Promising better fuel efficiency, the new BMW i8 receives a new architecture called LifeDrive. The first 8 models were handed over to customers at a special ceremony held at the BMW Welt in Munich. The keys to the i8 were handed over by Roland Kruger, Head of Sales and Marketing, Germany along with Helmut Schramm, Head of Production Electric Vehicles at the company’s Leipzig plant.
A notable fact about the new BMW i8 is that it is the first production vehicle to receive laser powered headlights which are being offered as an option though full LED headlights are standard. These laser headlights ensure full beam range upto 600 meters, a two fold increase as compared to that offered by LED high beam headlights. Though augmented in power, these laser headlights consume 30% less energy as compared to LED lights while they also weigh less and occupy less space.
Powered by an efficient hybrid drivetrain, the 231 hp turbocharged 1.5 liter three cylinder engine is located at the rear, behind seats, while a 131 hp electric motor is situated on front axle. The petrol engine sends power to rear wheels through a six speed automatic transmission. The electric motor sends power to front wheels via a two stage automatic gearbox. BMW i8 can accelerate from 0 to 100 kmph in 4.4 seconds and reach a top speed of 250 kmph.
BMW i8 made India debut at the hands of Sachin Tendulkar at the 2014 Delhi Auto Expo. India launch of BMW i8 is scheduled for later this year.
Speaking about BMW’s sales report, under the BMW name, they sold 153,023 units (+10%), MINI sold 24,373 units (-9.6%), while BMW Motorrad sales stood at 14,088 (+7.7%) .
Highlight of May 2014 sales remained their X models which include their SUVs X1, X3 and X5. BMW 5 Series too maintained its growth by registering best sales in the segment. Whereas their new i3 has now managed 4,154 units sales since launch five months ago.
BMW Group sales in May continue record year
Total of 177,741 vehicles delivered in May, increase of 6.8%
Year-to-date sales up 7.4% to 826,865
BMW 5 Series continues to lead its segment with rise of 10.6% in May
Munich. Deliveries of BMW, MINI and Rolls-Royce brand vehicles increased 6.8% to total 177,741 in the last month, making it the best May ever (prev. yr. 166,381). A new sales record was also reached in the year-to-date with a total of 826,865 vehicles delivered in the first five months of the year (prev. yr. 770,012 / +7.4%).
“The BMW Group continued to achieve record sales in May, keeping us well on track to sell over two million vehicles in 2014,” said Ian Robertson, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Sales and Marketing BMW. “Customer demand in the USA is showing solid growth, as is the Americas region as a whole, whilst Asia continues to be strong. Sales this year in Europe are also showing some signs of recovery,” Robertson added.
Sales of BMW brand vehicles rose 10.0% in May with a total of 153,023 vehicles being delivered to customers (prev. yr. 139,142). Sales for the year-to-date climbed 10.9% to 722,129 (prev. yr. 651,152).
The new BMW 2 Series, which has been on sale since March, continued its strong start with sales-to-date reaching 7,842. Sales of the BMW 3 Series show continued growth with a total of 193,866 sold in the year-to-date (prev. yr. 189,830 / +2.1%).
The BMW 4 Series, which was launched on the market last October, reached a total of 35,253 units delivered in the first five months of the year. Customer demand for the BMW 5 Series, which continues to lead its segment worldwide, jumped 10.6% in May (33,213 / prev. yr. 30,027) with sales so far this year up 5.5% to total 155,733 (prev. yr. 147,551). The BMW 6 Series also recorded a solid rise in sales in the year-to-date with 11,812 vehicles delivered to customers (prev. yr. 10,765 / +9.7%).
Customer demand for the BMW X models continues to show solid growth. Sales of the BMW X1 increased by 4.9% in the first five months of the year with 67,391 units sold (prev. yr. 64,235), whilst the BMW X3 saw a 10.5% increase in demand (69,115 / prev. yr. 62,545). The BMW X5, which founded the Sports Activity Vehicle segment in 1999, continues to be very popular with customers. Sales of the third generation of the X5, which has been on the market since November 2013, climbed 62.5% in May, with a total of 12,382 units delivered to customers (prev. yr. 7,619), bringing the year-to-date sales to a total of 55,136 (prev. yr. 43,002 / +28.2%).
Sales of the BMW i3 continue to be positive with a total of 4,154 delivered in the first five months of 2014.
In May, 24,373 MINIs were delivered to customers (prev. yr. 26,958 / -9.6%). Year-to-date sales decreased 12.4% with a total of 103,158 units delivered (prev. yr. 117,697). This decrease in sales is in line with expectations and is due to the recent model change in the core MINI Hatch model. Customer interest in the new MINI is strong and this is expected to be reflected in the retail figures from summer onwards.
Continuing its strategy of balanced sales growth worldwide, the BMW Group increased sales in all three major sales regions in the first five months of 2014.
