Mike Stevens | Aug 23, 2010

bmw megacity sketch teaser 01

Following the July announcement that BMW will reveal its upcoming Megacity Electric Vehicle at the 2012 London Olympics (BMW is the games' official automotive partner), new technical details for the electric city car have been revealed in new reports out of Europe.

BMW has confirmed that the Megacity will be sold under a new brand, opening the door to a full range of electrified BMWs.

Based on the same technology featured in its recent BMW ActiveE concept, the Megacity EV is expected to feature a synchronous electric motor located in the rear axle, producing around 125kW and 250Nm of torque.

In the lead-up to its first production-ready electric vehicle, the ActiveE will be made available to select private and fleet customers in Europe and the US, the results used to refine the EV systems before its market introduction.

According to Britain's Autocar, the Megacity EV will offer a driving range of around 260km from one charge.

BMW will also partner with SGL Carbon and SGL Automotive Fibers GmbH & Co KG to produce carbon-fibre components, including clutches, at plants in Landshut and Wackersdorf in Bavaria.

Despite the abundance of carbon fibre, the Megacity's chassis will be formed from aluminium. It will have the flexibility to sit below future variants in the Megacity line-up, including a larger model already in development.

Giving the aluminium chassis its supersizing abilities are extrusions that run across both the length and width of the chassis, allowing for longer wheelbases and wider cabins.

Thanks to the strength of the Megacity's monocoque body and aluminium chassis, the electric city car will forgo a B-pillar in favour of rear-hinged rear doors, similar to those of the MINI Clubman.

The Megacity's electric motor will be housed in a rear-mounted aluminium compartment, paired to a transmission sending power to the rear wheels. BMW says future models may also feature a range-extending petrol engine.

With two years to go, keen EV-watchers must for now make do with BMW's teaser sketch (right) and our speculative preview rendering (above) to get some idea of the likely styling direction of the production Megacity when it makes its debut at the Games.

While BMW is no stranger to creating concepts that appear far separated from traditional BMW styling, the Megacity's future-focused production techniques and purpose could give the German carmaker licence to spread its design wings.

The German luxury carmaker says the Megacity EV will be the first mass-produced electric vehicle to make significant use of carbon-fibre in its structure. Being an expensive material, it remains to be seen what impact its use will have on the Megacity EV's price.

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