BMW 1-series Concept ActiveE packs 170bhp and 184lb ft of torque; 100-mile range
12 January 2010

BMW has ignited the second phase in its 'project i' city car initiative at the Detroit motor show, with the unveiling of a new plug-in electric version of the 1-series coupe.

Known as the BMW 1-series Concept ActiveE, the new four-seater previews a zero-emission BMW that will to go into a limited lease programme for preferred customers in selected markets.

See the BMW 1-series Concept ActiveE pics

This will include the UK, where the new car is expected to form a major part of BMW’s recently awarded official London Olympics car supplier programme from late 2010.

Conceived along the same lines as the front-wheel-drive Mini E – the car credited with kick-starting the BMW Group’s 'project i' initiative - the ActiveE switches the emphasis to rear-wheel drive. It uses a synchronous electric motor mounted within the rear axle casing to provide propulsion.

With 170bhp and 184lb ft of torque, the brushless unit draws energy from two separate banks of lithium ion batteries – one where the fuel tank usually resides and the second in place of the engine.

Its strong torque sees it deliver impressive straightline performance. BMW claims 0-37mph in just 4.5sec and 0-62mph in less than nine seconds. The top speed, meanwhile, is limited to 90mph to safeguard the level of charge within the batteries.

BMW puts its latest concept car’s real world range at 100 miles – sufficient, it says, for the ActiveE to see to most urban-based motoring needs.

Recharging of the batteries is achieved via a standard power socket. A high-charge function provides the new BMW with a recharge time of just three hours at 50 amps/240 volts in Europe.

Following the example laid down by the Mini E, the 1-series Concept ActiveE also stows kinetic electricity. A generator provides a considerable engine braking effect on a trailing throttle in a process which, BMW claims, helps increases the range by up to 20 per cent.

Although the new concept car adheres to the look of more conventional 1-series coupe models, detailed changes such as the inclusion of low-drag wheels shod with low-resistance tyres, additional composite cladding underneath and smaller apertures for cooling within the front bumper have helped lower drag.

At this early stage, BMW is not providing too many details about the lease programme that it has developed for the production version of the 1-series Concept ActiveE, which is expected to make an appearance at the Paris motor show in September 2010. However, expect prices to mirror those of the Mini E, which is offered at a monthly payment of £550.

Greg Kable

Twitter - follow autocar.co.ukSee all the latest BMW 1-series reviews, news and video


Detroit motor show 2010

Detroit motor show: Hot BMW Z4, Detroit motor show: BMW electric 1-series, Detroit motor show: Buick Regal GS, Detroit motor show: Cadillac CTS-V Coupe, Detroit motor show: Cadillac's new flagship saloon, Detroit motor show: Chevrolet Aveo RS, Detroit motor show: Chrysler 300C, Detroit motor show: electric Fiat 500, New Ford Focus revealed, Detroit motor show: Ford Mustang V8, Detroit motor show: Hyundai Blue-Will, Detroit motor show: Jeep specials, Detroit motor show: Merc E-class cabrio, Detroit motor show: Mini Beachcomber, Detroit motor show: Toyota hybrid concept, Detroit motor show: VW Jetta coupe hybrid concept, Detroit motor show: electric Volvo C30.

Our Verdict

BMW 1 Series

A final facelift for the rear-wheel drive BMW 1 Series, as it aims to take class honours from the formidable Audi A3 and the Mercedes-Benz A-Class

Join the debate

Comments
33

17 December 2009

Now this is kind of funny and also sad for a few reasons:

a) all those on here that think BMW are the bees knees and that 100 mile range electric cars are not good...i wonder what you will say now.

b) as for those that said the UK is where BMW could place electric design and manufacturing, think again...this car was developed in Germany and is front wheel drive (which funny for BMW) and thus the impact on UK jobs will not be much at all.

c) this car will not be released for the olympics, only in effective prototype form; the Nissan solution was complete with the Leaf on genuine SALE, Nissan had linked up to the power companies and UK firms to provide a total package and that package would spread across the UK

d) what's the result, with the BMW bid the UK got sold short by a long way and it is even clearer now that the best bid was the Nissan bid...water under the bridge, but it is angering to think the UK was sold down the river for money we have already paid out anyway - BMW will not do anything different to the Oxford plant other than what they were doing to do...the tech. will stay in Germany as per this shows; the Olympics team (Lord Coe) sold us short - well played Lord Coe...Merry Christmas...feel proud of yourself? (you shouldn't do..shame on you)

e) BMWs are going front wheel drive! - comedy

17 December 2009

Oh capslock where are you????

so zero emmissions 1 series for the games. Looks like lord Coe knew alot more than you, funny that!