Asia saw deliveries of BMW and MINI models increase by 19.7% to 264,094 vehicles (prev. yr. 220,576) in the year-to-date. In mainland China, sales rose 24.6% to 184,823 (prev. yr. 148,319). Sales continue to show double-digit growth in South Korea, where 18,221 vehicles were delivered in the first five months of the year (prev. yr. 15,330 / +18.9%). In the year-to-date, Japan saw growth of 7.2% (25,210 / prev. yr. 23,517).
A total of 178,126 BMW and MINI vehicles were delivered to customers in the Americas in the year-to-date (prev. yr. 171,636 / +3.8%). In the USA, sales in the first five months of 2014 rose 4.9%, with a total of 145,957 vehicles delivered to customers (prev. yr. 139,142). In Brazil, 6,979 vehicles were delivered to customers (prev. yr. 6,013 / +16.1%) and sales in Mexico rose 6.7% to 5.620 (prev. yr. 5,269).
The gradual recovery of the European market continues with a total of 358,949 BMW and MINI models delivered in the first five months of the year (prev. yr. 351,997 / +2.0%). Scandinavia continues to show significant growth in the year-to-date, climbing 16.9% to 17,816 vehicles (prev. yr. 15,235). Double-digit growth was also recorded in Spain, where sales to the end of May rose 11.8% with a total of 16,679 vehicles delivered to customers (prev. yr. 14,917).
BMW Motorrad’s stable growth continues for a fifth consecutive month. In May, 14,088 motorcyles and maxi-scooters were delivered to customers (prev. yr. 13,081 / +7.7%), making it BMW Motorrad’s best May ever. In the first five months of the year, sales grew 12.9%, totalling 59,151 (prev. yr. 52,400).
BMW Group sales in May 2014 at a glance
|In May 2014||Compared with |
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|BMW Group Automobiles||177,741||+6.8%||826,865||+7.4%|
First global deliveries of the BMW i8. BMW laser light debuts for the first time in a customer vehicle.
Munich. The world’s first BMW i8s (fuel consumption combined: 2.1–0.0 l/100 km; CO2 emissions combined: 49–0 g/km) were handed over to customers today at BMW Welt in Munich: The first eight customers from Germany received their BMW i8s as part of an official ceremony in which Roland Krüger, Head of Sales and Marketing Germany for the BMW Group, and Dr. Helmut Schramm, Head of Production Electric Vehicles at Plant Leipzig, presented them with the keys to their new cars.
The first BMW i8 cars also feature the ground-breaking BMW laser light.
An exclusive evening reception to mark the BMW i8 market launch, with celebrity guests, such as TV presenter Thomas Gottschalk and actor Thomas Kretschmann, rounded off the official vehicle presentation.
BMW Laser Light in series production
With its BMW i8, BMW is the first manufacturer worldwide to offer totally new laser-powered headlights in a production vehicle. The BMW i8 will make automotive history with its laser lights, as the first series-produced vehicle to feature this completely new lighting technology.
While high-intensity, energy-efficient full LED headlights are standard in the BMW i8, the optional laser-boost feature extends its high-beam range to up to 600 metres, doubling the already impressive illumination range of the latest LED high-beam headlights.
The new technology uses 30 per cent less energy than ultra-power-saving LED lights, takes up less installation space inside the headlight and weighs less.
The outstanding range of BMW laser headlights offers even greater illumination and visibility for driving in the dark, ensuring a more relaxed and comfortable driving experience with enhanced road safety. Dazzling of oncoming traffic or vehicles ahead is reliably eliminated in conjunction with the camera-aided digital high-beam assistant.
“In November of last year, we welcomed the first BMW i3 customers here at BMW Welt. Today, we are continuing the BMW i success story with the first eight BMW i8 customers worldwide. As ‘the first of a new era’, the BMW i8 combines the sustainable design of a carbon-fibre body with a powerful plug-in hybrid,” stated Roland Krüger. “This success would not be possible without our retail partners. We are delighted that our BMW i agents are accompanying us on the road to the future of mobility.”
The BMW i8 is the BMW Group’s first plug-in hybrid vehicle. It combines the driving performance of a high-performance sports car with the fuel consumption and emissions of a small car. BMW i8 deliveries will begin in all main international BMW Group markets in June.
Presentation with familiar faces
Following the vehicle handover, the new BMW i8 was presented to a select audience in a special multimedia show, featuring actor Thomas Kretschmann. “The car looks fantastic. It’s a technical revolution. I’m really looking forward to working with BMW,” said Kretschmann.
Roland Krüger was joined by Dr. Carsten Breitfeld, BMW i8 Project Manager; Benoit Jacob, Head of Design BMW i; and Dr. Helmut Schramm, Head of Production for BMW i vehicles at Plant Leipzig to answer questions in a BMW i8 roundtable chaired by Thomas Gottschalk. “I just experienced driving the BMW i8 for myself: It’s a lot of fun. I would never have thought pure electric driving could be so sporty,” remarked Gottschalk.
Later, guests celebrated the market launch of the BMW i8 with renowned Austrian DJ and producer Parov Stelar.