First Ride: BMW Power eDrive Prototype (Aka “The Tesla Killer”)


BMW Power eDrive Prototype

BMW Power eDrive Prototype

“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.

Per Autocar:

“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.

Source: Autocar

Categories: BMW


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52 Comments on "First Ride: BMW Power eDrive Prototype (Aka “The Tesla Killer”)"

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See-Through finally reveals himself: A BMW shill.

The words: “Tesla-Killer” is blood in the water for fish like See Through.

Sure – this concept is a concept. Sure, they can tickle media’s ears with terms like these. But at the end of the day it’s a petro-burning hunk of expensive infernal combustable burner with electric assist. HOW is that a “Tesla-Killer”?!!!

Meanwhile, an American-made and designed Model S P 85D and Model X fly past it, using no gas or diesel. BMW better get busy on an electric refueling infrastructure of it’s own, since it doesn’t want to work with Tesla…Or they’ll look very foolish calling this thing a Tesla fighter.

Anyone notice it’s homely as well?

We’ll have to add this “Tesla Killer” quote to the TeslaMondo site.

I don’t think I would change much about those statements. The vitriol was overflowing the page. +1.

This could turn around against BMW and if they don’t come up with a true EV instead of a beef up Prius, the Model S could soon be known as the Teuton killer.

A petrol-electric plug in hybrid will never be a Tesla fighter!
I would not even think about buying a car with stink machine on board.

I’d happy to see Tesla – BMW engaged in a 50 year
Ford – Chevy style epic rivalry!


Best thing that can happen to the customer 🙂

If its got a ice its not all that comparable. BMW better start making cars that arent maintenance nightmares too if they want to compete with all electric cars such as Tesla.

It is BMW using the Tesla name for propaganda purposes.

Another Green Washing effort by a legacy OEM.

Ironic, since just last week BMW accused Elon Musk of name-dropping BMW for PR purposes…

BMW can’t kill Tesla around here unless it’s also made of aluminum or carbon fiber. The BMW will rust, the Tesla won’t.

That’s a huge selling point here in the midwest for several Tesla owners I’ve talked to.

(It’s also why I expect record sales and marketshare for the new aluminum body Ford F150.)

You do know that Alumnium rusts too, right?

In fact, it rusts so fast that all surfaces of aluminum are covered by Al Oxides. It is just that Al Oxides seals the air out so it won’t rust further. Any crack or chip will pentrate the surface and rust but end up sealing it again.

But that is different from the statement that it won’t rust.

Since when is aluminum oxide called rust? Aluminum is subject to corrosion, sure. A microscopic film of aluminum oxide forms on the surface. Rust? No. Aluminum does not rust. Ever.

Corrosion on aluminum is frequently referred to as passivation, because the surface becomes non-reactive in normal environments, which is a huge advantage for auto bodies in the Midwest.

Aluminium definitely doesn’t rust. Only iron can rust. 😉

Any competing company using an ICE in their product and that company not having a 90kw+ supercharger network is not capable of being a “Tesla killer”

Germans are so hilarious!!! First, they accuse Tesla of using their name for purposes of self promotion– then THEY do the exact same thing a week or so later!!!


To be a “Tesla-killer” the all-electric specs need to be laid out in the open. While this article focued on the raw ‘power’ and ‘0-60 MPH time’; nothing was stated of the ‘kWh battery capacity’ or ‘range’. Please give us the juice on InsideEVs, not just the InsidePower. 😉 From the source … «The drive components used in these future hybrid systems will offer combined outputs in excess of 500 kW, while the capacity of the lithium-ion batteries – up to 20 kilowatt hours – will likewise be greatly in excess of current hybrid systems. The increased all-electric driving range will reach up to 100 km (62 miles), essentially the new plug-in hybrids could run in the electric mode every day.» It’s great to see a PHEV with 20 kWh and range of 100 km (62 miles) … all-electric; and extended beyond using gasoline as an eco-hybrid. Like a Tesla, the eDrive offers many things in one car. The eDrive will have the capability to trot with a Tesla, both from red lights to going the distance. The interesting bit engineering is the ability to go from daily all-electric capability … How much time is needed to warm the ICE… Read more »

Reminds me more of a high-power Volt or i3

Just like the Tesla is a high power Leaf? 😉

Plug-in hybrid Tesla killer? Hmm, I don’t think Elon Musk is shaking in his boots yet.

I would think his reaction to a true Model S or X challenger would be joyous DANCING followed by tweets of, “BRING IT!”


Being this is a PHEV I have to seriously wonder about the battery pack. I’m assuming we’re dealing with a battery pack of 22 Kwh or less. I say that only because most PHEVs are well below that. But one problem with that size of pack is being able to draw enough amps from it to accelerate a car like Tesla does. While I think a PHEV doesn’t really need more than about 60 miles of range, in order to get Tesla-like performance you need a much larger pack.

“blended” mode can offer the engine to help with acceleration.

The (guesstimated)range is about what the MY 2016 Gen 2 Volt is supposed to have. The new Volt won’t have the race car speed, but when someone mentions “Tesla killer” in my mind that means 250 + miles all electric, luxury, Supercharging, etc. Just a feeling that it will cost close to the $100,000K Model S P85. BMW is, I believe, the right company to try and match Tesla, with their history of expensive, luxury performance vehicles. Killing Tesla, though, that is a tall order. If anything were to kill Tesla, I think it would be things like development and production cost overruns. Having said that, I’d love to see BMW and others come out with real EV’s for the masses. No compliance cars from these two.


Tesla has stepped on a hornets nest, but will probably survive, as the hornets were too busy visiting the gas station.

Tesla will bring home the Honey
while the “Bees” are busy making only Buzzing sounds !

