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BMW’s Secret Prototype Exposed: A New Dawn for Electric Sports Cars?

Unidentified BMW sports car
It caught on during a test drive
Is this a Neue Klasse model?

Prototype of BMW Electric Sports Car / Drive

Neue Klasse is BMW’s new electrification platform and electric vehicle lineup. By 2027, BMW plans to have six types of electric vehicles based on Neue Klasse, including the subcompact sedan and compact SUV that were previously introduced as concept cars.

Meanwhile, a mysterious prototype vehicle has recently been spotted, attracting attention. Although the BMW emblem is not attached, the vehicle’s identity can be identified through the kidney grille with integrated headlights. The sporty body, a low-slung two-door coupe, attracts attention. What is this vehicle?

BMW Vision Neue Klasse / Paul Tan’s Automotive News
Drive

Although Without an Emblem, It’s a BMW
High Likelihood of Being a Mass-Production Vehicle

According to reports from foreign media such as Drive and Carscoops last Friday, a mysterious BMW vehicle was recently spotted undergoing test driving in Europe. The car’s unique body attracts attention even without camouflage wrapping, confusing whether the vehicle is mass-produced or a concept one. However, elements such as the operation of the wiper and other major parts and the realistic shape of the side mirror hint at the possibility of mass production.

In addition to the short wheelbase body, the bare front part and the profile that gets higher toward the rear attract attention. The physical door opening and closing device is not visible from the side, but a small touch panel can be seen in the corner next to the window. If you look closely at the slightly open window, you can see that it has a frameless door, an essential element of a traditional coupe.

Drive
Drive

Unusual Wheel Interior
Could In-Wheel Motors be Applied?

The horizontal tail lamps arranged elongated on the left and right appear to be temporary parts, but the final design is not expected to be much different from this. The appearance of a slight blank space only in the center creates a sense of unity with the front kidney grille-integrated headlamp. Meanwhile, there is one more thing to pay attention to in this vehicle. It’s a wheel. Inside, the wheels, which are huge compared to the vehicle body, differ from a traditional brake system.

The industry refers to the circular parts filling the wheels as hub motors, also known as in-wheel motors. Last year, BMW invested in Deep Drive, known for its wheel hub electric motor technology that incorporates both acceleration and braking functions. Since the front and rear wheels appear similar, this technology is anticipated to be used in a quad-motor four-wheel drive system, where each wheel is driven independently.

Drive
Drive

Will It Be the First Production Vehicle Case?
Likely to Launch in Mid-2028

Until now, there has been no case of applying an in-wheel motor to a mass-produced vehicle among major automobile manufacturers. In the case of an in-wheel motor, it has the advantage of minimizing power loss and maximizing indoor space utilization by placing the motor inside the wheel. As each motor is controlled independently, the operating range of driving force control devices such as traction control and torque vectoring is also expanded.

However, the heavier weight of the suspension system and the fact that continuous shock is transmitted directly to the drivetrain are considered fatal disadvantages and challenges that must be solved. Meanwhile, according to the industry, the new model will likely be released in mid-2028. However, detailed information is not known, such as which model it will be positioned as a successor to and whether it will be sold as a limited edition model like the i8.

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