BMW sticks its fingers into an electrical outlet
It’s the second day of the 2006 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, where one company is debuting a hybrid SUV concept and the other is showcasing an exquisitely styled, four-passenger car with 400 horsepower. One is from General Motors and the other from BMW. Somewhat surprisingly, the hot looking powerhouse is the Chevrolet Camaro and the hybrid is BMW’s Concept X3 EfficientDynamics, a model that exhibits technology created in partnership with General Motors and DaimlerChrysler. Power for this particular X3 SUV comes from an inline six-cylinder engine that is, like most hybrid powertrains, supported by supplemental electric motors. BMW’s High Precision Injection, an advanced fuel injection system that improves fuel economy by as much as 15 percent, is incorporated into the Concept X3, and the traditional engine belts are operated by individual electric motors. But what BMW engineers are most proud of is the active six-speed automatic transmission that features a built-in, compact electric motor that provides an added boost of juice when called for by the throttle. The BMW Concept X3 is what qualifies today as a full hybrid, meaning it can operate under certain conditions (such as slow startup speeds with light loads) solely on electric power. As a whole, the hybrid powertrain can move the Concept X3 to 62 mph in 6.7 seconds and reaches a max speed of about 146 mph. Try matching that with your Prius.
Photo courtesy of BMW