Imagine the BMW M550i xDrive. This was the fastest 5-series car at the time it was released. Now, imagine you could upgrade it to feel like you’re driving using Tesla’s Ludicrous Mode, add three electric motors and you’ve got BMWs Project BEV. Lovingly dubbed Lucy by the project manager, Matthias Stangl, this combination of cutting-edge technology and tried-and-true body type results in a massive upgrade in power and speed.
Meet Project Power BEV AKA Lucy
Although this is only a prototype, developed to allow engineers to experiment with electric powertrains, it’s one that is totally beyond anything you could imagine packed into a 5 Series body. Its 711 horsepower blows the M Next concept M1 with its plug-in hybrid motor and 600 horsepower away by 111 horsepower. And if you max out this fully electric Power BEV, you could get up to 720 horsepower out of it.
Its three motors are positioned perfectly – one in front, and two in the back; one at each wheel. The one up front is designed to give the Power BEV extra traction if it’s needed. The fast charging 45-kilowatt-hour battery packs – made without rare earth metals – is intentionally small, according to Stangl, who said:
“You need a car that reacts the same way independently of the state of charge. As you might know, a Tesla Model S, for example, is degrading very much if you go on a fast drive, so that’s not very good for function development because of the circumstances of the car change all the time.”
In other words, he says, using the smaller battery back means the Power BEV reacts the same way in behavior and performance no matter what charging stage it’s in. Because the force of the motors is so great, BMW uses the 7 Series front axle to contain their power, although it uses traditional brakes.
A BMW Speed Demon
Combine the power and battery and Lucy kicks out 848 pound-feet of torque to its all-wheel-drive powertrain, meaning it can go from 0 to 60 in 2.8 seconds. Not as fast as the Ludicrous Mode in the Tesla, but damn close for those who have a need for speed.
The fact that the company was able to pack three motors, cooling, battery pack, and other options into the same body as the 5 Series without compromising passenger or trunk space is probably one of the more impressive features for those who need the room.
Although you can’t exactly purchase one of these seriously fast cars just yet, rumor has it we’re likely to see some production models coming soon based on the Power BEV’s prototype, so stay tuned.
Featured Image Courtesy of BMW