PRESS RELEASE – 13 September 2011
BMW and Mini demonstrate fuel efficient and zero emission
credentials at 2011 RAC Future Car Challenge
Demonstrating its commitment to the development of economic and low-emission
motoring, BMW and Mini has unveiled a trio of cutting-edge vehicles taking part in the
Royal Automobile Club’s RAC Future Car Challenge. Joining the BMW 320d Efficient
Dynamics will be two all-electric, emission-free concept vehicles - the BMW ActiveE
and Mini E.
All three cars will use the Brighton to London RAC Future Car Challenge as an
opportunity to showcase their fuel efficient credentials in a real world setting. On
Saturday 5 November, they will compete alongside some of the world’s most
advanced low-energy vehicles. The challenge requires entrants to cover a 60-mile
route from Brighton’s Madeira Drive to Pall Mall in London, a reverse of the course
taken by participants of the world famous Veteran Car Run on the following day. The
overall winner will be the vehicle using the least amount of energy over the whole
route, with various class awards within the challenge.
The BMW 320d Efficient Dynamics (ED) is the greenest production BMW ever built
and claims the title of being the first junior executive car to emit less than 110g/km
CO2. Although returning a remarkable 68.9mpg, the 320d ED doesn’t compromise
performance. The 1,995cc turbo diesel produces 163hp, which will get the 320d ED
from zero to 62mph in eight seconds and on to a top speed of 142mph. It also benefits
from a road tax fee of just £35 a year.
As a development vehicle, the Mini E has already been proving its capabilities after 40
of the cars spent six months at the hands of volunteer testers across the UK last year.
This mobile test bed boasts a 150kW (200bhp) electric motor powering the front
wheels and offering a range of 156 miles in ideal conditions. The field trials of the Mini
E are just one phase of BMW’s Project i scheme, which will result in a mass-produced
electric vehicle, the BMW i3, in 2013.
The prototype BMW ActiveE is a further evolution of Project i, which was first revealed
at this years’ Geneva Motor Show. Based on the BMW 1-series, the ActiveE will be
used for similar lease trials this year in a pilot phase that will incorporate more than
1000 vehicles worldwide.
Improving on the Mini E formula, the ActiveE is BMW’s first four-seater electric vehicle
to combine the space and comfort of a traditionally powered BMW with a fully electric
drivetrain. The ActiveE benefits from a 168hp electric synchronous motor, which will
propel the vehicle from zero to 60mph in nine seconds, up to a limited top speed of
90mph. Thanks to the addition of regenerative engine braking, the ActiveE can travel
up to 100 miles between charges. Recharging can be performed using a 13A or 32A
supply, which takes eight or five hours respectively.
The RAC Future Car Challenge is also open to hybrid, hydrogen and low-emission
internal combustion engine cars and light-commercial vehicles. Last year’s entry list
included one-off prototypes and future production vehicles from manufacturers such as
Honda, Mercedes-Benz, Toyota, Nissan, Vauxhall, Skoda and Volkswagen, as well as
current production cars offering the highest levels of efficiency regardless of their
For 2011 the total number of entries permitted has been increased to 90 and the
diversity of the entry list has been recognised by the organisers with a range of awards
in up to 22 different vehicle categories as well as by power source.
Notes for editors
The RAC Future Car Challenge (FCC) takes place on Saturday 5 November 2011, the day before The
Royal Automobile Club’s world famous London to Brighton Veteran Car Run. Starting at Madeira Drive
Brighton, this unique live event will use the traditional 60-mile Veteran Run route in reverse and the
challenge is to drive from Brighton to London using the least energy possible within the 2hrs 45min
minimum and 3hrs 30min maximum time permitted.
The formal finish will be in Pall Mall followed by a special ceremonial finish and presentation in Regent
Street. Here, the vehicles will join the display of around 100 pre-1905 motor cars in the London to
Brighton Veteran Car Run International Concours in front of an estimated 250,000 audience.
Entries will be categorised by vehicle type as per the following seven groups: (Euro Car Segment)
Small Passenger Car (A&B), Regular Passenger Car (C), Large Passenger Car (D), Luxury Passenger
Car (E&F), Sports Car (two-seat) (S), Multi-Purpose Vehicle (M&J), Light Commercial Vehicle (up to 3.5
The Challenge is open to road-legal, concept, development, pre-production and production cars and
LCVs (light commercial vehicles) that feature new/alternative low-energy in the following five
categories: Pure Electric (EV), Extended-Range/Plug-In Hybrid (E-REV, PHEV), Hybrid (HV, HEV),
Hydrogen (HFEV), Internal Combustion Engine (ICE) - up to 110g/km CO2 emission, fuelled by any
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The Royal Automobile Club
Founded in 1897, the Royal Automobile Club has continuously supported and promoted the
development of motoring in Great Britain including the introduction of the famous 1000 Mile Trial in
1900, the Tourist Trophy, first run in 1905 and the first British Grand Prix in 1948.
Every year, on the first weekend of November, the Club promotes the UK’s largest, free-to-view
celebration of motoring, past, present and future. The Future Car Challenge runs from Brighton to
London and showcases the performance of low energy vehicles. In its inaugural year (2010) it attracted
the support of major manufacturers from around the world. This year the Challenge is on Saturday 5
November and London’s Regent Street will be closed for the finale, a celebration of 19th, 20th and 21st
century motoring. The next morning Hyde Park sees the start of the London to Brighton Veteran Car
Run, celebrating the Emancipation Run of 1896. Over 500 vehicles, all built before 1905 and from
around the globe, participate in the world’s longest running motoring event.
The Club also presents a number of significant awards each year including the Segrave Trophy which,
in 2010, was awarded to Adrian Newey for designing Formula 1 championship-winning cars for three
different British-based teams: Williams, McLaren and Red Bull Racing.
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