise innocuous-looking 5-series GT xDrive in which the initial prototype system is installed is described to us as “the Tesla-killer.”
Autocar was one of the select few media outlets who got to ride shotgun in BMW’s latest PHEV prototype. Here’s a sampling of Autocar’s thoughts:
“We take a passenger seat and ready ourselves to ride shotgun around the German company’s vast Miramas test track in southern France.”
“From rest in the pit lane, the BMW test driver pushes the throttle against its backstop and we’re thrust onto the circuit with truly astonishing force. With the two electric motors channelling their reserves to all four wheels, acceleration is brutal.”
“The delivery of torque is instant, and it is sufficient to induce momentary wheelspin from all four wheels as we’re furiously propelled up the straight. The only sensation of noise comes from a distant high-pitched whine from the electric motors, the buffeting of wind around the exterior mirror housings and the roar of tyres across the Tarmac. That is until until the four-cylinder petrol engine fires to further boost the remarkable performance and also act as a generator to produce electricity, which is stored on board.”
Why is BMW calling the Power eDrive a Tesla-killer? Well, its got more than 1,000 newton-meters of torque on tap:
“BMW won’t say exactly how much shove is on offer, suggesting only that it is “well into four figures” on the Newton metre (Nm) scale. As a point of reference, the recently unveiled performance variant of the Tesla Model S, the so-called 85kWh, possesses a mighty 931Nm – or some 687lb ft of torque. So the BMW prototype is not exactly lacking.”
But can it run with the Tesla Model S P85D? Autocar thinks so:
“…its ability to gather speed in a straight line is nothing short of sensational. Subjectively it feels every bit as quick (and then some) as the 3.2sec figure Tesla quotes as the 0-62mph time of the Model S 85kWh.”
For more details on the Power eDrive, refer to this post announcing its debut.
To check out the full Autocar write-up on riding in eDrive, click the link below.