Currently reading: BMW builds 120mpg concept
Technology is ready for production, says BMW

BMW has revealed a new concept car that gives clues towards the Project I family of electric cars planned to be on sale mid-decade.

The three-wheeler Simple concept was created inside BMW’s advanced engineering Technik facility in Munich with the aim of offering personal mobility with fuel consumption below 2l/100km, the equivalent of 120mpg.

See the hi-res BMW Simple pics

That’s the next target for fuel economy that car companies are going to have target in the next decade.

The target in the previous decade was 3l/1000km, equivalent to 90mpg, and one that future models being rolled out in the next few years will increasingly manage.

“We could build the Simple right now with the technology we have, but it is just a concept,” says project leader Sebastian Schelper.

The Simple features a below-floor 36kW petrol engine, a three-wheel layout and tandem seating for two.Other powertrains, including electric drive was explored for the project.

Schelper say that the tough fuel economy target dictated the tandem layout. “It’s the only way to get such a low fuel economy,” he says.

VW recently revealed a similar design at Frankfurt and experimented with a three-wheeler aimed at the high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes on US freeways. “The Simple would also be able to drive in HOVs,” says Schelper.

For now, though the Simple, is a dead project. Marketing decided that he tandem seating position wasn’t a practical sale-able proposition, which scuppered the design.

Created in 2008, it was never shown at a major motor show and instead has just been put on show at BMW’s Munich car museum.

Significantly, though, a detailed design and engineering dossier on the Simple has been passed to the team working on Project I and Schelper is now head of sustainability on the electric car project.

Julian Rendell

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pete_79 12 October 2009

Re: BMW builds 120mpg concept

jackjflash wrote:

Peter Cavellini wrote:
BMW , a concept still has to have FOUR wheels.

Why Peter, how do you come to that conclusion? Three wheels are stable enough for normal commuter vehicles and have less drag than four. No matter what powers the car, three wheels will always be more efficient than four. The BMW concept’s number one goal is fuel economy; they sacrificed looks, convenience and handling to achieve it and produced transport that is Spartan in nature and probably has limited appeal to the general public. As a concept I think it floats, it’s just ahead of its time for widespread acceptance. I think the best three wheel design going is the Aptera, but it is swimming upstream as well because it is too different from the current four wheel norm. From a pure design philosophy it works well, but in the love /loathe ratio of public acceptance the loathe crowd probably wins out; unfortunate as it is a solid design ahead of its time.

I love it, well, I would if it had 4 wheels ( maybe its a 'Peter' thing ;) ), but I have no problem with the tandem seating or its size.... Its just I personally dont like the idea of sacrificing handling, but thats my taste...

pete_79 12 October 2009

Re: BMW builds 120mpg concept

Yup, too many 'cars of the future' ignore affordability and the ease of manufacture. Batteries will contine to be bad for the planet and inefficient for a long long time yet. I mean, if you want a **** small car, a G-wiz is what, £15k? A Perodua something-or-other, £5K... Also, where's the sense in throwing away the machinaery and 100+ years or manufacturing know how...

412 12 October 2009

Re: BMW builds 120mpg concept

fuzzybear wrote:

412 wrote:
I also believe Hydrogen is the future

I agree with that bit

And not with fuel cells. I mean running engines on it. This will keep future R&D and engineering costs down and will mean affordable cars for all.