Vijay Pattni21 February 2011

BMW launches ‘i’ sub-brand

German giant introduces new electric range starting with city car and VED sports car

BMW i

Good news! BMW is set to build a version of the sensational Vision EfficientDynamics sportscar from 2013.

The German car maker today launched its new sub-brand, called ‘i', which focuses on ‘sustainable mobility solutions'; read ‘electric/hybrid' cars. Under this banner, BMW will build two models from 2013, the i3 and i8.

See some teaser pics of the new BMW i models

The i3 - known as the Megacity Vehicle - will be BMW's first solely electric powered series production car, using a setup derived from the one currently being tested on the Geneva ActiveE concept. That car - a 1-Series coupe - features 170bhp and a 0-62mph time of nine seconds together with a 100-mile range.

The i8 will be based on the stunning VED supercar first shown in 2009, and will feature a plug-in hybrid setup to provide big performance and small-car emissions. Don't forget, that concept hit 62mph in 4.8 seconds, returned 75mpg and produced just 100g/km of CO2.

See pics of the stunning VED concept sports car

Both will feature an aluminium chassis construction, labelled ‘LifeDrive', housing the powertrain, together with lightweight carbon-fibre reinforced plastic, which BMW claims helps balance the weight of the batteries. "For our customers this means superior driving dynamics combined with significantly increased range using electric power", explained a BMW spokesperson.

The i3 and i8 will be built at BMW's Leipzig plant, with over £336 million invested in new factory facilities.

Excited?

Now share it...

What do you think?

This service is provided by Disqus and is subject to their privacy policy and terms of use. Please read Top Gear's code of conduct (link below) before posting.