Tesla killer or not, this car will sell well (as always depending on price)

An AWD BMW with awesome specs, and a “normal” body style… and 60 miles of AER?

Sign me up.

Just get the darn thing to market!

In my opinion BMW should be lauded for their EV efforts. They have some very compelling products and are one of the few OEMs selling their product everywhere in an easy to find and buy manner.

If I had this, 99% of my driving would be electric (depending on how they manage winter heating)

2015 is turning out to be a good year for EVs. But 2017 to 2018 will likely be the watershed years.


I hear ya that this might be the ideal product, but with enough batteries to power 500kw’s of motors AND an ICE generator to boot … where’s the boot/trunk?

What the *bleep* is a “normal body style”?

The Model S is gorgeous. I have literally never heard anyone call it “unusual” or anything like that.

By “normal”, do you mean it has to have a big gaping horsecollar grille up front to suck in cooling air for it’s ICE?

You BMW fans make no sense. You’re on an electric car site hailing a PHEV and insinuating the American product is inferior somehow. Which it clearly is not.

By all means, we should hold EVERY car company responsible for their words and actions. I would advocate nothing less.

But can’t we agree that BMW seeming to get religion about “cars with plugs” is a very good thing? That’s how I see this vehicle and the related PR push. Cultivate the image that electrics aren’t wimpy little golf carts but Serious Cars, made by the likes of BMW, Mercedes, et al., and we have a major step forward in educating the public even if “all” that does is convince them to buy/lease a Volt or a Leaf.

To be a “Tesla Killer” it only needs to be a car that BMW can make at a profit that buyers choose over a competing Tesla….nothinig more, nothing less. It doesn’t need to satisfy fringe EV purists or greenies. It may very well be that a high end BMW which is “mostly electric” and still capable of performing like an awesome sports sedan is all it takes. Let’s face it, the Model S was as much a performance play as it was a “green” play. Heck, look at all the folks indicating they will unload their P85 performance models to get P85Ds…it is purely for the rocket-ship effect.

While performance is one of the attractive characteristics of the Model S to some, I think it’s a lot more complex than just performance. Overall, it’s the realization that driving a pure EV is just better. Quieter, more stable (with the flat battery design), interesting technology, convenience of never going to a gas station, no hassle maintenance with oil changes etc, and pure cachet.

If performance was such a critical piece, they could just go buy a Vette.

True. We can respect Tesla for staying the BEV course, but not know just how well an EREV will sell in this clothing, until it happens. Range anxiety still runs awfully deep, among the masses.

German support their automobile industry, in US we don’t even if is a new awesome car company, this could be problematic for Tesla. Now let’s talk when the BMW is for sale, Tesla may have a prototype of 500 miles and 0 to 60 under 3 seconds for $250K if they choose to do it.

Brilliant. Let the competition begin. I love that Tesla are pushing companies like BMW into improvement and electrification.

20 kWh PHEV’s seems to be one of the smartest solutions. It’s easy enough to use biofuels for the last 10-20% not electrified.
Almost always zero emission and still easy enough that the big mass have no problem using it without compromise.

It will not take any market share from Tesla, but hopefully it will take a lot of market share from normal BMW 3-series and 5-series (and of ICE competition that are behind in the market).

It sound like more of a Volt killer than a Tesla killer, though I suppose the price will be more like a Tesla. Still, it sounds nice.

What sounds nice? The only thing I even heard about the car was its torque. And how it’s got an I-4 engine in it.

You and I could both list 40 awesome things about the Tesla Model S. This article tells us about one awesome thing about this prototype.

And one not-awesome thing that they don’t even understand why it’s not awesome.

the Tesla’s LED DRL’s look better than this entire car

You know who uses the term “Brand X Killer”?

People who are late to the market and who are having their lunch eaten by Brand X. Working in IT for the past 20 years, I can tell you of lots of companies who have claimed to be Microsoft or Google killers.

Microsoft and Google are still around, I’m sure you’ve noticed.

It’s a great complement for a major automaker to publicly acknowledge Tesla Motors being a premium market leader in battery electric vehicles. They’re not worried about VAG, Mercedes, Nissan, Ford or GM. Tesla is the one they called out– and that’s awesome for both companies. 🙂

much too little, way too late!

I’ll take one!

BMW gets it.

The use of high power motors is where EVs/PHEVs are most profitable when priced competitively with ICE.

Hmm..I thought the i8 was supposed to be a “Tesla Killer.” This looks to be a refinement on the i8 in the sense it is more of a touring sports car perhaps? A desperately needed niche to fill. Instead of a car for he masses, hint: Bmw has never and will never make a car for the masses, we get a 100k+ phev which really shines because of the electrics.
Probably will be a decent hybrid car if it ever shows up. Maybe 2020.

Any car called Tesla killer can not be a hybrid. The point of the Tesla is not that it is electric, it’s that is uses NO gas. Not even a little.

That’s the “Tesla Killer”?


If they could position this better, it would be as a Volt Supreme (with both more range in EV mode, AND more performance), or a “2015 Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat Killer” – since the Hellcat has no EV range or quiet drive mode!

Mr Loveday,

You have not got the faintest idea what you are talking about. You do know Tesla don’t ‘do’ hybrids, don’t you?

The idea would go completely against the very principles behind Tesla’s existence. How can any hybrid be a ‘Tesla killer’. You must just be very short for something interesting to write about. Even if BMW did come out with something to rival the S (or X), it would still be floundering about in Tesla’s wake due to a complete lack of high power charging infrastructure and – Oh, yes! It would still be a boring, utterly ubiquitous BMW!

It is not the author/Eric that is making the statement of “Tesla killer” in regard to the eDrive prototype it is BMW…that is why it is in quotation marks.