Is BMW looking to enter the Extreme E off-road racing series?
The German carmaker has shown off its hardcore Dune Taxi Electric Prototype hooning on- and off-road around Liwa, Abu Dhabi in a short video uploaded to the BMW Middle East Youtube channel.
This BMW dune buggy prototype bears an uncanny resemblance to the Odyssey 21 all-electric off-road racer, which is produced by French e-motorsport manufacturer Spark Racing Technology, and races in the Extreme E racing series.
It’s unclear if BMW is intending for this video to act as a teaser for an upcoming Extreme E entry, or as promotion for its high-performance SUVs.
We’ve reached out to BMW Australia to clarify if the German carmaker is intending to enter in Extreme E and will update this story once we hear back.
BMW notes the Dune Taxi prototype produces 400kW of power and 1000Nm of torque, has 400mm of wheel travel, and has a body shell built out of natural fibre reinforced plastic (NFRP).
This is coincidentally the same amount of peak power the Extreme E racers produce, and the body shell is made from the same material.
OEMs such as McLaren, GMC and Cupra currently race in the Extreme E series and all use the same running gear but with vehicles that have slightly different exterior designs.
This BMW Dune Taxi prototype seems to have the same overall exterior design as the Odyssey 21 off-road racer, but has the signature double kidney grille at the front and slim LED tail lights at the rear.
BMW hasn’t released any further official information about the Dune Taxi Electric Prototype as of yet, so we’ll have to wait and see what arises in the future.
As noted above, the German carmaker is gearing up to reveal its XM plug-in hybrid (PHEV) SUV on September 27.
The XM is the first SUV to be designed from scratch as an M model and will use a “newly-developed” V8 engine mated to an electric motor, with claimed outputs of 480kW and 800Nm.
Production of the BMW XM will begin towards the end of 2022 at BMW’s Spartanburg, South Carolina plant.
Following the concept’s reveal last November, a BMW Australia spokesperson said: “The BMW M brand and BMW X range are highly significantly to Australia – one in five BMWs sold here wear an M badge and BMW X vehicles represent more than 60 per cent of our total sales volume.
“With that in mind, the BMW Concept XM has immediate appeal for our market. If the production model is made available to us, we will definitely offer it our customers.”