Earlier today, German car manufacturer, BMW officially unveiled their future mobility concept cars, i3 and i8. Due to be launched in various markets around the world, BMW ‘i’ series is the future to BMW cars. BMW will launch the production level variant of i3 by 2013 while the production level i8 variant will be launched somewhere in 2014.
Mr Norbert Reithofer, Chairman, Board of Management, BMW AG, stated, “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. As the world’s leading premium car manufacturer, our aim is to offer customers purpose-built electric-drive cars as well.”
The main feature of BMW ‘i’ series is that they will have zero emissions and a range of 150 kms on a single full charge. BMW i3 is designed to fulfill urban commuting needs. Being small in size, i3 can commute through the busiest of streets effortlessly. Weighing just 1,250 kgms, BMW i3 comes with futuristic crash safety standards. BMW i3 can easily accommodate 4 adults and has a boot space of 200 liters.
Other features include, 0-100 kmph in less than 8 seconds and 0-80% battery charging in 1 hour. Mr Klaus Draeger, Board Member, Development, BMW, says, “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.”
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-cylinder 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 basis.
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.