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BMW introducing new EfficientDynamics engine family; 3-, 4- and 6-cylinder, gasoline and diesel; first member a 1.5L, 3-cylinder TwinPower Turbo gasoline engine

BMW introducing compact plug-in hybrid Concept Active Tourer at Paris Show; eDrive from the i8 with new 3-cylinder from EfficientDynamics engine family

BMW Concept Active Tourer plug-in hybrid. Click to enlarge.

BMW will present the new BMW compact plug-in hybrid Concept Active Tourer at the 2012 Paris Motor Show. BMW expects annual growth rates of up to 5% in the small car and compact segment of the premium class in the years to come; the company says that the Concept Active Tourer is thus a key component in the ongoing development of the BMW brand and its model portfolio.

The eDrive concept familiar from the BMW i8 (earlier post) is used here for the first time in a model of the core BMW brand and will in future be the designation for all electric and plug-in hybrid drives. It covers all components of the electric drive, the electric motor developed by BMW, the lithium-ion battery and the intelligent engine control unit.

The BMW Concept Active Tourer presents a drive concept which is new to the BMW brand. The 3-cylinder, 1.5-liter gasoline engine does not drive the rear wheels—as has been the case in BMW models to date—but the front wheels. The synchronous electric motor of the BMW Concept Active Tourer is designed as a fully-fledged power unit and acts on the rear axle, if necessary powering the car on its own.

With a system output of more than 140 kW/190 bhp, the combination of combustion engine and electric motor enables the BMW Concept Active Tourer to achieve sporty performance figures while maintaining extremely low fuel consumption and emission levels.

The BMW Concept Active Tourer accelerates in less than eight seconds from standing to 100 km/h, while the maximum speed is around 200 km/h (124 mph). The average fuel consumption is less than 2.5 liters per 100 kilometres (94 mpg US), with a CO2 emissions level of less than 60 g/km.

The combustion engine of the new BMW Concept Active Tourer is a new advanced 3-cylinder 1.5-liter engine (earlier post) with BMW TwinPower Turbo Technology. Derived from the multiple award-winning 6-cylinder engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo Technology, it combines the latest generation of High Precision Injection with the fully variable valve control system VALVETRONIC and ultra-modern turbocharging.

BMW TwinPower Turbo Technology will be used in all power units of the BMW Group’s Efficient Dynamics engine family in the future—not least because it does not depend on total capacity or number of cylinders. The new 3-cylinder engine in the BMW Concept Active Tourer is one of the first representatives of this new generation of engines.

The new BMW TwinPower Turbo 3-cylinder offers character-specific benefits: running smoothness, revving power, spontaneous response and a dynamic, sporty sound. Since there are no first and second-order inertia forces, it offers an especially high level of comfort in terms of noise and vibration. The level of roll torque is lower than that of a 4-cylinder and is compensated for by a single counterbalance shaft. Among other things, this helps keep the engine extremely smooth-running in the low engine speed range, too.

The synchronous electric motor in the BMW Concept Active Tourer was also developed by the BMW Group. With a fully charged battery, the BMW Concept Active Tourer has a maximum range of more than 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) when running on electric power alone. The boost function can be applied to use the power provided by the synchronous electric motor for such things as highly dynamic acceleration manoeuvres. The motor delivers maximum torque of 200 N·m (148 lb-ft).

The lithium-ion battery of the BMW Concept Active Tourer can be charged at any 220 volt household power socket. Power can be drawn from both axes of the BMW Concept Active Tourer and fed into the lithium-ion battery so as to enhance the efficiency of the plug-in hybrid. While the electric motor automatically recuperates maximum energy at the rear axle during deceleration, a high-volt generator connected to the combustion engine additionally charges the battery whenever needed.

As part of the BMW Group's Efficient Dynamics strategy, the BMW Concept Active Tourer also features a measures package specially geared towards the plug-in hybrid to increase efficiency. For example, an anticipatory operating strategy optimizes the efficiency of the electric motor and the high-performance battery. The system draws on data provided by the navigation system, calculating in advance the most suitable sections of the route and driving situations in which to apply electric drive or charge the battery. This optimized charging strategy saves up to 10% of energy so as to extend the amount of travel time during which the vehicle runs on electrical power alone.

The new BMW Concept Active Tourer includes other features of the BMW EfficientDynamics strategy, too. In the case of the BMW Concept Active Tourer, these are all mainly geared towards maximizing the range of the vehicle when running purely on electricity. This involves optimizing the energy consumption of the ancillary units.

Other BMW EfficientDynamics measures include an automatic engine start/stop system geared especially towards the plug-in hybrid drive and the second generation of air flap control.

The BMW Concept Active Tourer is fitted with the ECO PRO mode which is also available in current BMW series production models. At the appropriate opportunities, ECO PRO mode reduces the power of the interior air conditioning and other electrically powered comfort functions, ensuring drive components operate on maximum efficiency according to the current situation on the road.

ECO PRO mode also provides the driver with advice. To this end, this system is linked to the navigation system. Based on the calculated route data and the driver’s individual style of driving, ECO PRO mode is able to indicate how to reach a given destination with the lowest level of fuel consumption, for example. The preview assistant gives the driver tips such as “Remove foot from accelerator” if a tight bend or speed limit is approaching which the driver cannot even see yet. The preview assistant can take into account such features as curves, built-up areas, roundabouts, T-junctions and motorway exits. At the same time, an anticipatory transmission assistant optimizes the electronic transmission control system for imminent situations.

ECO PRO mode can also activate the coasting mode at two levels between 50 and 160 km/h (31 and 99 mph) . Here the system completely deactivates the combustion engine at speeds of up to 125 km/h (78 mph). It also decouples the engine from the drivetrain up to a speed of 160 km/h, allowing comfortable driving while making full use of the kinetic energy already generated.

An innovative panorama sunroof creates a unique ambience, extending across the entire roof surface of the BMW Concept Active Tourer. The composite glass roof with innovative Suspended Particle Device (SPD) technology means that the desired brightness or temperature effect can be created at the press of an electric button—either being darkened to the level of powerful sunglasses or raised to crystal clear brightness. Occupants can achieve a special lighting effect by manually adding a large-area leaf structure design to the glass roof. Electrical impulses cause the molecular structure of the glass to change at continuously varying levels between light and dark according to preference.

Instead of a conventional instrument cluster with four analog circular instruments providing the driver with information on speed, engine speed, fuel level and oil temperature, there is a 10.25-inch integrated screen.

The BMW Concept Active Tourer is also fitted with the latest-generation multicolor Heads-Up Display. It projects all important information directly into the field of vision of the driver via a retracting glass surface. The intensity of projection automatically adapts to the light available. The day and night design is the same as that of the instrument panel. Depending on the driver's preference, not only the current speed and speed limits can be displayed but also overtaking bans. The driver can also obtain navigation assistance as well as a range of warnings.


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