BMW to Build 62 MPG Plug-In Hybrid Sports Car

BMW has announced plans to produce a diesel-electric hybrid sports car based on the Vision EfficientDynamics concept car, first shown at the 2009 Frankfurt Auto Show.

The 2+2 seat coupe will be powered by a front-mounted three-cylinder diesel engine connected to an electric motor, with a second electric motor mounted between the rear wheels. The combined output of the drivetrain is said to be 328 horsepower, enough to propel the car from 0-60 mph in 4.8 seconds.

Featuring wing-opening doors, the vehicle will have a .22 coefficient of drag, making it extremely aerodynamic and helping it achieve a claimed fuel economy of 62 miles per gallon on the European test cycle. The yet to be named car will also be able to travel up to 31 miles on pure electric drive, facilitated by a lithium-polymer battery of unspecified size, which can be charged in less than three hours. This will allow the vehicle's use within zero-emissions zones being planned for European cities.

Speculation that BMW was close to giving such a project the green light grew in recent weeks with the launch of the, a pseudo-viral website filled with faux-spy photography of a camouflaged car undergoing testing.

The company did not reveal a date for the start of production, but is already testing prototypes of the vehicle on public roads.

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