Hybrid Vehicles BMW’s Hybrid Trike Gets 120 MPG

Published on October 10th, 2009 | by Jerry James Stone

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BMW’s Hybrid Trike Gets 120 MPG

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BMW’s Simple concept–which kinda looks like a Stealth Bomber with training wheels–is a hybrid trike that gets around 120 mpg.

The Simple (which stands for Sustainable and Innovative Mobility Product for Low Energy consumption) does 60 mph in just under ten seconds and has a top speed of 125 mph. The car weighs just over 900 lbs and has a super low drag coefficient of 0.18.

Sebastian Schelper, BMW’s Project Lead for the Simple concept, says BMW “wanted to minimize the use of resources while using the vehicle but also during the production of the vehicle.”

BMW’s target for the concept is the professional commuter. Specifically, those professionals who travel a lot and often alone. Oh, you know who you are!

Simple is as tall as a 5 Series BMW but when it comes to length the MINI Cooper has it beat. The interior of the vehicle has seating space much like a 3 Series coupe: so not a whole lot.

Schelper says that driving the car is much like “riding an endless wave with your surfboard .”

Its driving performance is aided by automatic tilting technology though the hydraulics are only activated in exceptional coniditions. The driver feels no transverse forces and need not compensate for any lateral movements. The team wanted to combine both the features and the advantages from both cars and motorcycles.

While BMW has been a bit tight-lipped about its foray into the microcar market, this concept probably falls under the Bavarian automaker’s Project I. Other vehicles included in the project are the Megacity and a Z2. It’s rumored the Z2 will be a hybrid offering about 47 mpg.

The car is currently on display at the BMW Museum in Munich.

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Source: Wired’s Autopia




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About the Author

is a web developer, part-time blogger, and a full-time environmentalist. His crusade for all things eco started twenty years ago when he ditched his meat-and-potatoes upbringing for something more vegetarian-shaped. His passions include cooking, green tech, eco politics, and smart green design. And while he doesn't own a car anymore, he loves to write about those too. Jerry studied at Cal Poly in San Luis Obispo, CA. During his time there he was a DJ at the campus station KCPR and he also wrote for the campus paper. Jerry currently resides in San Francisco, CA with his cat Lola. You can stalk him on Twitter @jerryjamesstone.



  • htl

    now this is an article

    Great job

  • htl

    now this is an article

    Great job

  • htl

    now this is an article

    Great job

  • http://extremegreenvillage.com Bob Henry

    Here we go again.

    A great possible product that will never be made cheaply by BMW and will never see the light of day.

  • http://extremegreenvillage.com Bob Henry

    Here we go again.

    A great possible product that will never be made cheaply by BMW and will never see the light of day.

  • http://extremegreenvillage.com Bob Henry

    Here we go again.

    A great possible product that will never be made cheaply by BMW and will never see the light of day.

  • shdwsclan

    Why doesn’t bmw try to make a REAL car, not a 3 wheeled motorcycle….

    Nobody is going to buy this space ship/shit

  • shdwsclan

    Why doesn’t bmw try to make a REAL car, not a 3 wheeled motorcycle….

    Nobody is going to buy this space ship/shit

  • Curious

    To me, this is excellent: more mileage, smaller size, good speed and it’s stylish. However, how much does it cost? If something should happen to it, can I repair it as easily as any other car? Will this remain a concept car or will it be pushed into production for real?

  • Curious

    To me, this is excellent: more mileage, smaller size, good speed and it’s stylish. However, how much does it cost? If something should happen to it, can I repair it as easily as any other car? Will this remain a concept car or will it be pushed into production for real?

  • keiman

    i think this could easily be a feasible alternative solution for some. i live in a city. especially for commuters who dont really need to carry much this would help with parking issues and traffic. they dont really take up as much space.

    k

  • keiman

    i think this could easily be a feasible alternative solution for some. i live in a city. especially for commuters who dont really need to carry much this would help with parking issues and traffic. they dont really take up as much space.

    k

  • http://muvy.org T-Rex

    Has anyone noticed it looks JUST LIKE the head of the T-Rex in Jurassic Park?

  • http://muvy.org T-Rex

    Has anyone noticed it looks JUST LIKE the head of the T-Rex in Jurassic Park?

  • http://muvy.org T-Rex

    Has anyone noticed it looks JUST LIKE the head of the T-Rex in Jurassic Park?

  • http://muvy.org T-Rex

    Has anyone noticed it looks JUST LIKE the head of the T-Rex in Jurassic Park?

  • gedster314

    Jesus who doesn’t have a 3 wheeled leaning test car?

    I think I like the Carver better. Even VW’s 3 wheeler looked a lot better.

    It will never make it to market.

  • gedster314

    Jesus who doesn’t have a 3 wheeled leaning test car?

    I think I like the Carver better. Even VW’s 3 wheeler looked a lot better.

    It will never make it to market.

  • gedster314

    Jesus who doesn’t have a 3 wheeled leaning test car?

