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New BMW plug-in hybrid prototype – first look!
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New BMW plug-in hybrid prototype – first look!

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It was the star of the Frankfurt international motor show IAA in 2009: a four-seater sports car with charismatic design, fascinating performance figures and unsurpassed efficiency, powered by BMW ActiveHybrid technology and presented under the title BMW Vision EfficientDynamics. With its wide range of completely or virtually production-ready components, this concept study met with an overwhelming response. There was a widespread desire to put the car on the road, and the realisation of this desire is moving considerably closer. At the Leipzig trade fair centre BMW is presenting a fully road-ready technology showcase vehicle based on the BMW Vision EfficientDynamics concept study. This presentation will give media representatives their first ever opportunity to find out what it is like to drive the 2+2-seater car powered by an innovative hybrid system.

The concept study BMW Vision EfficientDynamics represents the future of driving pleasure. Since its world premiere at the IAA 2009 it has received several awards both for its futuristic design and its ground-breaking engine technology. Just 1.24 metres high, the 2+2-seater takes up the characteristic BMW shaping style, geared consistently towards aesthetic appeal and dynamic performance. Wing doors facilitate entry to both rows of seats, while extensive aerodynamic measures reduce the drag coefficient to 0.22. The combination of a 3-cylinder turbo diesel with a hybrid synchronous motor at the front axle and a full-hybrid engine at the rear axle enables an overall system output of 241 kW/328 bhp. The innovative design of the BMW ActiveHybrid technology allows performance figures at the level of a sports car, with just 4.8 seconds required for the sprint from zero to 100 km/h – with an average fuel consumption in the EU test cycle (KV01) of 3.76 litters/100 kilometers, equal to 75.1 mpg imp, and a CO2 emission rating of 99 grams per kilometer (1,3 l/100km and 33g CO2/km; EU-PHEV ECE-R101).

This unique relation between dynamic performance and efficiency derives from the high level of efficiency of all engine components as well as intelligent linking of the power output of the three engines, as well as precisely controlled energy management including brake energy regeneration. What is more, the study BMW Vision EfficientDynamics is conceived as a so-called plug-in hybrid. The lithium-polymer rechargeable battery housed centrally in a longitudinal chassis element and designed specially for this hybrid sports car can be fully charged at a conventional power socket within just two and half hours. The use of electrical energy alone permits zero-emissions motoring with a range of some 50 kilometres, while a 24-litre diesel tank extends the total action radius of the vehicle to up to 700 kilometres.

By developing a sports car based on the BMW Vision EfficientDynamics concept study for serial production, the Munich-based premium automobile manufacturer underscores its position as a global leader in the production of sporty vehicles with exemplary efficiency. All current models are fitted as standard with extensive measures for the reduction of fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. The innovations used for this purpose are based on the development strategy BMW EfficientDynamics, which also includes BMW ActiveHybrid technology as well as purely electrical drive systems. With the BMW ActiveHybrid 7 and the BMW ActiveHybrid X6, two serial production vehicles have already been launched in which a BMW-specific combination of combustion and electric drive results in an especially efficient increase in the driving dynamics so characteristic of the brand.

The BMW Group is also undertaking extensive field tests in regular traffic, which after the MINI E will soon include the BMW ActiveE, so as to prepare for serial production of a purely electrically powered model which is to be produced at the BMW plant in Leipzig from 2013 as the Megacity Vehicle.

At the same time, the current technology showcase vehicle being presented to mark the expansion of the BMW Leipzig plant not only demonstrates the consistent further development of BMW ActiveHybrid as a drive concept. It also highlights the expertise of the BMW Group in the integrated development of vehicle concepts which are geared towards the principles of BMW EfficientDynamics in every detail. Like the Megacity Vehicle, the sports car based on the BMW Vision EfficientDynamics study is an example of how future-oriented mobility opens up fascinating perspectives in combination with the driving pleasure characteristic of BMW.

BMW Group builds mobility of the future in Leipzig. € 400 million investment in Megacity Vehicle production. BMW Group to create 800 jobs.

The mobility of the future is under construction in Leipzig. The BMW Group is expanding its plant in Leipzig to make it the first location in Germany equipped to handle the large-scale production of zero-emission electric cars. In the period up to 2013, around €400 million will be invested at the plant in new buildings and machinery for the production of the Megacity Vehicle (MCV). Some 800 jobs will be created in the process. The plant expansion was launched on Friday by German Chancellor Dr Angela Merkel and Dr Norbert Reithofer, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG, together with the Prime Minister of the German state of Saxony, Stanislaw Tillich, and the Governor of Washington state in the US, Chris Gregoire.

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“By producing the Megacity Vehicle in Germany the BMW Group is demonstrating a clear commitment to Germany as a high-tech location. With this vehicle we are revolutionising automotive design and production, and offering our customers the first purpose-built electric vehicle for urban areas. This will be the world’s first volume-produced car with a passenger compartment made from lightweight CFRP, as less weight enables a longer range,” explained Reithofer. “We made a conscious decision to produce the car in Germany, at our plant in Leipzig – our newest and most cutting-edge facility with the most flexible structures,” he added.

Including production of components, the BMW Group and the joint venture set up with the SGL Group for the manufacture of carbon fibres are investing a total of €530 million in the project. The beneficiaries of this investment are the BMW plants in Leipzig and Landshut and the joint venture facilities in Wackersdorf and Moses Lake (Washington state, USA). A total of over 1,000 jobs will be created as a result of the investment. The BMW plant in Dingolfing will produce important components for the drive system and chassis of the MCV.

A new dimension in sustainability
The BMW Group is placing great value on sustainability throughout the value chain for the Megacity Vehicle. This approach extends far beyond the emission-free operation of the vehicle itself. Indeed, the BMW Group has also set itself ambitious aims with regard to environmental protection and the preservation of natural resources when it comes to production. For example, the company’s target is to bring its energy requirement down by 50 per cent and reduce water usage by 70 per cent per vehicle. The company is aiming to ensure that 100 per cent of the energy it uses comes from renewable sources. These figures are based on a comparison with the current values of the BMW Group production network, which has set the sustainability benchmark in the automotive sector for several years now.

Ongoing build-up of expertise in the area of electromobility
The BMW ActiveE – based on the BMW 1 Series Coupé – will roll off the production line at the Leipzig plant from as early as 2011. This vehicle represents the BMW Group’s second step, after the MINI E, towards putting an emission-free electric vehicle into series production. The knowledge gained with the MINI E and BMW ActiveE is channelled directly into the series development of the MCV. All of which means that from 2011, Leipzig will be a centre of expertise for the production of electric cars within the BMW Group’s worldwide network. To this end, BMW is also increasing the number of apprenticeship places in Leipzig from 40 to 55 per year.

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