BMW sees technical innovations reducing both emissions and fuel consumption as an elementary part of the brand's product strategy, just like vehicle concepts enhancing the Sheer Driving Pleasure so typical of BMW as a lasting, sustained experience.
Now the BMW Vision EfficientDynamics concept car clearly demonstrates that these objectives expressed through the BMW EfficientDynamics develop- ment strategy are fully compatible with the most demanding reduction in fuel consumption and emissions complying in full with future requirements. Conceived as a 2+2-seater with plug-in full-hybrid technology, this unique car is able to combine the performance of a BMW M Car with a standard of fuel economy and emission management exceeding even the current level achieved by the latest small cars in the market.
This outstanding result is made possible by the consistent integration of BMW ActiveHybrid components, their combination with an extremely economi- cal combustion engine, and the outstanding aerodynamic qualities of the BMW Vision EfficientDynamics concept car.
BMW Vision EfficientDynamics is the result of an all-inclusive development process starting from a clean sheet of paper. This ensures an improvement of both efficiency and driving pleasure far exceeding the sum total of all individual components and technologies, and is also borne out in the very emotional design of this unique concept car. BMW Vision EfficientDynamics is therefore an unprecedented sports car offering fascinating perspectives for the future of Sheer Driving Pleasure combined in full harmony with maximum efficiency.
Aerodynamic Qualities Reflecting BMW's Know-how Gained in Formula 1
BMW Vision EfficientDynamics takes a new approach in its design and streamlining, the body and the interior clearly expressing the unique combina- tion of supreme efficiency and the sporting performance so typical of the brand. Following the design language so characteristic of BMW, this unprecedented concept car clearly visualises both highly efficient aerodynamics and consistent lightweight construction.
In its design, BMW Vision EfficientDynamics differs significantly from the usual low-emission cars seen so far. And since the principle of "form follows function" is not reduced in this case just to the overall look of the car, but rather embraces each and every detail, BMW Vision EfficientDynamics combines unique aesthetic appeal with a highly emotional impact. Through its design alone, therefore, BMW Vision EfficientDynamics clearly proves that Sheer Driving Pleasure in typical BMW style may also be offered without restrictions in a brand-new, innovative car concept.
Measuring only 1.24 metres or 48.8" in height and boasting a sweeping, arch-like roofline, BMW Vision EfficientDynamics offers the slender silhouette of a classic Gran Turismo. With the combustion engine fitted in front of the rear axle, the designers have furthermore succeeded in giving the car a very low and sleek front end, with the flow of air depending on driving conditions being further smoothened by active louvers in the radiator closing completely whenever the need for cooling air is relatively low.
This efficient function follows in the footsteps of the active air flap control already used as a feature of BMW EfficientDynamics in many of BMW's current production models. And as a further highlight, BMW Vision EfficientDynamics guides air smoothly and exactly as required into the car through an active air intake at the front.
Numerous details in the design of the body are based on the know-how BMW has gained in Formula 1, a number of body elements serving as air deflectors and guide vanes, like on the BMW Sauber F1. Designed as ducts, for example, the A-pillars serve to channel the flow of air in the same way as the rear lights with their wing profile.
The underfloor of the car is fully covered from front to rear and from one side to the other, thus maintaining a smooth surface to avoid any air swirl liable to increase fuel consumption. Slender openings around the front air dam guide the air flowing in specifically into two closed ducts leading inside the front air dam to the wheel arches where the air comes out again through a very slim aperture at high speed, flowing just next to the outer wheel flanks. This air jet rests on the front wheels like a curtain and is therefore referred to most appropriately as the air curtain with its highly stabilising effect.
In both its exterior and interior design, BMW Vision EfficientDynamics stands out clearly as a strong spearhead in technology. Many components of the vehicle are presented in full view expressing the "transparent" character of the car as a powerful visual feature of lightweight technology. The chassis and sus- pension of BMW Vision EfficientDynamics are made completely of aluminium, the roof and the outer skin on the large doors are made almost completely of a special polycarbonate glass automatically darkening as a function of the light shining on the car.
Emotional Design Through Sculptural Shapes and Layering Technology
Reflecting the innovative drive concept of this unique car, the design of BMW Vision EfficientDynamics likewise takes a new approach in combining functional progress with a most powerful emotional impact.
This has been achieved through the close cooperation of BMW's Design and Technical Development Divisions starting at an early point and continuing con- sistently throughout the entire development process. The result is a brand-new vehicle architecture with the drive components as well as the body and interior elements perfectly coordinated and matched to one another with maximum flexibility and individual style. A fully integrated design philosophy also provided new options in using harmonised design principles connecting the exterior and the interior and providing an interacting effect between the two areas.
