BMW and Benz Walking Away From Two-Mode Technology

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
bmw and benz walking away from two mode technology

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.

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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.