BMW i: The BMW i3 electric car and i8 plug in hybrid.
The i brand has come up with two new electric car concepts called the i3 (one for around town) and the i8 (for speeding across the country).
The BMW i series cars will all be either all-electric or hybrid cars and have plenty of lightweight and recycled materials to keep the environmental cost low and the efficiency high.
The i3 or the as it was known Megacity is due to come out in 2013 and is a small city car that has been the result of many electric car prototypes from BMW like what they learned from the Mini E trial and the BMW ActiveE.
Although the i3 won’t be the first electric car designed for city use to come out from a major manufacturer, BMW think that the time spent on the designing will prove to be worth it.
BMW say the BMW i3 is “Born Electric” and it’s true because it seems every part of the body of the i3 has been specially designed just for this car. It’s slick and modern and if you believe the ads it will make you successful and handsome while living the high life and also showing you care about the environment!
The i3 is no slow NEV (Neighbourhood Electric Vehicle) though. It will be able to accelerate from 0 to 100km/h in under 8 seconds and get a electronically limited top speed of 150km/h. It’s powered by a 125kW motor which gives a huge 250Nm of torque.
From a regular socket the i3 can be charged in six hours and it will take just one hour from a high speed charger. BMW say the range of the car will most likely be 80 to 100 miles.
If you want a bit of extra range from the car you can have the option of installing a REx which is a generator that can be used to make sure the batteries stay charged for a longer trip (or if you just forgot to plug it in at home).
BMW have a feature in both the i3 and i8 called Life Drive architecture. The “Drive” part houses everything that’s needed to make the car move and is all attached to a carbon fibre “Life” module which is the passenger compartment. It seems like a pretty interesting concept but I guess we’re going to have to wait and see what difference it makes to everyday driving.
It looks like it was designed to appear in a big Hollywood sci-fi movie with all its layers, glowing blue stripes and glass everywhere!
It’s a plug-in hybrid with an electric motor at the front axle working with a 220 hp engine at the back. This gets it from 0-100 km/h in less than 5 seconds which sets it well apart from the i3.
Because it’s a plug-in hybrid it can get up to 35km just on electric power which means most days you probably won’t even need to use a drop of the precious petrol in the tank! According to BMW it will use under 3 litres of petrol per 100km or 94 mpg imperial which is quite good.
It is a 2+2 seater which means it’s probably going to be a tight squeeze for anyone sitting in the back but hey it is supposed to be a sports car!
The design of the car gives it a 50/50 weight distribution and with the batteries in the “energy tunnel” between the front and rear axle the i8 has a very low centre of gravity.
The BMW i series cars look pretty innovative in their styling and both have very concept styled designs. They really have the whole futuristic look about them and it will be interesting to see how close the finished cars will actually look to these designs.
The amount of glass in the cars is definitely a very nice feature and the thinking is probably that people who buy these cars like the environment and will want to spend more time looking at it!
I hope the BMW i brand grows in the future and maybe one day becomes the norm instead of the exception.
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