Sunday, August 30, 2009

BMW Wins Me Over With New Concept

I'm pretty far from being a fan of the "green" movement of the last few years in the auto industry. With Chevy promising the Volt and Toyota providing the Prius which does more damage than it does good in the long run, green cars have left a lot to be desired. However, BMW has just corrected that, at least in my mind.

With the new Vision EfficientDynamics Concept, BMW has actually built an epically beautiful big coupe that returns over 50 miles per gallon and a sub-5 second 0 to 60 sprint. These figures are achieved via two electric motors, one attached to each axle, and a - wait for it - 3 cylinder diesel engine only good for 163HP. However, with the two electric motors, total output is put up over the 350HP mark, all while returning a dry weight of just under 3,100 lbs. Finally, a car company that gets it! Cut weight and performance and efficiency can increase. BMW achieved a lower weight figure by a combination of light weight materials and more innovative design.

This new concept comes in a 2+2 arrangement with a singular door on each side permitting access to both the front and rear seats making this a comfortable coupe for 4 adults. The coupe also take advantage of a heavy application of LED lighting as well as special, light sensitive glass on each door that can become more transparent or opaque depending on the level of light. In addition to the use of LEDs, many styling cues from this coupe have been picked up from the achingly beautiful M1 Coupe Homage that was released at the 2008 Concours d'Elegance in Italy. Frankly, if BMW, or any other car manufacturer for that matter, can produce fun, competent vehicles that look like this while providing similar performance figures then we can see a reason for wanting to go green - only with the promise of wonderful exhaust notes.

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