Sculptural design language giving BMW Vision EfficientDynamics a fully harmonised, complete look ensures the proportions so typical of a BMW sports car. The front, side, rear and roof areas, for example, flow smoothly into one another. Dynamically contoured surfaces and shapes, in turn, create highly attractive light and shade effects accentuating the light and sporting character of the car in a most emotional manner.
Layering technology developed by the BMW Group Design Division acts as the fundamental guideline in designing the exterior and interior. Applied for the first time in exterior design, this technology layers one surface on top of the other, creating very smooth seams and joints to reduce the number of components and, accordingly, the weight of the car. As a result, BMW Vision EfficientDynamics meets the most demanding aerodynamic requirements without using any additional body elements, simply through the structure of the surfaces optimised for a smooth flow of air.
Interior: Innovative Lightweight Construction and Unprecedented Orientation to the Driver
In the design of the interior, innovative layering technology provides an unprec- edented symbiosis of function and stylish shapes intentionally reduced to a minimum, consistently implementing and visualising the lightweight principle also inside the car.
Specific components such as the central air vent not only serving to enhance motoring comfort but also acting as part of the cockpit, perform several functions in one. This multi-functionality is then presented visibly within the car, the use of particularly sophisticated materials providing a highly attractive combination of innovation in technology and quality clear to the eye and the touch of the surface.
This interaction of lightweight construction and individual well-being also comes out clearly in the design of the controls and switches, with a leather band, for example, running round the aluminium gear selector lever on the centre console.
Materials combining lightweight technology and all the qualities required are also to be admired all round the cockpit of BMW Vision EfficientDynamics, giving the car an unusually generous feeling of space for a 2+2-seater. The body-contoured seats, for example, are made up of a kevlar shell, a backbone structure, and seat padding with personalised fillings. Clearly, this combination alone ensures supreme comfort on minimum weight.
The driver's and front passenger's seats are connected firmly to the centre console to form a joint interior "landscape", while the rear seats anchored on the floor would appear to be hovering in space. Natural materials and light colours on the seat upholstery and all interior linings underline the light, sophisticated and sustainability-oriented atmosphere within the passenger compartment.
The instrument panel is deliberately padded only where technical components have to be appropriately covered, thus making an important contribution to passenger safety in the event of a collision. The instrument cluster played a fundamental role right from the start in the design process, serving as the starting point for all surfaces within the interior and thus creating a particularly powerful rendition of that driver orientation so typical of BMW.
Innovative Light Technology
LED lights at both the front and rear end of BMW Vision EfficientDynamics provide an innovative combination of the symbols so typical of the brand and clear design language oriented towards trendsetting technology. The distinctive look of the dual round headlights characteristic of a BMW is emphasised in particular by the use of LED technology. The rear lights are integrated also in their function into the design of the entire rear section, forming part of the rear air deflector and thus merging completely into the rear contour.
Extremely flat and compact, the rear lights are made up of innovative LED units forming a smooth and consistent red surface when not in use. Only when used do the respective light chambers take on their appropriate colour such as yellow on the direction indicators.
This innovative light technology also provides an intense symbiosis of the exterior and interior, again promoting and further refining the driving experience. This is also why the ambient illumination of the interior comes with new features and qualities, the light sources within the passenger compartment being fed from the positioning lights at the side, the rear lights and the brake lights, thus changing the atmosphere created by the lights within the car as a function of driving conditions.
The optical impression conveyed by BMW Vision EfficientDynamics also results in other areas from the symbiosis of the exterior and interior, eliminating the conventional barriers between the two. The lines within the interior, for example, continue on to the innovative design of the engine compartment lid, while in its shape the third brake light positioned higher up on the car follows the structure of the glass roof and tapers to the outside where the roofline moves down gently to the rear.
Gullwing Doors for Convenient Access to All Seats
The doors on BMW Vision EfficientDynamics open up like gullwings, turning on pivots in the front roof column at the level of the side direction indicators. Since the car has no B-pillars, the large door cutouts ensure convenient entry also to the rear seats. The pivots on the doors also provide the base for the exterior mirrors, thus forming an ideal combination of function and aesthetic design.
The structure of the doors is also characterised by several layers of materials on top of one another and the optical and functional symbiosis of the interior and exterior this technology is able to offer. Made up of three layers, the overall structure comprises the outer glass surface, an interim load-bearing layer, and the interior cover with its particularly smooth shapes and flowing forms clearly visible to the passengers, layering technology again, therefore, opening up new perspectives.
The large glass surfaces extending far down on the body also provide a strong optical impression of the low seating position close to the road. And at the same time a stable sidebar ensures the body stiffness and crash safety naturally required on every vehicle. Flowing to the inside at its central point, this safety element also serves as an armrest.
This interplay of the three layers also helping to minimise the weight of the car continues on the trim bar running along the door and extending out of the armrest, finally flowing into the outer door opener on its path from inside to outside.