Whats All This About Bmw and Steam?

by : Chet Waters

What's All This About BMW And Steam?

Just when you think you have heard it all, something comes along that totally surprises you. Like a gentle breeze on the back of your neck on a hot summer's day that promises unexpected pleasure, so too will BMW amaze you. If you are up for an unusual story of innovation and imagination, read on my friend read on.

You will be pleasantly delighted.

When we think of mechanical devices and steam, the first thing that usually comes to mind is the old steam engines of the American west. But now a new use has been found for an old source of energy. But who in their wildest dreams every thought that steam would be used as a source of power for our cars in this century.

Is this a leap forward for BMW or just a gimmick that won't last very long?

In the closing days of 2005, BMW announced the introduction of a new technology they called the "turbosteamer". And like most people I had no idea what they were talking about. Not only that, but I didn't know that a large part of the energy released by burning gas in my car went right out the exhaust system as heat. Wow. What a waste of money.

But here is where things get really interesting. The heat that comes from the car's regular internal combustion engine is used to power a steam engine that produces more energy to power the car. Or, to put it another way, it's like getting a "turbo boost" like that black car "KIT" in the TV series Knight Rider. And what a boost this steam produces to give the real BMW that extra "edge".

What would an extra 15% do for you?

That's right. With the "turbosteamer" the BMW is 15% more efficient. To make it easier to understand, think of it this way. Using this system you would go 15% longer before having to fill up with gas. Your gas bill would be 15% less. And in the long run you would be 15% happier with the results. You win. Your wallet wins. And the environment wins. It's like winning the Triple Crown don't you think?

Is there anything else to this system that makes it so unique?

I'm so glad you asked that question. Now that you mention it there are two very important pieces to this efficiency puzzle. You see, because the energy to run the steam engine comes directly from the heat of the exhaust, this concept is a stroke of genius. In addition, the heat from the internal combustion engine cooling system is also used as input to run the "turbosteamer". Are BMW engineers awesome or what?

You won't see this at your local dealership in the next few years. For now the development is focusing on making all the components of the system smaller and simpler. But the good news is that BMW should have a production model available around 2015.

And now you know what all the fuss is about when it comes to BMW and steam.

Chet Waters is the BMW Specialist. Learn How To Find Your BMW And At The Price You Can Afford. Go To: