The German car manufacturer BMW is going on a whole new level with its electric vehicle and plug-in hybrid technology by releasing two new concepts, the i3 and i8.
The small i3 was originally teased as the MegaCity concept and will be the first vehicle produced under the “I” brand. According to the manufacturer, the i3 is designed for urban areas and it’s driven by electric power, also being light, safe, spacious and dynamic. The electric motor over the rear axle is generating 170 horsepower or 125 kW and has a maximum of 250 Nm of torque (184 lb-ft). The small EV can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 7.9 seconds with a 150 km/h top speed. The i3 is a vehicle designed for everyday uses with a boot capacity of 200 liters, four seats and wide-opening opposing “coach” doors. With an everyday range of around 130 – 160 km (80 – 100 miles), the battery can be charged in 6 hours (100 percent) or in one hour (80%).
The BMW i8 is actually a plug-in hybrid, “adapted to enhance the vehicle’s sports car character”, according to the manufacturer, and it is able to deliver a good performance and driving dynamics. The i8 features an innovative plug-in hybrid concept which combines the electric system found on the i3, fitted on the front axle, with the new BMW three-cylinder engine, at the rear, which is producing 200 horsepower and 300 Nm of torque (221 lb-ft). According to the Bavarian auto maker, the i8 concept is offering the performance of a sports car and the fuel consumption of a small car, with only 2.7 liters burned every 100 kilometers (104 mpg). The i8 has a total of 550 Nm of torque, (300 – petrol engine, 250 – electric motor) and can do the 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) sprint in just 4.6 seconds, with a 250 km/h (155 mph) top speed. The plug-in hybrid can recharge its battery in 1.45 h (100 percent).
The BMW “i” concepts can make their official appearance at the Frankfurt Motor Show in September and the i8 will most likely catch every enthusiast’s eye because of its new 1.5 three-cylinder engine.