BMW i3 Electric CityCar Concept News Car and Driver

15 Апр 2014 | Author: | Комментарии к записи BMW i3 Electric CityCar Concept News Car and Driver отключены
BMW 5er Electric Cars

BMW delivers the future of driving with its revolutionary new electric city car.

BMW has been hyping up its “Megacity Vehicle” for a couple of years now, and despite teasers about innovative tech features and full carbon-fiber body structures, we’ve withheld judgment, even when we spied one in the wild over the winter. But as of now, the shroud of mystery has been lifted about all the details except how the thing actually drives. Like a BMW?

Like nothing before it? Maybe both?

The i3’s story begins with its LifeDrive architecture. According to BMW, experience with the Mini E and BMW ActiveE (the electric 1-series coupe) has proven that creating an electric car out of a structure designed to house an internal-combustion engine results in wasteful excess weight and imperfect packaging. As a result, the i3 (and the i8 sports car that was also just unveiled) is made up of two separate modules, which BMW calls Drive and Life.

The Drive portion, made of extruded and cast aluminum pieces, carries all the driveline and chassis components. For an optimized center of gravity, the i3’s large and flat battery, roughly the size of the floor, sits low in this section. It’s encased in aluminum and has a capacity of roughly 21 kWh.

Because the car is still a few years from production, the exact specs have yet to be nailed down.

BMW 5er Electric Cars

Mod Squad

The Life module sits atop the Drive components chassis, and houses passengers and luggage. As BMW has already announced, this structure consists of carbon-fiber reinforced plastic, or CFRP, a first for any vehicle this side of a few exotic supercars. While the aluminum Drive module weighs 30 percent less than a similar steel structure, the weight reduction in the CFRP Life module is closer to 50 percent. The carbon-fiber shell weighs just 265 pounds and is attached to the Drive module in five locations with glue and screws.

As a whole, the i3 weighs in at 2800 pounds, according to BMW. When speaking about the safety of CFRP, the company points to Formula 1 cockpits as proof of security. While metals require large crumple zones, carbon can be designed with special deformation elements that result in large amounts of energy being consumed in a very small space. A further benefit of the LifeDrive architecture, in the i3’s case, is the deletion of a driveshaft tunnel, allowing more space to be dedicated to the cabin.

BMW says each set of seats (front and rear) is connected so that every passenger can leave from one side in a tight parking space, but we think someone at the company just really digs bench seats. There’s seven cubic feet of space left over in the rear for luggage, as well as a small compartment up front where the gas engine would usually be for stowing a charging cord or other small items.

BMW 5er Electric Cars
BMW 5er Electric Cars
BMW 5er Electric Cars
BMW 5er Electric Cars
BMW 5er Electric Cars
BMW 5er Electric Cars

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