BMW has announced that it will unveil its new eco-friendly sports car concept, the EfficientDynamics Vision, at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September. Designed to showcase energy efficient drive-train technology and lighter materials, it will be interesting to see how much it borrows from the recently revealed GINA concept car which is said to have been heavily influencing current design thinking. If, as expected, the new car continues innovations such as the fabric skin developed for the GINA, BMW may be the first of the major automakers to seriously pursue the Hypercar strategy of ultra-light automobile design suggested by theorists such as Avory Lovins at the Rocky Mountain Institute. This would represent a break, albeit only in concept car form, from the more incremental approach to weight reduction that seems to have ruled industry thinking up to this time.
Look for an electric or possibly an electric/Diesel hybrid engine, and possibly further iterations of the intelligent aerodynamics system which allows the vehicle to actually change shape while in motion, responding to conditions or changes in speed.
Although the EfficientDynamics label covers a broad Spectrum of "green" technologies under development including less radical advances like off-on engine operation and exhaust energy recapture, if the Vision is anything like the GINA, it should represent more of the very tip of the cutting edge. “Anyone who takes a closer look at this concept car will understand the direction in which we are developing our technology,” said Dr Klaus Draeger, BMW management board member.
[sources:AUTOCAR.co.UK, CAR, MotorTrend]