    I think I like the Carver better. Even VW’s 3 wheeler looked a lot better.

    It will never make it to market.

  • gedster314

    Jesus who doesn’t have a 3 wheeled leaning test car?

    I think I like the Carver better. Even VW’s 3 wheeler looked a lot better.

    It will never make it to market.

  • Hans Wurst

    Welcome to the club, BMW, glad you could make it!

    http://www.flytheroad.com/

  • Hans Wurst

    Welcome to the club, BMW, glad you could make it!

    http://www.flytheroad.com/

  • Hans Wurst

    Welcome to the club, BMW, glad you could make it!

    http://www.flytheroad.com/

  • Hans Wurst

    Welcome to the club, BMW, glad you could make it!

    http://www.flytheroad.com/

  • moz

    looks like front end of an X-wing fighter

  • moz

    looks like front end of an X-wing fighter

  • moz

    looks like front end of an X-wing fighter

  • Norm

    I have turned into a old man, waiting for concept vehicles.

  • Norm

    I have turned into a old man, waiting for concept vehicles.

  • http://www.technologyslice.com.au Tech

    That is one ugly trike. Why prove efficiency with something no one is ever going to use?

  • http://www.technologyslice.com.au Tech

    That is one ugly trike. Why prove efficiency with something no one is ever going to use?

  • http://www.technologyslice.com.au Tech

    That is one ugly trike. Why prove efficiency with something no one is ever going to use?

  • JJ

    Looks like it escaped from the TRON movie.

    And only 120mpg? Think I’ll hold out for Aptera for 3 wheels and it probably has more interior space.

  • JJ

    Looks like it escaped from the TRON movie.

    And only 120mpg? Think I’ll hold out for Aptera for 3 wheels and it probably has more interior space.

  • sifuherc

    What a waste of time. Really, who are they trying to impress with this fiasco. If this was 1985 I might of been impressed.

  • sifuherc

    What a waste of time. Really, who are they trying to impress with this fiasco. If this was 1985 I might of been impressed.

  • http://threebeerslater.blogspot.com richard mcenroe

    No passenger

    No luggage

    No use to man nor beast

  • http://threebeerslater.blogspot.com richard mcenroe

    No passenger

    No luggage

    No use to man nor beast

  • http://threebeerslater.blogspot.com richard mcenroe

    No passenger

    No luggage

    No use to man nor beast

  • http://threebeerslater.blogspot.com richard mcenroe

    No passenger

    No luggage

    No use to man nor beast

  • Flash Hole

    One question: Is that outer shell also hard to pick up by police radar?

  • Flash Hole

    One question: Is that outer shell also hard to pick up by police radar?

  • Texas

    Best part is you save on medical insurance because you’ll never survive an accident on the loop.

  • Texas

    Best part is you save on medical insurance because you’ll never survive an accident on the loop.

  • Texas

    Best part is you save on medical insurance because you’ll never survive an accident on the loop.

  • Texas

    Best part is you save on medical insurance because you’ll never survive an accident on the loop.

  • Texas

    Best part is you save on medical insurance because you’ll never survive an accident on the loop.

  • ChuckL

    I desire one, EXCEPT, it doesn’t fit my needs. (Two people and some luggage.) Widen it by about 18 inches and install a second seat behind the driver which can be partially folded for luggage or completely folded for a one person trip. Sample cases? etc.

  • ChuckL

    I desire one, EXCEPT, it doesn’t fit my needs. (Two people and some luggage.) Widen it by about 18 inches and install a second seat behind the driver which can be partially folded for luggage or completely folded for a one person trip. Sample cases? etc.

  • http://willstuff.wordpress.com Bill McNutt

    I’d buy it. But cook concept cars never make it into production.

  • http://willstuff.wordpress.com Bill McNutt

    I’d buy it. But cook concept cars never make it into production.

  • anomdebus

    I surely see a seat behind the driver’s seat (photo 12). There also appears to be room in the rear for some sort of storage (photo 2)

  • anomdebus

    I surely see a seat behind the driver’s seat (photo 12). There also appears to be room in the rear for some sort of storage (photo 2)

  • anomdebus

    I surely see a seat behind the driver’s seat (photo 12). There also appears to be room in the rear for some sort of storage (photo 2)

  • anomdebus

    I surely see a seat behind the driver’s seat (photo 12). There also appears to be room in the rear for some sort of storage (photo 2)

  • anomdebus

    I surely see a seat behind the driver’s seat (photo 12). There also appears to be room in the rear for some sort of storage (photo 2)

  • Aron

    Looks more like a Stealth Fighter (F-117) than a Stealth Bomber (B-2).

  • Aron

    Looks more like a Stealth Fighter (F-117) than a Stealth Bomber (B-2).

  • Aron

    Looks more like a Stealth Fighter (F-117) than a Stealth Bomber (B-2).

  • Aron

    Looks more like a Stealth Fighter (F-117) than a Stealth Bomber (B-2).