17 December 2009

Widescreen:

It states, quite clearly, in the text that this is a rear wheel drive implementation.

17 December 2009

[quote Widescreen]

Now this is kind of funny and also sad for a few reasons:

a) all those on here that think BMW are the bees knees and that 100 mile range electric cars are not good...i wonder what you will say now.

b) as for those that said the UK is where BMW could place electric design and manufacturing, think again...this car was developed in Germany and is front wheel drive (which funny for BMW) and thus the impact on UK jobs will not be much at all.

c) this car will not be released for the olympics, only in effective prototype form; the Nissan solution was complete with the Leaf on genuine SALE, Nissan had linked up to the power companies and UK firms to provide a total package and that package would spread across the UK

d) what's the result, with the BMW bid the UK got sold short by a long way and it is even clearer now that the best bid was the Nissan bid...water under the bridge, but it is angering to think the UK was sold down the river for money we have already paid out anyway - BMW will not do anything different to the Oxford plant other than what they were doing to do...the tech. will stay in Germany as per this shows; the Olympics team (Lord Coe) sold us short - well played Lord Coe...Merry Christmas...feel proud of yourself? (you shouldn't do..shame on you)

e) BMWs are going front wheel drive! - comedy

[/quote]

a) Seeing as BMW have really kicked started the ecomomical cars with their effcient dynamics system and were the first to add these features as standard and in many ways still are they should be applauded. It is battery technology not BMW that is holdoing back electric cars. the range is due to limited batteries and knowing BMW extra batteries means extra weight and useability so maybe a good compromise for a 1st gen electric BMW.

b) If you read the article is actually RWD not FWD BMW already have the Hans Hall plant for 4 cylinder petrols and no reason to disbelive only time will tell...

c) Nissan did indeed have a good package but the electric cars and charging points could not provide the reliability wanted and broken down or ran out of elctric power cars would not of been a good PR move.

d) You seem very cynical about BMW without knowing all the ins and outs of the bid is is hard to know, Nissan is hardly a British company either and I don't think the leaf would of delivered as the hype around it sugggests. Battery technology as said above is the issue and maybe Nissan could iron out the issues but it is still a gamble not really covered in the press.

e) Maybe read the article again.............but the 0 Series is mooted to maybe go FWD.

17 December 2009

[quote Autocar]the new BMW with a recharge time of just three hours at 50 amps/240 volts in Europe.[/quote]

50 amps!

as far as I know most older houses in UK have fuse boxes/'consumer units' rated for max. 30A fuses, for electric cookers, immersion heaters, power showers and so on, at a push. 50 amps is a lot of juice. the average electricity usage for a UK dwelling is around 4,000 kWh per year, or ~10 kWh per day. drawing 12kW or more for several hours is surely going to cause problems unless the local supply network is upgraded - power lines, substations and so on.

17 December 2009

[quote Vidge 123]Oh capslock where are you????[/quote]

I am here...i guess that blows your theory!

are you going to accuse me of being North next...or Horse and Cart? anyway, i have moved on to a different forum and it looks like widescreen posts will give some strong debating points.

have fun all and merry christmas!!

17 December 2009

[quote CapsLock] it looks like widescreen posts will give some strong debating points.[/quote]

The main one being did he actually read the article properly based on his statement: "...this car was developed in Germany and is front wheel drive (which funny for BMW) and thus the impact on UK jobs will not be much at all.", when it blatantly says the car has been developed for RWD.

He then goes on to remind us that he couldn't be arsed to read the article properly with his final statement: " BMWs are going front wheel drive! - comedy "

It also seems strange that he seems to assume that the car for the Olympics has to be a production vehicle. BMW have two years to develop, refine and produce an adequate number of these vehicles for the Olympics alone (as per their contract), which is well within their capabilities.

What is funny is that it appears you somewhat jumped the gun slating Lord Coe for going with the BMW bid, when you didn't have any of the details of what BMW were planning. Now you're trying to divert the debate onto Widescreen, who's debating points I would say are from from strong, as he hasn't even bothered to check the facts he's quoting. Fish, barrels and shooting spring to mind.

I can only assume you didn't type as much as you usually do as you've been severely burned by this latest twist in the story (Still, it's more entertaining than Eastenders).

