BMW reveals 5 GT, i8-based fuel cell vehicles
To go along with its 2-Series Active Tourer plug-in hybrid, BMW has unveiled two new hydrogen-powered prototype vehicles based on the company’s 5-Series GT and i8 sports car.
Since 2011 BMW has been working in tandem with Toyota on developing hydrogen fuel cell technology, with the German automaker hopeful that it will have a production-viable design by 2020. BMW took one step closer to that goal on Thursday with the introduction of two new fuel-cell vehicles.
The first of the two evaluation vehicles is based on the 5-Series GT. For the fuel-cell conversion BMW replaced the GT’s typical engine with an electric motor rated at 245 horsepower. Hydrogen tanks, running in the form of a tunnel between the car’s front and rear axles, provides the fuel for the car’s on-board fuel cell. A high-voltage battery provides interim energy storage.
Performance figures weren’t released, but BMW says the 5 GT can travel more than 300 miles between fill ups, which would put it on par with Toyota’s Mirai fuel cell vehicle.
BMW didn’t reveal any details on its i8-based fuel cell vehicle, but it features a matte black finish and revised styling that make it look worthy of BMW’s planned 2020 on-sale date.
BMW doesn’t currently have production plans for either of the prototype vehicles.