Issue: Oct 2007

EfficientDynamics driving BMW

Automotive Industries spoke to Dr. Klaus Draeger, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Research & Development

by Nick Palmen

BMW EfficientDynamics and the implementation of the strategy in a wide range of new models.

Consistently introducing new engines together with a broad range of innovations for enhanced efficiency, the German premium car maker is able to offer vehicles in a growing number of segments ranking right at the top of the in terms of both driving dynamics as well as all-round economy and emission management.

In 2008 model year, some 40 per cent sent of all new cars sold by the BMW Group in Europe will have a CO2 emission rating of not more – at the very most - than 140 grams per kilometer. This achievement is made possible by an unusually wide range of new models offering unprecedented fuel economy without requiring any concessions in terms of the sheer driving pleasure.

Nick Palmen was in Frankfurt and discussed these innovations with Dr. Klaus Draeger – Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Research & Development.
Automotive Industries (AI) asked Draeger to describe EfficientDynamics in just a few words:

Draeger: EfficientDynamics is BMW’s strategy for reducing CO2 emissions and reducing fuel consumption for our customers. EfficientDynamics is not only one single measure; it is a package with four major topics. The topics are optimizing the engines, it is also looking at the energy management of the vehicle, it is looking into the aerodynamics of the car, the total airflow, over, beneath, into the car, and number four is reducing weight (lightweight constructions). All these measures support each other, and give significant fuel reduction to our customers. If we compare it to other cars of former generations, we have reductions of fuel consumption between 10-20 per cent. Very simple and very short!

AI: What are the results of EfficientDynamics so far?
Draeger: The results of EfficientDynamics are that four years ago we started the program and we do now have optimized engines. We are reducing the friction of the engine; we are introducing lean combustion burning for the gasoline engines. We are introducing common rail of the third generation for the diesel engines. With this and the other topics, we do have now 22 models, which are on 140grams of CO2 emissions, or even less. The biggest car that still meets 140 grams is the 520-diesel touring and our champion in terms of efficiency with 104 grams of CO2 emissions is our new Mini Cooper diesel.

AI: Are there alternatives to BMW EfficientDynamics?
Draeger: We see EfficientDynamics as a perfect fit for BMW and we feel that cannot be easily copied by our competitors. Therefore, it gives us a real advantage and we can pass on this advantage in terms of better fuel consumption to our customers.

AI: What are the next steps in BMW EfficientDynamics?
Draeger: We are talking of EfficientDynamics in short, medium and long term steps. The short-term steps are that we already offer 22 models with 140grams of CO2 emissions or less. On the medium term, we would further continue with our EfficientDynamics program. In addition to the program, we go into further electrifying the power train. It means that we are going to see also mild-hybrids and we are going to see full-hybrids.

AI. Your hybrid technology is based on a modular system. How does that help you choose the ideal component for each type of vehicle?
Draeger: Our hybrid system is something that we have set up in co-operation together with GM and DaimlerChrysler. This is for the purpose of the main components of the hybrid system. It is basically the Two-Mode gearbox with two electrical motors, the battery, and is also the ECU and a couple of smaller components around the system. Together in that co-operation, we do the basic development for these components together of course with the suppliers that are going to supply us with the components. These components will than be specifically adapted and fitted to BMW in order to ensure that we have this BMW typical driving pleasure.

AI: Will EfficientDynamics be implemented across the entire BMW fleet?
Draeger: Definitely! It is something that fits perfectly. We have started with the EfficientDynamics rollout. It was introduced to the customers with the first models being launched early this year. We started with the 1- Series, an also with the 5- Series, or with parts of the 5-Series. We have now rollout within the 3- Series. We will see until the end of the year 400,000 cars with EfficientDynamics technology delivered to our customers as standard and not as an option.

AI: Here at IAA you present BMW Concept X6 establishing a new segment of Sports Activity Coupes. What makes the BMW Concept X6 special?
Draeger: The BMW X6 in a perfect way combines attributes from sports utility vehicle with a beautiful design line of a queue, with a real elegance of a queue, and in addition to this, its driving characteristics that are adequate to what you see on the road of this beautiful nice car. In terms of dynamics and driving behavior, I would say and I have driven it for a couple of kilometers believe me it is Sheer Driving Pleasure. The question is how do you reach this driving characteristic and this beautiful performance? You should have a look on the stand at our dynamic performance control system. This is what makes the perfect handling of the car.

AI: At the same time you are introducing a new engine concept in this class: The BMW Concept X6 ActiveHybrid. What is the difference between BMW technology and other hybrids?
Draeger: We are basically setting up very consequent modular hybrid toolbox. If you look back at our EfficientDynamics ideas, we were talking about the energy management. One basis for us is to look at the whole energy flow of the car. Because power is not used only for driving power, it is also used for electric steering pump, water pump, air-conditioning and so on. Now with the BMW EfficientDynamics we electrify power steering, we electrify water pumps, we introduce the Auto Start Stop system and we introduce Brake Energy Regeneration. All these are typical components of a full-hybrid vehicle. Under the BMW EfficientDynamics strategy, they are fitted to all cars. The only difference to a full-hybrid is that these cars do not have electric rolling or driving at low speed which than add to further fuel economy. So we have made many steps with our cars towards a hybrid without really having a full-hybrid and now we added electric driving, we added the full-hybrid to our program, and many customers are now coming to into the benefits of a modular hybrid toolbox. We are talking about 400,000 customers to the end of the year. It will be even more for next year because many models we only have for the fall of this year and next year all the models will available for a full year.

AI: At the beginning of the year you announced that BMW Group and DaimlerChrysler AG are expanding the collaboration in the field of hybrid drive systems for rear-wheel-drive premium segment cars. What prompted the decision and would that affect the individuality of the two brands?
Draeger: No, it does not affect the individuality of the two brands. We are developing the basic components like the battery, and also the gearbox for instance, but the application within the car will be different. It will be done according to our typical set and therefore we will guarantee that BMW hybrid will behave the way our customers are expecting it to.

AI: The second generation BMW X5 has a number of technological firsts for its class, including head-up display & adaptive front lighting. What other innovative solutions do you think will bring value to the customer?
Draeger: If we look into X5 second generation I personally believe that for instance that head-up display and active lighting are for those who want to have all sorts of transport options. We have an optimum choice and we have options that really benefit our customers. We see also from the figures that these options are very valuable to our customers.

AI: How do you see the supplier’s role in the success of the company?
Draeger: We do have ideas of innovation for ourselves, but we also have our suppliers coming with innovative ideas. The target must be to industrialize these innovations with stable processes, and stable production with good quality. I think this is a concept for success then.

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