BMW has unveiled a new advanced research vehicle for testing of hydrogen fuel cells.
The company has been busy testing hydrogen fuel cell prototypes, one of which is based on the i8, though looks way more sinister than the stock version. BMW plans on large-scale production of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles by 2020, according to the automaker’s head of research and development, Klaus Fröhlich.
But the spotlight should be on the i8, which has received an overhauled aerodynamic package fine tuned at BMW’s wind tunnel in Munich. Perhaps it also offers a hint as to how BMW plans on designing its future i models, with a more angular approach to its traditional kidney grilles and more integrated, slimmer headlights.
Although the German automaker is holding back on technical details, it did reveal it has been conducting research and development work on hydrogen fuel cell drive systems for over 15 years. Now that BMW is collaborating with Toyota, which is launching the Mirai this year, progress has accelerated on the “next layer of BMW eDrive technology.”
The other demonstration vehicle is based on the BMW 5 Series Gran Turismo and features an electric motor generating 245 hp. Hydrogen storage is in the form of a tunnel tank between the front and rear axle and BMW expects an operating range greater than 300 miles.
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