From the good folks at Autoweek.com, comes a story about a proposed new incarnation of the venerable BMW M1......but with an ECO-twist. Leave it to the boffins at BMW, to come up with a car that is not only bad-a**, but also eco-friendly! We have listed a shorter, abridged version of the Autoweek post below. Go here for the full story. ========================
By GREG KABLE
BMW is exploring plans for placing what one high-ranking insider describes as "a breakthrough green supercar" into limited production by the end of 2012.
Described as "a puristic two-seater that draws on all the very latest BMW technology and lightweight build processes," the new supercar has been conceived to showcase the German carmaker's "EfficientDynamics" program. The effort has ushered in a raft of fuel-saving technologies, including direct injection, brake energy regeneration and stop/start features, applied to its volume-selling 1-, 3-, 5- and 7-series models.
Details remain scarce, but a source privy to early design proposals said that the new BMW supercar would be a modern-day M1, with high levels of performance, lively dynamics and fuel consumption and emissions ratings on par with or better than those of a 5-series. "The idea is to take the supercar to a whole new level of environmental compatibility using technology and materials already in wide use today," the source said.
Among the engines proposed to power the new car is a reworked version of BMW's twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six-cylinder gasoline unit. The reason for using a six-cylinder, according to our source, stems from the mechanical makeup of the original M1, which ran a 3.5-liter inline six-cylinder.
Alternatively, BMW may also look at employing an electric motor and lithium-ion battery pack similar to that proposed for its new 7-series hybrid to lift the new supercar's overall output even more. Other technology under consideration is a kinetic-energy recovery system similar to the setup BMW is developing for use in F1 next year. BMW already has a team of engineers working to bring kinetic-energy recovery into its production models, although high costs mean it likely won't be featured in volume models for at least another five years.
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