We know for a variety of reasons that this concept has nothing to do with the 1001 front wheel drive model BMW is developing as some outlets are reporting. We know that this car is not electric powered only (it has a tailpipe). What we now see in better detail is the front lights, which are looking a lot like the Vision Efficient Dynamics.
Wealso know is that this is NOT a performance car because of the width of the tires since the tires are narrow, something we all need to take turns at high speeds and get the power down to the tarmac are wide tires; or do we?
One of the easiest ways to cut drag on a car is to decrease the width of its tires, so from an efficiency standpoint that is something that must be done if you are trying to design the most efficient car possible. The one caveat is, that by decreasing the width of the contact patch it decreases the overall lateral traction alloted to the vehicle.
When you design a car like this you think outside the box, way outside the box and try things that are non conventional to give you the upper hand. BMW could have used variable suspension geometry to help curb handling issues with this car but that is costly and rather difficult to implement, they went another route to making sure they could offer efficiency and performance.
BMW and a well established tire manufacturer have been rumored to be working on developing a narrower, low rolling resistance tire with a variable radius as part of the Efficient Dynamics push and this is the first we are seeing of it. The outside radius of the tire being greater than the inside.
This new tire is being designed to improve the shape of the contact patch, less so the size of it.As the outside wall collapses down on contact with the ground it will widen the contact patch and (through some very interesting engineering) somehow maintain enough stability so as to offer razor sharp handling (anything less would be a failure on this project).
Thanks to Robert for the semantics and engineering lesson, clarifying things nicely.