| 12:21 PM EST

Bimmer EVs Add Flair with Aerodynamic Wheels

Lightweight, customizable design can boost driving range by 2%
#europe #tech #BMW

Share

Facebook Share Icon LinkedIn Share Icon Twitter Share Icon Share by EMail icon Print Icon

BMW Aerodynamic Wheel debuts on the iX3 EV.      (Image: BMW)

BMW is introducing a new design feature—customizable, lightweight aerodynamic wheels—to enhance the styling and efficiency of its electric vehicles.

The new wheels will debut later this year on the all-electric iX3, which the carmaker calls a sport activity vehicle. Applications in the i4 sedan and flagship iNext SUV/crossover will follow next year.

Range Extender

The design teams an aluminum wheel with plastic inserts. BMW touts several benefits:

  • 15% weight reduction vs. previous aerodynamic wheels
  •  5% lower drag coefficient compared with the base X3 crossover with conventional wheels
  • 2% lower power consumption

BMW estimates the improved efficiency will add 10 km (6.2 miles) to the iX3’s driving range. The company previously has listed a 400-km target for the tiny crossover (on the European WLTP test cycle), meaning the wheels would provide a 2.5% boost.

Material Benefits

BMW claims the system is an industry first for cast aluminum wheels with inserts comprised of a plastic carrier and an aluminum surface.

The precision-molded inserts are integrated into the outside of the wheel between the spokes, without any visible gaps. This allows them to reduce air turbulence within the wheel arch.

The patented design also requires less material than other aerodynamic wheels, according to BMW.

Customizable Appearance

BMW says the aero wheels can be customized in a variety of ways, including different colors (with a matt or polished finish), sheens and patterns. The inserts also can be combined with various surface designs within a single wheel.

RELATED CONTENT

  • The BMW i3: Deconstructed

    The engineers at Munro & Associates have taken a perfectly sound BMW i3 and taken it apart. Completely apart. And they are impressed with what they’ve discovered about how the EV is engineered.

  • Honda Accord: The Ninth Generation

    Although the term “continuous improvement” is generally associated with another company, Honda is certainly pursuing that approach, as is evidenced by the Accord, which is now in its ninth generation.

  • Tesla Model 3: Piece-by-Piece Munro Analysis

    The Tesla Model 3 is certainly one of the most controversial cars to be launched in some time, with production models (a comparative handful, admittedly) presented on a stage with a throng of people treating it like it was an event with Beyoncé, Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran, all at the same time.