Born Electric: BMW Officially Announces “BMW i”

Live from Munich – BMW has just announced that the Megacity brand will be known as “i”. Two models are already planned and we’ll see both later this year.

First up will be the i8 in 2013. The car will be built in the Leipzig plant. The i3 will be following the i8 shortly after 2013 and will be the three and five door hatchback we’ve seen in sketch for since last year. The i8 will be over $150,000 and have performance that rivals some supercars. However it’s the i3 that’s likely more interesting to the MINI owners. A compact 3 and 5 door hatchback, the car will be space and energy efficient to the highest order.

100% electric and built entirely out of carbon fiber and aluminum both will be revolutionary for mass products automobiles. However even the compact i3 will be pricey. Expect this to be easily double the price of a base MINI. (live gallery after the break)

BMW has also announced a new venture called BMW i Ventures. Located in NYC the new company will allow BMW to operate as a start-up and work with software companies to create new location based services (LBS) offerings. The first partnership is with My City Way.

The press conferenced has wrapped and we’re now into Q&A. It’s a big day for BMW and it’s new brand BMW i. Get used to lower case letters and an entirely new range of cars. We’ll be in Munich later this week to talk to BMW about the announcement, the future of in car technology and much more. Look for more soon.

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  • Kevin

    So… “i” stands for internet or Infinity? That clarifies it all. Nice concept – the car that is. maybe imagination.

    Still better than iCar, but that would be Apple.

  • hfred

    So that’s what a full gallery looks like . . . . Oh, well.

  • MINImofo

    So the i8 is $150k and the i3 at a discount would probably be a little under 100k. For that, i could buy a JCW, Jeep Rubicon and a few years of taxi’s for when i want to have a few drinks at the pub. Which isnt that often.

  • Dr.Love

    Before we all start getting caught-up on the Price$ of these Awesome New car’s. Let’s remember that when the 1st automobile came out, the common man could not afford one. We are starting over with the way we use transportation. This is very exicting.

  • MINImofo

    Yeah but that was a new invention. This is just an improvement to an old invention. Nothing new. Now when they come out with a flying car that ive been promised since i was a kid……that will be a different story.

  • JonPD

    Was hoping for more than a design study, see some of the Vision concept design points on the i8. Looking much more forward to tomorrow for the MINI concept release.

  • steve u

    I am confused. Deeply.

    When do they see these moving to a market for mortals?

  • B-

    This IS new! Cars that are made of carbon fiber generally cost WAY more than this, electric cars tend to fetch a premium price as well. If it truly will rival supercars then it will be affordable indeed. I am sure if you wait you will be able to get one when the tech is affordable for much less, say… 5-10 years!

  • Look, the first electrics were very, very expenive. Now you can get a Nissan Leaf for about $25k (including tax incentives) and the BYD serial hybrid (in China) for even less. Those that are saying the new tech is too expensive or forever out of reach of the masses are ignorning the price trends that are happening TODAY!

    So, I’m all happy for more players in more efficient drivetrain technologies to come to the party! They are so far from economies of scale like the more mature ICE car manufactures are at that most offerings will NOT be for the majority of the car buying public. But the “long live the buggy whip” crowd is ignoring historical precident, and actuall real trends today. Not for you? Fine… Not for everyone? You gotta be kidding!


  • Rocketboy

    Dr.Love… true, but they replaced horses. Not other cars.

  • Oh thanks, i appriciate that!