BMW has revealed an advanced new plug-in hybrid system, dubbed Power eDrive.
The new system forms part of an extended range of modular hybrid powertrains being developed in a performance-based EfficientDynamics engineering program at BMW’s research and development centre in Munich.
It's envisaged for launch on various BMW Group production models in what BMW describes as “upmarket segments”. The unveiling brings closer to reality the prospect of a four-cylinder petrol and twin electric motor-powered model from Rolls-Royce. Such a model would be capable of impressive straight-line performance and increased range.
The new hybrid system aims to provide the sort of smooth yet urgent step-off performance qualities delivered by a contemporary battery-powered electric drive systems – like that offered in the Telsa Model S.
An overall range of over 370 miles is quoted, with some 62 miles managed on electric power alone thanks to a range extender function.
Revealed in a 5-series GT-bodied prototype, the most powerful of BMW’s new modular hybrid powertrains uses its new 228bhp turbocharged 2.0-litre, four-cylinder petrol engine in combination with two electric motors.
Those motors are a modified version of the i3's synchronous unit. A 201bhp motor is mounted up front in the space usually taken up by the torque converter in the car's eight-speed automatic transmission, while another, developing 268bhp, is mounted within the rear axle assembly.
In total, the system is claimed to produce over 670bhp, along with a torque loading beyond 750lb ft – figures that easily top the 453bhp and 530lb ft of the existing naturally aspirated 6.8-litre V12 used by the 11-year-old Rolls-Royce Phantom.