UPDATE: BMW Center East instructed Carscoops the Dune Taxi is predicated off the Odyssey 21 used within the Excessive E sequence, however is “a one-off challenge with none racing implications and there aren’t any plans in place [for BMW] to re-enter any electrified racing codecs.”
We all know its identify however not its goal. BMW Center East uploaded a five-minute video filmed round Liwa, Abu Dhabi, that includes a battery-electric rig known as the “Dune Taxi.” The tagline is “When xDrive meets BMW M,” an odd play when xDrive first connected with M on the X5 M and X6 M crossovers 13 years in the past, cementing their dalliance on the sedan facet in 2017 with the xDrive-only M5. The Dune Taxi will get loads of AWD costars from M department, although, together with the X6 M Competitors, an iX M60 making some weirdly ICE-flavored noises, and the Idea XM, none of which explains what we’re meant to count on from all of this.
High Gear defined that desert’s Empty Quarter the place capturing takes place is not removed from the beginning of subsequent yr’s Dakar Rally. Nonetheless, the Dune Taxi appears identical to the Odyssey 21 spec electrical buggy utilized in Excessive E, however with a BMW grille and a few vents on the rear fenders. Each Audi and BMW had been fixtures within the System E single-seater sequence till final yr. Audi left to compete within the Dakar Rally with its series-hybrid RS Q E-Tron in early 2022, not too long ago up to date to the RS Q E-Tron S2. Primarily based on the Dune Taxi’s form, what seems to be the shortage of a spare wheel, and the phrase “Cosowrth” within the heart stack, we suspect BMW is headed to the opposite world electrical off-road racing occasion. In reality, the Cosworth connection appears to offer the proof of Excessive E involvement. The engineering and motorsports agency says in a put up on its Fb web page that the Odyssey 21 is “outfitted with our electronics options from management to show.” An image of that show on Fb matches a quick glimpse of the show within the Dune Taxi.
Different supporting proof is available in energy scores of 536 horsepower and 738 pound-feet of torque, a tad lower than the Odyssey 21’s official 550 hp however a skosh greater than its 679 lb-ft. The Dune Taxi physique is constructed from the identical pure fiber-reinforced polymer (NFRP) with cutouts for gullwing doorways and a trim roof scoop. The suspension can run by means of 15.7 inches of wheel journey, a half-inch greater than discovered on the Odyssey 21. And the Tal Moreeb sand dune that the Dune Taxi climbs for its rallying finale ascends at an incline of 130%, the identical skyward angle the Excessive E sequence says the Odyssey 21 is designed to max out on.
Not forgetting the opposite stars within the vid, Lebanese rally ace Abdo Feghali is on the wheel of the Dune Taxi, his fellow Pink Bull Driftbrothers are co-conspirators within the different BMW autos, and American actress Madelyn Cline performs navigator, apparently aiming to get the wildest taxi experience from a bus cease to the key storage the place an XM is stored.
Again to racing, there are two races left on this yr’s Excessive E Sequence, the Copper X-Prix in Antofagasta, Chile on September 24 and 25 and the Vitality X-Prix in Punta del Este, Uruguay November 26 and 27. It is potential we’ll see the Dune Taxi make a cameo in South America then, or it may get a point out through the debut of the XM SUV on September 27.