Welcome to BMW’s ‘Power BEV’ development car – a 5 Series quite unlike any other. Because rather than a conventional internal-combustion engine, it has no fewer than three of the company’s next-gen electric drive units (EDU) and a whopping great battery. Oh yes.
BMW says its aim was to “build an experimental vehicle which impresses not only with its longitudinal dynamics but also in terms of lateral dynamics”. To that end, the Power BEV is very fast. Very fast indeed. The company claims “in excess of 720hp” and 0-100km/h in “comfortably under 3 seconds”, which is most adequate.
The basic motor is the same one that will be fitted to the production iX3 electric SUV, which is due as early as this year. That will only have one of them though, to the Power BEV’s three.
Two of those motors are on the rear-axle (they’re independently controlled for precise torque vectoring) while the third does the fronts. Handily, all the drive systems have been integrated into the existing 5 Series chassis (the 5 was never designed to be a full-EV, of course) in such a way that they don’t eat into passenger space.
The Power BEV does not preview a production car – don’t expect to see a 720hp BMW M5e at your local dealer anytime soon. Would be interesting though, wouldn’t it?
STORY Tom Harrison