Conventional wisdom suggests that luxury automakers will have an especially tough time meeting ever-stricter emissions and fuel economy regulations. BMW has made a history of bucking conventional wisdom, and if the ActiveE concept is any indication, it hopes to do that again.
Set to debut at the North American International Auto Show, in Detroit, this coming month, the all-electric concept is based on the 1-Series Coupe that also will also take its bows at the Detroit Auto Show. Following the strategy of the battery-powered Mini E, the ActiveE is the second model in Project-i, which was meant to explore the possibilities for bringing a zero-emissions vehicle to market before 2015.
Where the Mini E is a front-wheel-drive two-seater — the batteries occupying the place where conventional rear seats would go — the electric BMW offers space for four adults and even has a 7 cubic foot. truck, barely big enough for two golf bags. With a weight reduction similar to that of the standard Coupe, the EV should not only achieve emissions-free driving (if you neglect how the electricity is generated), but, the maker claims, deliver the sort of driver-oriented road manners BMW aficionados worship. (more…)