BMW has officially introduced last week the first two vehicles from their new green brand, i-BMW, the BMW i8 and i3 concepts that will be launched on the market in 2013. The new green sub brand was about to be premiered at the Frankfurt Motor Show next month but the German automaker couldn’t wait any longer and unveiled these concepts one month earlier.
The BMW i3 Concept is the first all electric vehicle by BMW to go into production and it comes with an electric motor mounted on the rear axle which produces 125 kw/170 HP and 250 Nm of torque. The i3 is based on the Mega City Vehicle concept and it could accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h (0-62 mph) in around eight seconds.
The BMW i8 is going to be way more powerful than the i3 featuring the same electric motor from the i3 mounted on the front axle and a 1.5L gasoline turbocharged engine delivering a power of 164 kW/220 HP and 300 Nm of torque. It can travel up to 35 km on electric power alone and it’s able to reach an electronically limited top speed of 250 km/h.
BMW has a unique construction principle called LifeDrive comprised of two modules for their electric car models. On the i3, the Drive module is made of the power train, suspension, battery and an aluminum structure which provides the crash protection too while the Life module makes up the passenger cell and body paneling using high strength lightweight carbon fiber reinforced plastic.
On the other hand, the BMW i8 concept features a Drive unit made of the front and rear axles, battery and passenger cell while the Life module is made of the rest with heavy use of carbon fiber reinforced plastic.