BMW shows electric i and i-hybrid concepts

(July 30, 2011) FRANKFURT/MUNICH — The BMW Group unveiled its vision of future mobility with the introduction of the BMW i3 Concept and BMW i8 Concept studies. The concept vehicles provide a glimpse of the first electrically powered production cars from the new BMW i sub-brand, due to be launched as the BMW i3 in 2013 and the BMW i8 in 2014.

“We are marking another milestone in the history of the BMW Group. As Chairman of the Board and an engineer myself, I am very proud of this project,” declared Norbert Reithofer, Chairman of the Board of Management of BMW AG, at [today’s] premiere of the two vehicles in Frankfurt. “As the world’s leading premium car manufacturer, our aim is to offer customers purpose-built electric-drive cars as well,” he added.

With its zero-emission electric drive and a range of approximately 150 kilometres (93 miles), the BMW i3 Concept has been specifically developed for use in an urban environment, and features a 125 kW electric motor and rear-wheel drive. Thanks to its innovative LifeDrive architecture featuring a carbon passenger cell, the BMW i3 Concept combines an extremely low weight of 1,250 kilograms (2756 pounds) with interior space for four and crash worthy safety levels.

The i3 will mark the launch of the first volume-produced car featuring bodywork largely made of carbon saving between 250 and 350 kilos (550 and 770 pounds) as compared to a conventional electric car. The BMW i3 does the 0 to 100 km/h (0 to 62 mph) sprint in less than eight seconds, while a high-speed charger achieves an 80% battery charge in just an hour.

The BMW i8 Concept sports car goes from 0 to 100 km/h (0 to 62 mph) in less than five seconds and boasts fuel consumption of less than three litres per 100 km (mileage ranges between 46 and 77 mpg on the European test cycle depending on useage). Its plug-in hybrid drive with a system output of 260 kW allows a range of up to 35 kilometres (approximately 21 miles) in electric mode – sufficient for most everyday journeys. For more dynamic driving or out-of-town routes, a high-performance three-litre gas engine kicks in. The sports car has an electronically governed top speed of 250 km/h (155 mph) and space for up to four occupants.

Both the BMW i3 and the BMW i8 will be built at BMW’s Leipzig plant in Germany. Some 400 million euros ($576 million) are earmarked for investment in new buildings and facilities by 2013, while 800 new jobs are to be created. Vehicle production will be CO2 neutral and will draw on renewable resources.