BMW’s Mission: Impossible!

In 1997, BMW turned more than a few heads when their 750iL turned up as Q department’s new vehicle of choice for James Bond in Tomorrow Never Dies.  Now it seems the company has set its sights on a slightly more current superspy blockbuster franchise.

The Vision EfficientDynamics concept car (above), which first appeared on the show circuit in 2009 and has since been steadily reworked to eventually approach a production form, will make its cinematic debut in the fourth installment of the Mission: Impossible series.  Featuring Tom Cruise in the role of hero Ethan Hunt, the MI films have been helmed by an impressive array of Hollywood’s top directors, including Brian De Palma, John Woo, and J.J. Abrams.  Scheduled to hit theaters in mid-December of this year, the latest film, titled Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol (screenshot below), is directed by Brad Bird, who has previously directed quite different films, including Ratatouille, The Incredibles, and The Iron Giant.

“With its futuristic design and large glass surfaces, the [Vision EfficientDynamics] offers a fascinating perspective on the future of sheer driving pleasure – in combination with maximum efficiency,” said Ian Robertson, BMW’s Board Member for Sales and Marketing.  “Also with BMW ConnectedDrive technology, it is the perfect car for Ethan Hunt to outsmart his pursuers through narrow streets and busy city traffic.”

While a 3-cylinder turbo diesel with a hybrid synchronous motor drives the Vision EfficientDynamics’ front axle, a full hybrid engine is responsible for the rear axle.  In tandem, the two motors produce 328 horsepower and can reportedly launch the car from 0 – 60 mph in less than 4.8 seconds, with a top speed of 155 mph.  Average fuel consumption is projected to be 75.1 mpg.  The original showcar was conceived as a plug-in hybrid with a chassis-housed lithium-polymer battery capable of a range of 32 miles when operating on electricity alone.

Integral to the Vision EfficientDynamics’ concept, the ConnectedDrive feature transforms the car into a smart car in the manner that a smart phone functions.  That is, the car’s computer will automatically sync with mainframe computers in various buildings and city infrastructural elements to help the driver with everything from basic directions to ordering movie tickets and making a dinner reservation.  And if you’re a death-defying superagent like Ethan Hunt, it should certainly provide a leg-up on the bastion of evil minions that will no doubt be hot on your tail.

Non-cinematic heroes like the rest of us will have to wait for the planned BMW i8, which will feature many functions derived from the concept car, and is loosely scheduled to enter series production in a few years.

The interface for the ConnectedDrive technology is pictured below in a concept roadster that BMW unveiled at last March’s Geneva Motor Show.