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BMW unveils ‘novel aerodynamic wheels’ for the purely electric cars

BMW has unveiled a new wheel design which it says is more aerodynamic and provides “all-round efficiency”.

The “Aerodynamic Wheel” will feature on the BMW iX3 as well the iNext and i4 models.

In tests, BMW found that the new aerodynamic wheel reduced drag for the iX3 by “about 5 per cent” compared with the conventionally powered BMW X3.

The new aerodynamic wheels are 15 per cent lighter than the wheels previously fitted by BMW.

Their benefits in terms of aerodynamics and weight have the overall effect of lowering power consumption for the BMW iX3 by another 2 per cet in the European WLTP test cycle – equating to 0.4 kWh/100 km – and thereby extending the vehicle range by 10 kilometres.

The new ‘Aerodynamik Wheel’ prototype for the purely electric BMW iX3

BMW says the Aerodynamic Wheels blend lightweight construction and reduced air resistance with “the sporting elegance of a V‑spoke aluminium wheel in a whole new way”.

The automaker adds that the dimensions of the base wheel ensure the wheel living up to all the structural challenges involved in transmitting dynamic driving forces.

The company says new “inserts” with a high-class finish are responsible for achieving the necessary aerodynamic impact.

This new division of tasks heralds a substantial weight saving over previous aerodynamic wheels from BMW.

Furthermore, the new base wheel is made using less material than its precursor adding up to the reduction of unsprung mass by lightweight inserts. This enhances both, driving dynamics and efficiency.

Additionally, the mix of materials is benefitting a resource-efficient manufacture, as there is no need for further tools to produce special wheel options with optimised aerodynamics.

To fit the lightweight base wheel, the inserts are precision-moulded and integrated into the outside of the wheel between the spokes.

This makes them “highly effective” in reducing wheel-arch air turbulence – and therefore aerodynamic drag.

As a result, the Aerodynamic Wheels form a key element of the overall package developed for optimum efficiency of the BMW iX3.

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