BMW Power BEV: 530kW sedan prototype outed

It's only a prototype, but the BEV uses three electric motors to make the 5 Series into a hard-charging drag machine.
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You could argue BMW invented the fast sedan class with the M5, but recent developments in the industry have left its internal-combustion offerings looking a bit slow.

After all, the Tesla Model S will hit 100km/h in just 2.4 seconds with Ludicrous Mode, making the latest M5 Competition's sprint time (3.3 seconds) look a bit leisurely.

Turns out the engineers in Munich are working on changing that. This morning's Next Gen presentation, focused on electrification, played host to the Power BEV's reveal. Although it looks like a regular 5er from the outside, the BEV is fitted with three electric motors outputting a combined 530kW.

BMW says it'll hit 100km/h in "comfortably" under three seconds.

In the corners, BMW says having a motor on each of the rear wheels allows it to electronically shuffle power to the wheel that needs it most, using a system it calls e-torque vectoring.

Electric supercars like the Rimac Concept One have shown what proper torque vectoring can do, allowing manufacturers to positively tighten a car's line rather than using brake-based tech to do the same. It's also more proactive than a traditional limited-slip differential.

"The result is more effective and precise than with a limited slip differential, because actively targeted inputs are possible in any driving situation," BMW says in its release.

"By contrast, a limited slip differential always reacts to a difference in rotation speed between the driven wheels."

The motors in the Power BEV will make their debut in the production iX3 SUV. Where the 5 Series-based concept uses three, however, the iX3 will use only one.

Although it's based on an internal-combustion car, BMW says the Power BEV has been designed so the batteries don't eat into the cabin at all. When it launches, the iX3 will be built on a platform designed to house both internal-combustion and electric powertrains.