If your on the "Flat Earth Society " forum later, don't listen to Colombus and all his nonsense about the "New World". It's just a government conspiracy to try to convince you that the world is round, don't you go falling for it! .

"MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYBODY!"

17 December 2009

I apologise, it does say it will be rear wheek drive!

a) as for suggesting BMW started some sort of eco. movement..you are wrong, Ford had an electric Ranger years ago, GM has had electric cars, you had Toyota with the VVTi, you Honda variable timings, you had lots of manufacturers eco'd prior to BMW; the Prius for a start!

-- Nissan are ahead of BMW in terms of technology- the electric aspect they are ahead and in its manufacturinge etc; BM are playing catch up as they went into hydrogen which was the wrong thing to do.

--also the EU regulations have played a massive part i.e. average emmissions which from memory BMW were fighting against it coming in/wanting a delay etc - feel free to correct me.

b) you do not need to know that much about the bidding process, Nissan were going to place 2000 of its leaf units into the system, build the infrastructure etc etc and on top of all that as has been said before by CapsLock that meant jobs and growth for the UK

c) Nissan is the UK largest car manufacturer, it has its EU design centre based here in the UK, with the bid and without the bid Nissan works with many UK firms; thus its footprint in the UK is large as its committment and tthat is to be held up to the highest esteem BMW are not as committed to the UK, they employ people here but they are not as committed.

d) BMW will not have this 1 electric car on general release for the games, BM are NOT going to place in all the infrastucture that Nissan would have and thus its a no brainer as to which should have won.

e) so as i said, Lord Coe had it wrong, makes no difference how you cut it, where you cut it or how you look at it...Lord Coe got it wrong; the Nissan bid was by far and best for the UK, the jobs, the infrastructure, the investment and all the other firms which that impacts would have been far greater; of that their is no question; Lord Coe got it wrong.

f) my only interest in all this is the UK and i stand on the side of the UK (unlike Lord Coe seems to do with his decisions re. BMW which is not as good as Nissans for the UK - clear as day); we need jobs here, we need good jobs here, investment for tech. firms, investment and building of infrastructure etc BMW do not offer that, Nissan did - simples - its a no brainer - Nissan had the better option for the UK and electric vehicles and we lost an amazing opportunity thanks to Lord Coe; its that simple.

g) battery technology is not holding back the electric car (not anymore) but INFRASTRUCTURE is and that is why the best bid was Nissan and the package they had put together, that would have actually helped every other manufacturer and put the UK on the map.

h) the Tesla S is up to 300 miles on one charge already and these cars now are 100 mile range (i see no one having at go at BM for a 100 mile range..i seem to remember some people last time i.e.non-BMW product did) which is ample for most people on a daily basis.

i) battery tech. will be even better in five years, the next gen. cars will be 300 to 500 hundred mile range with some city cars at 100-200 etc the problem is INFRASTRUCTURE and hence to have a car people can actually buy re. the Nissan Leaf and a company with a package to provide that infrastructure (for all to use) makes more sense than a company (BMW) with a car people cannot actually buy and that will not give any infrastucture, its a no brainer.

j) not forgetting all the extra jobs and investment the Nissan infrastructure package would have brough to the UK its a total no brainer, Nissan should have won it, and Lord Coe totally made the wrong decision its as plain as the nose on your face, its not tricky stuff.

17 December 2009

What a brilliant city car! Now if only they could get the price comparable to a conventional petrol/diesel car........

17 December 2009

Remind me, what's the point of a car that can do just 100 miles? Is this progress?

Also, how is the electricity created to run it? Is this really a zero emissions car?

Pages

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Jaguar E-Pace D180
    First Drive
    19 November 2017
    Not the driver’s car many would hope from any car wearing the Jaguar badge, but the E-Pace is an attractive and interesting addition to the compact premium SUV ranks
  • Jaguar E-Pace P300
    First Drive
    19 November 2017
    Jaguar’s second SUV faces up to the Audi Q3, BMW X1 and Mercedes-Benz GLA. Tough task, so is the E-Pace up to it?
  • Subaru Impreza
    First Drive
    17 November 2017
    The fifth-generation Subaru Impreza is much improved from top to bottom, but a poor engine and gearbox keep it trailing in this competitive class
  • Ford Fiesta Vignale
    First Drive
    17 November 2017
    We get a first taste of Ford’s poshest Fiesta in turbocharged diesel form
  • Seat Arona
    Car review
    17 November 2017
    Seat is on a roll but can the Arona, its new junior SUV, cut it in such an ultra-competitive class?