BMW and Benz Walking Away From Two-Mode Technology

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer

Well how do you like that? My very first editorial for TTAC took GM to task for spending (at least) a quarter of a billion bucks on its overly complex Two-Mode hybrid drivetrain. Way back in February 2008, I noted that “the chances increase daily that BMW will join Mercedes in washing its hands of two-mode technology entirely.” And guess what? It’s looking more likely by the day. Automotive News [sub] reports that Two-Mode co-developers BMW and Daimler will probably end their participation in the ill-fated alliance by year’s end (Chrysler is AWOL). BMW will launch a Two-Mode X6 globally and Daimler will bring a Two-Mode ML stateside this year, and then . . . basta. “None of the other hybrid development work in our company is based on the two-mode technology,” say BMW sources. Well that was a cool billion (split four ways) well spent. At least they got Automobile magazine’s “Technology of the Year” award.

Edward Niedermeyer
Edward Niedermeyer

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  • Paul Niedermeyer Paul Niedermeyer on Jul 23, 2009

    Two mode: works fine; costs way too much. GM has hinted it costs them at least $10k (over the price of a conventional drive train). Toyota has said their HSD is down to less than $3k each (over a conventional drive train). Therein is the reason for the very big expensive sound of a billion bucks flushed down the drain.

  • Golden2husky Golden2husky on Jul 23, 2009
    either you do a hybrid right, or not at all.... 13 MPG to 21 me crazy, but percentage wise that is a great improvement. I am actually surprised that they didn't sell better. Most people I know don't give a rat's ass about offroad ability and towing. But they do care about utility. Also, suburban mothers (no pun intended) usually have some bent towards efficiency and environment. I guess this class of vehicles are just not fashionable anymore. Too bad: the utility of a Suburban with the guzzle of a car seems like a winner to me. I guess like the Air France Concorde, a technological success but an economic failure.
  • Charly Charly on Jul 23, 2009

    Hybrids have the advantages that the make faster 0-100 times without increasing the engine. BMW sells fast who's maximum speed is limited electronically --> Hybrids sounds quite right for BMW M-B sell over engineered cars --> what is more over engineered than a Hybrid?

  • Hazard Hazard on Jul 24, 2009

    It's completely ridiculous to say hybrid's don't fit a luxury marque's brand image. Hybrid tech is expensive - so where better to put it than in luxury cars? Hybrid can be used to boost performance - so where better to put it than in a performance car? Hybrids are also overly complicated - fits perfectly with MB and BMW. C'mon folks, this is the company that gave us iDrive.