BMW shows new i brand

BMW has shown two concepts from its proposed new i brand of low-consumption, low-emission cars.

The BMW i3 concept is planned as the first series-produced all electric car for city use, while the BMW i8 concept is a sport car with plug-in hybrid technology. The aim of the i8 is to combine a sporting driving experience with low fuel consumption and emissions.

BMW i3 and i8

The BMW i3 i(closest to the camera) is driven purely by electric power. BMW says it is “well-resolved, all-round concept, with every detail conceived and optimised to fulfil its eventual purpose”. This tends to confirm that the i3 (and, indeed, the i8) will make it into production in a form pretty close to the concepts – although the transparent doors below the waistline are likely to go on the grounds of safety (and privacy perhaps?).

The i3 has its electric motor mounted over the rear axle. It develops 170 hp, with acceleration from 0-60 kph (37 mph) in four seconds and on to 62mph in less than eight seconds. So, in performance terms, this is no milk float!

The BMW i8 concept combines the electric drive system from the i3 (this time mounted over the front axle) with a three-cylinder internal combustion engine producing 220 bhp. Together, they give the i8 a 0-62 mph time of under five seconds, while achieving a European cycle economy of 94 mpg. It is also capable of driving around 20 miles on electric power alone.
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