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SIMPLE – light in weight, low on energy

BMW Simple combines features and advantages from both automobiles and
motorcycles. The concept owes its passenger cell to the car, providing
protection from wind and weather as well as shielding the driver from exterior
noise and offering occupants a high degree of safety in the event of an
accident. The motorcycle inspired the slim design of the BMW Simple (at just 110
centimeters wide) and its configuration for two people sitting one behind the
other. Plus it boasts the dynamic driving style typical of a two-wheeler,
allowing you to lean right into corners as desired. The designation “simple” is
an acronym of the project name “A sustainable and innovative mobility product
for low energy consumption”.

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The BMW designers initially planned a small vehicle with low weight and minimal
aerodynamic drag properties. Following a concept phase of several months, the
pooled requirements and ideas gave rise in 2005 to a vehicle based on tilting
technology. In contrast to other vehicle concepts in which only the passenger
cell tilts during cornering, here all the driver has to do is determine a change
in direction for the appropriate tilt to follow automatically. The stand-out
feature of the BMW Simple concept is that it activates the hydraulics only in
exceptional situations, for example if the vehicle threatens to become unstable
during extremely slow driving, when righting the vehicle during standstill or in
extreme situations such as drifting. Otherwise, BMW Simple rides like a
motorcycle and, beyond natural gravity and gyroscopic forces, requires no energy
whatsoever to lean into a corner. The passenger also benefits from this tilting
technology as he feels no transverse forces and, particularly during rapid
changes of direction, need not compensate for any lateral movements.

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All that is needed to power this lightweight vehicle with a kerb weight of
approx. 450 kg is a 36 kW combustion engine. Acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h is
estimated at under ten seconds and the vehicle has an excellent drag coefficient
of 0.18. Using the electric motor and the combustion engine, the BMW Simple
would need just 6 kWh (equivalent to 0.7 litters of petrol) or two litres over
100 km.

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