Video: BMW Confirms Production of Vision Plug-in Hybrid Supercar

By · November 05, 2010

BMW Vision road-ready plug-in hybrid supercar revealed

BMW definitely knows how to dominate the green car airwaves. During a week of relatively scant plug-in news, during the quiet before the LA Auto Show, on a Friday—the day of the week that is typically most quiet anyways—BMW has unleashed a barrage of information for the electrification crowd.

After announcing that they will be investing more than half a billion dollars in one facility in Germany to build the upcoming Megacity EV, the company has now also confirmed that the much anticipated Vision plug-in hybrid supercar is green lighted for production. The confirmation comes after months of BMW stoking the rumor fires and the discovery of an article in a German auto enthusiast magazine just yesterday claiming the vehicle would see production in 2013.

Although BMW hasn't provided too many more clues as to the exact specifications of the car—nor have they confirmed that it will actually reach production in 2013—they did say that it will reach production and are providing a "fully road-ready technology showcase vehicle" for members of the media to drive during the Leipzig Trade Fair.

According to BMW the vehicle is a 2+2 seater measuring a scant four feet tall with an impressive 0.22 coefficient of drag. The Vision combines a 3-cylinder turbo diesel engine with a hybrid synchronous motor at the front axle and a full-hybrid engine at the rear axle, providing a total of 328 hp output. The car can reach 62 mph from a standing start in 4.8 seconds yet manages an impressive 62 mpg/99 g CO2 per km according to the EU test cycle—although those of us familiar with PHEVs know that those numbers can be almost meaningless unless you apply your specific driving needs.

The road-ready Vision media car carries a lithium-polymer battery pack mounted low and along the center of the vehicle as part of the chassis. BMW says the battery can be fully charged "at a conventional power socket" within two and a half hours (I'm thinking they mean a conventional 220 V/15 Amp European socket rather than a 120 V/15 Amp American socket). With a fully charged battery, the Vision can reportedly travel about 31 miles on battery power alone, although there's no word if the Vision allows for full performance when driving solely on battery power. After the battery juice is used up, a 6.3 gallon diesel tank provides the range extending energy to allow for a total range of 435 miles.

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