At its NEXTGen event in Munich today, BMW debuted its ‘Power BEV’ concept vehicle. A 720-hp trial vehicle that boasts a massive three ultra-powerful electric drive units BMW says the Power BEV’s maximum system output exceeds 530 kW/720 hp, enabling the vehicle to go from 0-100 km/h in under three seconds.
The three drive units all contain a motor, power electronics and power take-off within one housing — one is mounted on the front axle, with the other two forming a double drive unit on the rear axle. That the same configuration as Tesla’s upcoming next gen Roadster.
According to BMW, he development team’s aim here was to build an experimental vehicle which impresses not only with its longitudinal dynamics but also in terms of lateral dynamics. It has been designed not only to be fast in a straight line but also to put a smile on the driver’s face thorough keenly taken corners.
To this end, the chassis and powertrain engineers worked together particularly closely to maximise the car’s performance. Key to its dynamic attributes is that the two electric motors at the rear axle are controlled separately. This brings e-torque vectoring into play, which enables maximum drive power to be translated into forward propulsion even in extremely dynamic driving manoeuvres. The result is more effective and precise than with a limited slip differential, because actively targeted inputs are possible in any driving situation. By contrast, a limited slip differential always reacts to a difference in rotation speed between the driven wheels.
The drive system comprises three fifth-generation drive units, each of which brings together an electric motor and the associated power electronics and power take-off within a single housing. One is mounted at the front axle and two (a double drive unit) at the rear axle. Another notable aspect of this generation alongside its eye-catching power is that it is entirely free of rare earths. An electric motor of this type will make its series production debut in the BMW iX3. The iX3 will only have one motor, though, rather than three. A current BMW 5 Series production model serves as the donor car for the Power BEV.