New BMW sub-brand: BMW i

BMW Electric and Hybrid Cars by 2013

BMW has announced the creation of a new sub-brand which it calls BMW i.? The brand is designed with the purpose of creating a sustainable, premium mobility system.

In a first move, two models will be launched under the new sub-brand from 2013 ? the BMW i3 and BMW i8. The BMW Group will also significantly expand its range of mobility services over the years ahead. To achieve this, a Venture Capital company was founded in New York City, BMW i Ventures, with an investment totalling up to 100 million US dollars.

?BMW i offers visionary cars and services, inspiring design, and an entirely new concept of premium mobility ? all with a focus on sustainability?, explained ?Ian Robertson, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG responsible for Sales and Marketing. The BMW i brand comprises vehicles and services developed since 2007 as part of project i, a BMW Group think tank exploring sustainable mobility solutions. It is the BMW Group?s response to changing customer needs, including increasing demand for alternative drive trains, such as electric drive systems and hybrids. There is a widespread desire in megacities for solutions which intelligently combine the benefits of various mobility concepts in a single package.

?With BMW i, we are building on the success and strength of our core brand,? emphasised Robertson. The BMW i3? previously known as the Megacity Vehicle ? will be the BMW Group?s first series-produced car for urban areas to be driven by electric power alone. The BMW i8, meanwhile, is based on the BMW Vision EfficientDynamics concept study. Its plug-in hybrid drive blends the sporting ability of a high-performance machine with the fuel consumption and emissions of a small car.

Both models are based on a revolutionary construction concept known as LifeDrive architecture. An aluminium chassis houses the powertrain, and the passenger cell consists of high-strength but extremely lightweight carbon fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP). ?Both cars have been designed specifically for their respective alternative drive systems. We used the innovative architecture and CFRP to cancel out practically all of the extra weight added by the batteries. For our customers this means superior driving dynamics combined with significantly increased range using electric power,? explains Klaus Draeger, BMW Board member responsible for development.

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