The 2012 BMW ActiveE has been spied in Germany while being towed to an unknown facility. Nothing out of the ordinary beside the fact the ActiveE was showcasing its powerplant. Spy photographers at Worldcarfans managed to have a peak at the what the ActiveE is hiding under the hood.
Here is where the unusual things come out. The car sports a large battery pack sitting on top of an electric motor, but the size of the battery would require a hood with a quite large bonnet. Based on the information we gathered in the past, the BMW ActiveE is a rear engine, rear wheel drive, all electric car. Based on the BMW 1 series, it uses the standard unibody frame, while heavily modified for its new propulsion systems.
Batteries have been strategically placed throughout the car making use of redundant space where the drive shaft, engine and gas tank used to reside. Three separate battery modules are placed in these locations and feed power to the highly compact and lightweight, synchronous electric motor located in the rear axle. The advanced CPU is housed directly on top of the motor, and is responsible for intelligent energy use.
With 170 hp (125 kW) and 180 lb-ft (250 Nm) of torque available from 0 RPM, the ActiveE can accelerate from 0 to 60 mph in only 8.5 seconds. The maximum speed of the vehicle is electronically limited at around 90 mph.
The ActiveE is undergoing intensive road testing before its pilot kicks off in summer of 2011. The BMW ActiveE field trial will build on the success and experience gained during the MINI E field trial, now in its second year. Experience gained in this second-phase trial will prepare the BMW Group for the launch of its purpose-designed Megacity Vehicle in 2013.
New York Metro and Greater Los Angeles will again be included and be joined by Metropolitan markets of San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento and Boston. Lease prices are yet to be revealed.
To learn more about the BMW ActiveE, read our editorial from the 2010 Detroit Auto Show.