Despite looking like every boy's bedroom wall fantasy, the car you see here is powered by a three-cylinder diesel engine and a couple of electric motors. Not that exciting, you might think, except it's got 356bhp and 560lb.ft of torque, which makes it a bona fide M car. But wait, there's more. While pushing out those tremendous figures and the associated performance stats they'll produce, the car achieves 75.1mpg on the combined cycle and 99g/km of CO2. That means you can drive right through London in one of these for free.
Diesel-hybrid technology is still scarce (though Peugeot is showcasing a couple of near-production examples at Frankfurt) because of its cost, so it's a fairly new technology. In this application, the 163bhp diesel engine is linked to two electric motors so that both power sources can work in tandem, or the oil burner can be shut off altogether for electric-only power at lower speeds for about 30 miles. It also features a Thermo Electric Generator that takes heat from the exhaust system and converts it to electric energy to power the interior lights and things.
You can't, obviously, and BMW is saying nothing about production, except that everything you see is perfectly viable. The German maker isn't diluting its efficiency and performance message by claiming it highlights a 'future design direction' either, as is usually the case with sporty concepts like this. That said, we'd be more than happy if the next 3 Series had that front end.