BMW Unveils i3, i8 EV Concepts [VIDEO]

Just ahead of the of the Frankfurt Motor Show, BMW has unveiled two concepts for their new BMW i electric vehicle lineup: the i3 and i8. The BMW i3 is a zero-emission, rear-drive urban hatchback planned for 2013. BMW claims the i3 will achieve a max range of over 90 miles and can go from 0 to 60 mph in about 8 seconds. This is in no small part due to the car's use of state of the art light-weight materials.

"This vehicle will mark the launch of the first volume-produced car featuring bodywork largely made of carbon." said Dr. Klaus Draeger, BMW's head of product development. Equally as impressive, BMW says its high-speed charger will be able to recharge the i3 up to 80% battery capacity in just 1 hour.

BMW could've stopped there and we at TRANSLOGIC would've been perfectly happy--but, then they went ahead and unveiled this:

BMW i8

The second concept shown in the BMW i sub-brand is the i8 plug-in hybrid sports car. That's right--a part electric, part turbocharged 3-cylinder powerplant propels the i8 from 0-60 mph in about 5 seconds. And, unlike the all-electric Tesla Roadster, this sporty PHEV will be able to seat 4 occupants (2+2, so don't expect too much room in the back).

Perhaps best of all, the i8 will be able to run in pure electric mode for about a 20 mile range, meaning you have an über-green 'round-towner during the week and a high-performance PHEV for the weekends. Only problem: you'll have to wait until 2014 to drive one.

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BMW Group presents mobility of the future
World premiere of the BMW i3 Concept and BMW i8

FRANKFURT, July 29, 2011--The BMW Group showcases its visions of future
mobility in the shape of the BMW i3 Concept and BMW i8 Concept studies.
Unveiled for the first time, these 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 Friday'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, the BMW i3 Concept has been specifically developed for use in an
urban environment, its dynamic 125 kW electric motor and rear-wheel drive
ensuring BMW-style dynamic handling. Thanks to its innovative LifeDrive
architecture featuring a carbon passenger cell, the BMW i3 Concept combines
an extremely low weight of 1,250 kilograms with optimal interior space and the
highest crash safety levels. With four seats and a 200-litre luggage
compartment, this vehicle is fully suited for everyday use.

Draeger: a revolution in car design

"This vehicle will mark the launch of the first volume-produced car featuring
bodywork largely made of carbon. It's a revolution in automotive design,"
stressed Klaus Draeger, Member of the Board responsible for Development. The
application of this new CFRP technology allows a weight reduction, compared to
a conventional electric car, of between 250 and 350 kilos, and that means more
dynamic handling coupled with a greater range. The BMW i3 does the 0 to 100
km/h sprint in less than eight seconds, while a high-speed charger achieves an
80% battery charge in just an hour.

Thanks to the emission-free drivetrain and a value added chain designed to be
sustainable all along the line, life cycle emission figures for the BMW i3 are at
least a third lower than for a highly efficient combustion-engine car. If the BMW
i3 is run on electricity from renewable sources, the figures improve by well over

BMW i8 Concept: new-generation sports car

The BMW i8 Concept goes from 0 to 100 km/h in less than five seconds and
boasts fuel consumption of under three litres per 100 km. Its plug-in hybrid drive
with a system output of 260 kW allows a range of up to 35 kilometres in electric
mode – sufficient for most everyday journeys. For more dynamic driving or out-
of-town routes, a high-performance three-litre petrol engine also comes into
play. The sports car has an electronically governed top speed of 250 km/h and
space for up to four occupants. "The BMW i8 Concept is the sports car for a
new generation – pure, emotional and sustainable," Draeger underlined.

With BMW i, the BMW Group is corroborating its position as the most innovative
and sustainable auto manufacturer in the world, as reflected in the fact that it has
been the supersector leader in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes for the sixth
year running. With BMW i, the BMW Group is providing answers to the mobility
challenges of the future while pursuing a holistic approach. In addition to
purpose-built premium vehicles with electric drive, the company is also offering
intelligent mobility services.

The focus here is on solutions for improved use of parking space, intelligent
navigation systems with location-based information, intermodal route planning
and car-sharing schemes such as DriveNow. Following MyCityWay,
ParkatmyHouse marks the second investment by the recently launched venture
capital company BMW i Ventures in a company providing internet-based mobility
services. Parkatmyhouse allows private individuals to use the internet or a
smartphone app to rent out their private parking spaces on a short- or long-term

Both the BMW i3 and the BMW i8 will be built at BMW's Leipzig plant in
Germany. Some 400 million euros 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. The company is
currently investigating the possibility of erecting its own wind turbines on the
plant site.

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