Car Culture

BMW's X5 shows its vision for Efficient Dynamics

BMW shows off its vision for Efficient Dynamics with a 43 mpg X5

BMW's Efficient Dynamics concept study sports special aerodynamic wheels CNET Networks

From a distance it looks just like a regular soccermom-mobile. But the car that BMW put center stage this morning at the Geneva auto show represents the German automaker's vision for fuel-efficient technologies over the next few years. The car is powered by a diesel-electric version of BMW's Adaptive Hybrid system, comprising a four-cylinder variable twin-turbo combustion engine mated to a 15 kilowatt electric motor driven by a lithium ion battery pack. BMW says that this is the first diesel engine in the world achieve an output greater than 100 horsepower per liter.

The car is the first example of a diesel-electric hybrid from BMW. CNET Networks

Also a first for a German manufacturer is the car's new ZF eight-speed transmission, which should send Lexus engineers back to the drawing board. Other energy saving features of the car include special aerodynamic rims and a solar roof, which transfers the sun's heat to the car's transmission fluid. So what does it all mean? Well, BMW says that this full-size vehicle can achieve 6.5 liters per 100 kilometer--just a bit more than 43 mpg. While we don't expect solar panels on our next 3-series review car, BMW says that step-by-step, elements of this design concept will be applied across its model range in the next few years.

Click here for our coverage of the 2008 Geneva Auto Show.