BMW unveils its i3 and i8 Concepts

BMW today revealed its vision of the future to the world – the i3 Concept and i8 Concept cars. These studies will lead the way for production vehicles under the brand new BMW i sub-brand banner, with the i3 due to hit dealerships as soon as 2013, and the i8 the following year.

Thanks to its carbon passenger cell, the i3 Concept weighs in at just 1,250 kilograms – around 300 kilograms less than conventional electric cars – and has its power delivered to the rear wheels via a 125 kW (168 hp) electric motor. This results in a sub-eight second sprint to 100 km/h (62 mph) which, when you add in the fact that a high speed charger can give the i3 80% power in just one hour, you’ve got a great four-seater suited to urban life.

The i8 Concept is another kettle of fish. Touted as the new-generation sports car, it gets its power via a plug-in hybrid drive system, which develops 260 kW (349 hp). This is enough to propel to i8 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in under 5 seconds and on to a limited top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph). The i8’s electric drive gives an adequate range of 35 km on its own, but when you need to travel long distances, or simply have the desire for more spirited driving, a high-performance three-cylinder petrol unit kicks in.

BMW is investing € 400 million in new facilities at its Leipzig plant in Germany before production begins. And, impressively, production will be CO2 neutral – relying on renewable resources, possibly including wind turbines situated on the plant site.

[Source: BMW]

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