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BMW's EV Makes More Power Than An M5

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Wait until you hear about the torque figure.

BMW has been hard at work developing electric cars such as the upcoming iX3 SUV and an electric 3 Series to rival the Tesla Model 3. For now, the M Division is keeping its eyes on plug-in hybrids rather than fully electric models, but BMW's performance arm hasn't ruled out the idea of an all-electric M car. During the company's #NEXTGen19 event, it showed off a prototype version of the 5 Series called the Power BEV.

But since this name is a bit boring, the car's project manager, Matthias Stangl told Roadshow, "We call it Lucy. When you say 'Lucy' everybody's thinking about 'Lucifer', and you see this amazing black car. But if you think of the Latin origin of 'Lucifer', it's the one that brings the light." So say hello to Lucy, BMW's new electric monster.

BMW says Lucy is equipped with three fifth-generation electric drive units. These electric motors combined to produce over 720 horsepower and 848 pound-feet of torque. With so much power on tap, BMW says the prototype can comfortably hit 60 mph in under three seconds (so watch out Tesla Model S). But BMW hasn't just focused on making Lucy quick in a straight line, it handles well enough to replace the M5 in the near future.

The three electric motor setup was designed to provide impressive lateral dynamics. Each of the two motors on the rear axle is controlled separately, enabling e-torque vectoring for more dynamic maneuvers. BMW says the setup is even more effective than a limited-slip differential on a gas-engined car while the front-mounted motor adds all-wheel-drive traction.

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The fifth generation electric drive units will make their production debut in the iX3, though it will only have one motor rather than three. BMW used a current generation 5 Series to build the Power BEV and says it was able to do so without any compromise in passenger space. In other words, it may be possible to turn Lucy into a real-life production car. If BMW does decide to put this prototype into production, Tesla better watch out.