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BMW and MINI demonstrate fuel efficient and zero emission credentials

16th September 2011 Print

Demonstrating its commitment to the development of economic and low-emission motoring, BMW and Mini has unveiled a trio of cutting-edge vehicles taking part in the Royal Automobile Club’s RAC Future Car Challenge. Joining the BMW 320d Efficient Dynamics will be two all-electric, emission-free concept vehicles - the BMW ActiveE and Mini E.
All three cars will use the Brighton to London RAC Future Car Challenge as an opportunity to showcase their fuel efficient credentials in a real world setting. On Saturday 5 November, they will compete alongside some of the world’s most advanced low-energy vehicles. The challenge requires entrants to cover a 60-mile route from Brighton’s Madeira Drive to Pall Mall in London, a reverse of the course taken by participants of the world famous Veteran Car Run on the following day. The overall winner will be the vehicle using the least amount of energy over the whole route, with various class awards within the challenge.
The BMW 320d Efficient Dynamics (ED) is the greenest production BMW ever built and claims the title of being the first junior executive car to emit less than 110g/km CO2. Although returning a remarkable 68.9mpg, the 320d ED doesn’t compromise performance. The 1,995cc turbo diesel produces 163hp, which will get the 320d ED from zero to 62mph in eight seconds and on to a top speed of 142mph. It also benefits from a road tax fee of just £35 a year.
As a development vehicle, the Mini E has already been proving its capabilities after 40 of the cars spent six months at the hands of volunteer testers across the UK last year. This mobile test bed boasts a 150kW (200bhp) electric motor powering the front wheels and offering a range of 156 miles in ideal conditions. The field trials of the Mini E are just one phase of BMW’s Project i scheme which will result in a mass-produced electric vehicle, the BMW i3, in 2013.
The prototype BMW ActiveE is a further evolution of Project i, which was first revealed at this years’ Geneva Motor Show. Based on the BMW 1-series, the ActiveE will be used for similar lease trials this year in a pilot phase that will incorporate more than 1000 vehicles worldwide.
Improving on the Mini E formula, the ActiveE is BMW’s first four-seater electric vehicle to combine the space and comfort of a traditionally powered BMW with a fully electric drivetrain.  The ActiveE benefits from a 168hp electric synchronous motor which will propel the vehicle from zero to 60mph in nine seconds, up to a limited top speed of 90mph. Thanks to the addition of regenerative engine braking, the ActiveE can travel up to 100 miles between charges. Recharging can be performed using a 13A or 32A supply, which takes eight or five hours respectively.
The RAC Future Car Challenge is also open to hybrid, hydrogen and low-emission internal combustion engine cars and light-commercial vehicles. Last year’s entry list included one-off prototypes and future production vehicles from manufacturers such as Honda, Mercedes-Benz, Toyota, Nissan, Vauxhall, Skoda and Volkswagen, as well as current production cars offering the highest levels of efficiency regardless of their powertrain.
For 2011 the total number of entries permitted has been increased to 90 and the diversity of the entry list has been recognised by the organisers with a range of awards in up to 22 different vehicle categories as well as by power source.

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