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BMW concept cars

BMW E1 Concept

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Unveiled at the 1991 Frankfurt Automobile Show, the BMW E1 Concept had a maximum speed of 80 mph, weighed less than 2,000 lbs and used a water-cooled motor. BMW designed this vehicle specifically for driving in the city, and featured large spacious windows that provided great visibility. The window glass was situated without an extreme slope which reduced the solar heat on the minuscule vehicle. The BMW E1 Concept was quite a compact car with a very short front and rear overhangs which improved the overall performance in tight small spaces. The roof design of the car was also uniquely created to increase inside volume without creating a body that wasn't too high.

Utilizing BMW's longstanding tradition of superb craftsmanship, the interior of the BMW E1 Concept was created with great attention to the comfort of passengers in mind. The body of the vehicle was composed of extruded aluminum sections that formed a single frame. Plastic panels that were extremely lightweight along with aluminum were utilized in the construction. Airbags for both the driver and the front passenger were found in the BMW E1 Concept, along with four-channel ABS brakes that enhanced braking control. With a high level of safety for its passengers, the BMW E1 was designed with an energy-absorbing zone for both frontal and offset collision.

The hybrid BMW E1 was also constructed with an electric motor and internal combustion engine. With a maximum torque of 150Nm, the electric motor featured a 32kW AC motor and an intelligent management system was in place to guarantee optimum energy use. This system also included a special system that if the vehicle brakes, energy was returned to the battery.

Under the rear seats was a high-energy battery that provided the vehicle with a city-driving range that achieved 160 km in between recharges or 265 km in ideal driving conditions. One only needs a regular household electrical outlet to recharge the spunky hybrid. Unfortunately the battery is the BMW E1's biggest downfall as it only has a lifetime of five years. The internal combustion engine was taken from the BMW K1100 motorcycle and was a modified version of the four-cylinder inline engine. The engine is connected to a five-speed manual gearbox and produces 82 hp at 5800 rpm. The driver could choose electric propulsion for zero-emission city driving, and on the highway the driver could select the K1100.


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