BMW reportedly said it will build its first hybrid supercar, the Vision Efficient Dynamics, in an effort to demonstrate its technological prowess and underline its commitment to more fuel-efficient vehicles.
The model -- which sports a three-cylinder diesel engine and two electric motors that helps it accelerate from zero to 100 kilometers (about 62 miles) in an M6-like 4.8 seconds -- will arrive to market in 2013.
BMW's $500 million investment also has Lamborghini-like doors.
It's the latest in a line of interesting alternative-powered vehicles -- including the all-electric Megacity we wrote about in February (and again in April) -- to come from the Munich-based automaker.
In a Bloomberg report, CEO Norbert Reithofer said that the vehicles will help the company meet more stringent environmental regulations. They are also supposed to help boost sales to 2 million vehicles by 2020 from 1.4 million this year, though it remains to be seen how these two novel vehicles will help aside from marketing.
One question for the hybrid supercar: price. BMW says it will be priced below the company's Rolls-Royce models, but the comparatively fast M6 still retails for more than $100,000. (Still, the Vision Efficient Dynamics produces just 30 percent of the emissions of the M6.)
But BMW says it plans to move "significant" numbers of the VED across all major markets, in an effort to one-up competition from Mercedes-Benz (the SLS Electric) and Porsche (the 918 Spyder hybrid).
A few more interesting facts about BMW's EV strategy:
- The VED will be made at BMW's Leipzig plant.
- BMW may exchange the diesel engine for a conventional gasoline engine in China and the U.S., where diesel engines aren't popular.
- BMW will invest 530 million euros (about $745 million USD) in electric Megacity car production.
- The Megacity will be sold under a new subsidiary brand when it reaches showrooms in 2013. (BMW currently owns Mini.)
- The Megacity will cost less than 60,000 euros (approx. $84,340).
- A key material for both vehicles: carbon fiber, which is 50 percent lighter than steel.
This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com