  • The Phranc

    If they can come in under 10k I’d buy one.This would make the perfect commuter vehicle for me.

  • The Phranc

    If they can come in under 10k I’d buy one.This would make the perfect commuter vehicle for me.

  • The Phranc

    If they can come in under 10k I’d buy one.This would make the perfect commuter vehicle for me.

  • The Phranc

    If they can come in under 10k I’d buy one.This would make the perfect commuter vehicle for me.

  • The Phranc

    If they can come in under 10k I’d buy one.This would make the perfect commuter vehicle for me.

  • PoliTech

    This car has the same fatal flaw found in all of the ultra compact cars. It’s a death trap in an accident with any other vehicle on the road.

    Imagine how it would hold up in a crash with a tractor trailer … a one ton pickup truck … a full sized sedan … a compact car … even a Mini Cooper would likely do serious damage to the occupant of this vehicle in nearly any type of traffic collision.

    You would have to be worried about ending up in the hospital from a fender bender in a parking lot.

    If you want to take your chances like that, just ride a motorcycle, where at least you have an increased field of vision.

  • PoliTech

    This car has the same fatal flaw found in all of the ultra compact cars. It’s a death trap in an accident with any other vehicle on the road.

    Imagine how it would hold up in a crash with a tractor trailer … a one ton pickup truck … a full sized sedan … a compact car … even a Mini Cooper would likely do serious damage to the occupant of this vehicle in nearly any type of traffic collision.

    You would have to be worried about ending up in the hospital from a fender bender in a parking lot.

    If you want to take your chances like that, just ride a motorcycle, where at least you have an increased field of vision.

  • PoliTech

    This car has the same fatal flaw found in all of the ultra compact cars. It’s a death trap in an accident with any other vehicle on the road.

    Imagine how it would hold up in a crash with a tractor trailer … a one ton pickup truck … a full sized sedan … a compact car … even a Mini Cooper would likely do serious damage to the occupant of this vehicle in nearly any type of traffic collision.

    You would have to be worried about ending up in the hospital from a fender bender in a parking lot.

    If you want to take your chances like that, just ride a motorcycle, where at least you have an increased field of vision.

  • Andrew

    I’m lonely, and I drive 40 miles each day one way!!

    Where do I send my deposit.

    Pics of engine would have been nice. But they probably would have had to kill you.

  • Andrew

    I’m lonely, and I drive 40 miles each day one way!!

    Where do I send my deposit.

    Pics of engine would have been nice. But they probably would have had to kill you.

  • 3DOGMAN

    Wait until the ambulance chasing lawyers get their day in court for their clients that were killed in this vehicle. No mirrors,roll bar blocks view to the sides and no rearview mirror. After your crash they can just pick you up and take you right to the grave for a quick burial.

    Nothing more than a “suicide can”.

  • 3DOGMAN

    Wait until the ambulance chasing lawyers get their day in court for their clients that were killed in this vehicle. No mirrors,roll bar blocks view to the sides and no rearview mirror. After your crash they can just pick you up and take you right to the grave for a quick burial.

    Nothing more than a “suicide can”.

  • http://none Will

    Please stop wasting our time with trikes! I drive a car. I drive a motorcycle. I don’t need some bastard hybrid that gives me the worst of both worlds–and neither does anyone else.

  • http://www.blackhatbotanicals.com Salvia

    This is simply brilliant. I would pay up to $15k for a mass-produced vehicle like this. Maneuverability and fuel efficiency are obviously the primary advantages. I don’t think this will replace a minivan for the average suburbanite, and long haul trips may be taxing, but I can definitely see it as an affordable “work” vehicle, especially if the price is right.

  • http://www.blackhatbotanicals.com Salvia

    This is simply brilliant. I would pay up to $15k for a mass-produced vehicle like this. Maneuverability and fuel efficiency are obviously the primary advantages. I don’t think this will replace a minivan for the average suburbanite, and long haul trips may be taxing, but I can definitely see it as an affordable “work” vehicle, especially if the price is right.

  • Mike

    The car looks amazing! Is it a car or a bicycle?:) There is also a the new BMW Concept X1 car on this website. It looks pretty amazing!! BMW has taken the wraps of its latest SUV offering at the Paris Motor Show! I loooove it!

  • Mike

    The car looks amazing! Is it a car or a bicycle?:) There is also a the new BMW Concept X1 car on this website. It looks pretty amazing!! BMW has taken the wraps of its latest SUV offering at the Paris Motor Show! I loooove it!

  • sheckyvegas

    125 miles per hour, huh? Okay, so you’re supposed to take this tub on the highway? Puh-leeze! It’s a damn trike!

  • sheckyvegas

    125 miles per hour, huh? Okay, so you’re supposed to take this tub on the highway? Puh-leeze! It’s a damn trike!

  • http://www.altglobe.com Aviad

    That would be just the right car for me!

  • http://www.altglobe.com Aviad

    That would be just the right car for me!

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