We have seen several sets of spy photos of what can be interpreted as a BMW X6 ///M over the last month. Originally it was thought that it would feature an over boosted version of the Twin Turbo V8 in the xDrive50i as the source of wheel spinning power.
Indications now are that these test mules could be featuring a advanced hybrid system designed under BMW’s F1 program, a Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS). This is an different system to the previous hybrid X6 (non-///M) we had featured which will utilize the system jointly developed with MB, GM and Chrysler.
The KERS system, represents a system developed specifically for F1 based on a combination of existing and proprietary technologies by Torotrak, Xtrac and Flybrid. The result is a package that weighs in at under 24kg, requires only 13L of space and generates the maximum allowed boost of 60kW, with a total of 400kJ than can be delivered over the course of a single lap, meaning maximum power can be delivered for a total of 6.67 seconds.
The purely mechanical KERS system uses a highly sophisticated steel and carbon fibre flywheel encased in a vacuum to store energy taken from the car ‘s motion as kinetic energy. A continuously variable transmission links through a secondary clutch to the primary driveline, which is linked to the standard V8 combustion engine. When the driver pushes the button, the clutch engages the always-spinning flywheel, which seamlessly adds its power to the standard engine ‘s.
Aadvantages of the KERS system are clear: small size, potent power output and no hassles with bulky, heavy and dangerous batteries.The downsides include limited ability to transfer the system into road cars because of potential licensing issues with the underlying elements of the system.
This form of system would make sense for the ///M division to be testing as it would allow the necessary performance of the marquee unlike other current forms of hybrid technology. Think of it as a shot of nitrous but in a mechanical form. Though this will not improve the MPG of the ///M cars it will provided an extra punch in performance without further diminishing efficiency numbers.
If this information is true the system will not be ready for the mainstream public for several years so we will be seeing many more of these mules testing this alternate technology. This could also mean we will still not see an ///M SAV.
Source: Car Central