The alliance between BMW and Toyota is about to bear fruit. According to the latest rumors leaked, partly also confirmed at the official level, the union of the know-how of the two car companies would in fact pick up a new range of hybrid two-seater sports car.
The new joint project with BMW and Toyota as the code name “Silk Road 2”. Objective is to bring to market a new hybrid supercar born from the union of the Lexus and BMW Z7 ZC / ZR, able to compete with the Porsche 911 for performance and style. This new model is expected to be marketed in Europe under the German mark and the Japanese in Asia.
The cost of the new BMW sports cars and Toyota should go about € 70 to 90,000, or about $122,000. The first model to study motor mount a twin-turbo 3.0-liter 150 hp (111 kW electric motor), supported by a small battery placed under or between the seats and 7-speed dual clutch. The combined output is 400-500 hp (298-372 kW).
The pricing makes a wonder how this new hybrid supercar will slot in BMW’s lineup, considering the pricing is within 10% of the BMW i8. For Lexus though, their lineup is wide open for a new two-door, mid-engine sports car that could boast more than 450 horsepower, and you can bet that carbon fiber will play a big role in keeping weight as low as possible.
It is not the first time that the two automakers realize common projects. The first had been announced months ago in Monaco of Bavaria for the co-development of the engine of the BMW Z4/Toyota GT86 which will be released in 2017.
As for the exit period, it is estimated that it will take the end of 2018 or the beginning of 2019 to see it on the road, but until then the doubts about how such an investment can pay remain. The concerns of the leading experts on the possibility of undermining the Porsche are many, as the risks of such an undertaking.
For now, the project is shrouded in mystery and rumors about the technical details on the new supercar have not yet found a full response. The coming months will surely know more details about the Japanese-German car that could open a new market, that of sports supercars, hybrid means.
It is an incredible thrust in aerospace engineering. The ‘E-Fan’ electric trainer airplane developed by the AIRBUS Group as part of ‘E-aircraft’ projects. E-Fan developed by AIRBUS Group (formerly EADS) working with a consortium of European aerospace companies. Through this project EADS aimed to reduce cost of flight as well as aerospace emissions to support the aviation industry’s environmental protection goals as spelled out in the ‘Flightpath 2050’ report by the European Commission.
Built with an all-composite construction, the E-fan is 6.7 m (22 ft) long with a wingspan of 9.5 m (31 ft) having most simplest structure. The two-seat E-Fan features two electrical engines driving shrouded propellers. Total static engine thrust is about 1,5 kN, with the energy being provided by two battery packs located in the wings. It is the first electric aircraft featuring ducted fans spun by two electric motors totaling 60 kW of power. Ducting increases thrust while reducing noise, and having the fans mounted centrally provides better control and increase safety. The motors moving the fans are powered by a series of 250 Volt lithium-ion polymer batteries made by South Korean company KOKAM. The batteries are mounted in the inboard section of the wings and have enough power for one hour, and take one hour to recharge; For those worried about the “recharge” light coming on while up in the air, there’s also a backup battery onboard for emergency landings, if power runs out while airborne. Another innovation is the main landing gear. It allows electrical taxiing on the ground without the main engines and in addition provides acceleration during take-off up to a speed of 60 km/h (37 mph; 32 kn). The E-fan’s undercarriage consists of two retractable fore and aft wheels, with another two under the wings. They are powered by a 6 kW electric motor. To guarantee a simple handling of the electrically powered engines and systems, the E-Fan is equipped with an E-FADEC energy management system.
Airbus Group plans to exhibit the E-fan at ILA Berlin and the Farnborough Air Show. Airbus will further develop the E-Fan technology demonstrator and to produce and market two versions of the aircraft by a subsidiary named VoltAir called E-Fan 2.0, which will carry two passengers and the e-Fan 4.0, which will carry four. While the 2.0 will be battery powered, the 4.0 will be a hybrid for greater range.