Up until a few years ago, hybrid systems were only used to increase a vehicle’s efficiency. Then in 2013, with the introduction of hybrid supercars from McLaren, Porsche, and Ferrari, hybrid systems are now being used to add more power in addition to improving efficiency.
BMW took advantage of this technology combination with its hybrid i8 sports car. Now it is continuing its work in hybrid development with a new BMW Power eDrive system. This plug-in hybrid setup has an impressive combined output of more than 670 horsepower.
What makes this new system different is its use of high-power electric motors and new high-density batteries. It combines a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with two electric motors, one used to power the front wheels and the other for the rear.
BMW is previewing the system on a 5-Series Gran Turismo, but the system will be adaptable to fit a variety of bodystyles. On the current setup, the electric motors provide about two-thirds of the 5-Series GT’s power, but BMW says as the technology improves, internal combustion engines will play an even smaller role and could be phased out entirely within a few decades.
What do you think of BMW’s continued emphasis on hybrid power?