Last week Jamie's girlfriend's Mini was in the garage and as such he was driving around in a new 120D SE. He was so taken with the "Efficient Dynamics" that he took me out for a spin at lunch to experience it. When you pull up to the lights and flick into neutral, the engine stops, leaving behind an eerily quiet cabin which is actually a little disconcerting. Then, as soon as you put the clutch it, the engine gives a little cough and switches instantly back on. I remember being taught that starting a car engine is a resource hungry operation, now either technology has advanced a lot or huge start up cost is an urban myth. Either way, I was left wondering just exactly what they've done and how they've done it. So much so that I read some more about all the cool features included in the Efficient Dynamics package.
I also got to thinking (briefly) how the engine modifications to enable super-fast start up time are analogous with the JVM changes in support of IBM's new WebSphere sMash initiative.
Also, it's a bold and welcome move that BMW have rolled out Efficient Dynamics across the majority of their model range, it's a move that not only benefits the environment but also helps the consumer by lower company car tax (stop/start cheats the CO2 numbers) and increasing fuel economy. Impressive stuff.