BMW i3 conceptWe've just wrapped up a series of workshops in Germany about all things BMW i, but before we drop our "Behind i" feature on you next week, we wanted to give you a few tasty morsels to chew on while you're pursuing our massive gallery of the all-new i3 and i8 concepts.

If you haven't read our breakdown on both models, check it out now, as it includes the basic specs, powertrain, suspension, chassis and a cursory look at all the techy tidbits behind the i3 and i8. But here's the latest...

The i3 will tip the scales at 2,755 pounds, while the i8 will come in under 3,300 pounds. While that might sound slightly chunky, consider that the average gasoline-powered car converted to EV duty normally tacks on around 500 pounds courtesy of the battery, motor and cooling system. When looked at in this way, both models could be considered rather svelte.

The carbon fiber "Life" structure that envelops the i3's passengers is so strong (yet very light) that BMW's engineers didn't have to include a B-pillar for structural rigidity. That means ingress and egress should be easy, aided by the fact that both models utilize ultra-thin carbon fiber and plastic bits for the interior elements. Click past the jump for a whole mess of videos featuring the new i3 and i8 concepts in more detail.

According to Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President of BMW Design, those oh-so-low side windows probably won't make it to production, but the design team is intent on bringing as much light into the cabin as possible – particularly on the i8. However, the i3's glass roof will make way for a full carbon fiber piece when production begins next year.

In our previous story, we mentioned that the i3 could be outfitted with an optional range extending engine, and after much poking and prodding, we got an answer on what it is and how it'll work. The engine will be rear-mounted, right against the electric motor (not compromising luggage space), and it will be a two-cylinder gasoline mill with a displacement of around 600cc. Cooling will be provided by the liquid system keeping the battery pack in check, and the i3 will be a true range-extender – no engine torque will reach the wheels mechanically (unlike the Chevrolet Volt). How much of an extension? Double, or around 186 miles.

And as for the i8, this will be the first mid-engine BMW in nearly 30 years, likely to be fitted with a dual-clutch gearbox and some kind of torque vectoring system to put out a combined 402 pound-feet of torque to all four wheels when the turbo'd 1.5-liter three-cylinder and electric motor are working in unison.

Check out a whole slew of videos from BMW after the break.















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  • 36 Comments
      EverythingBagel
      • 3 Years Ago
      Shot in Vancouver! pretty..
      T-Mille
      • 3 Years Ago
      The Combine are taking over. O_O
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        Easy_Eight
        • 3 Years Ago
        Electric cars are just heavier. The Lekker/DBM Audi A2 EV weighed 1500kg. The MINI E weighed 1465kg.
          Easy_Eight
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Easy_Eight
          You can't compare it to a 20 year old (non-production) car either, in 1990 a BMW 316i only weighed 1070kg.
          Easy_Eight
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Easy_Eight
          I'd love a 600kg car but this is the real world, nobody bought the Audi A2. You've got to think about cost of manufacture and what a customers prepared to pay.
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Easy_Eight
          [blocked]
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Easy_Eight
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        • 3 Years Ago
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      Ak74
      • 3 Years Ago
      The future is here.
      alex
      • 3 Years Ago
      terrible
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      lorenzo
      • 3 Years Ago
      kinda interesting they keep pushing their services with this. their iDrive was sooo bad in the beginning. Do i really want an advanced OnStar from BMW with a subscription? Cant/shouldnt my phone do the things they are promising? Maybe they are just trying to prepare for the day when there will be no cars - for metros, you just take your BMW Breifcase with you and it tells you how to get places and arranges everything.
      Cakeflour
      • 3 Years Ago
      Any idea of what the i8 (terrible name, btw, "i8 all the pies!") will cost.
        50 AKA Ferrari
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Cakeflour
        More than likely as Ludacris put it best... it'll cost a Million Ga-zillion Fa-Fillion dollars.
          Doc
          • 3 Years Ago
          @50 AKA Ferrari
          i8 all the money, though
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Cakeflour
        [blocked]
      • 3 Years Ago
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      • 3 Years Ago
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      stevenh
      • 3 Years Ago
      lets see how well those glass doors will crash test on side impact. They are never going to make it into production so why bother putting it in the concepts? Tease us with steak and eventually give us a hamburger, Most concepts that make it into production are a 'lunch bag let down'
        kA
        • 3 Years Ago
        @stevenh
        This concept actually confuses me, because I agree with you -- how is it going to pass safety? -- on the other hand, BMW has a pretty good track record of making the production cars very similar to the concepts.
          SuperCoop
          • 3 Years Ago
          @kA
          Did either of you actually read the article? "According to Adrian van Hooydonk, Senior Vice President of BMW Design, those oh-so-low side windows probably won't make it to production, but the design team is intent on bringing as much light into the cabin as possible – particularly on the i8. However, the i3's glass roof will make way for a full carbon fiber piece when production begins next year."
      Dennis Baskov
      • 3 Years Ago
      Does it really take about a minute to charge whole batteries?!
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