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Section: BMW i

40 Years of Electric Mobility at the BMW Group

MotoringFile Sections: BMW i, Official News Dec 11th, 2012 1 Comment

Official Release: When the first production version of the BMW i3 rolls off the assembly line in Leipzig in late 2013, it will mark the provisional culmination of 40 years of development work at BMW. It all began at the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich, where the BMW starting line-up included two electrically powered test vehicles. The converted BMW 1602 models served as a means of transport for the members of the organising committee, and were also deployed as support and camera cars in various long-distance events. However, there could be no questioning that lead batteries weighing 350 kilograms and with a range of around 60 kilometres (37 miles) were hardly ideal for a production car. BMW therefore launched a series of research and development projects with the aim of bringing an improved and, above all, more efficient technology for electric drive systems onto the road. continued →

World Premier: BMW i3 Coupe

MotoringFile Sections: BMW i, Official News Nov 27th, 2012 7 Comments

We don’t usually cross-post our features from BimmerFile (you know, the site like MotoringFile but with BMWs on it?) but today seems special. Today is the day that BMW is taking the wraps off of it’s third BMWi concept – the i3 Coupe. Based on the previous i3 concept, the coupe represents a sportier take on the carbon fiber monocoque concept. For those unaware, BMWi is a newly formed sub-brand of BMW (not unlike MINI) that will focus on electric and hybrid cars with carbon fiber monocoque chassis created via renewable resources. It’s as a holistic rethink of the car as any major automobile company has tried yet. And with this Coupe BMWi is starting to round out the models they intend to offer. From the i3 to the über sporty (and pricey) i8, the new brand will products throughout BMW’s current price-points. Where does this leave MINI? continued →

World Premier: BMWi Concepts & Strategy

MotoringFile Sections: BMW i, Official News, Video Aug 1st, 2011 3 Comments

Welcome to the future according to BMW. Friday BMW took the wraps off of not only a couple of concepts (the BMW i3 and i8) but an entire brand and a new way to sell, lease and share cars. In fact it’s an entirely new way to use and interact with mobility according to BMW. What does this have to do with MINI? While much of this technology and thinking will be exclusive to the new BMWi brand, it’s hard to imagine it not making it’s way into key far-off MINI products.

While these are technically concepts, they are functionally very similar to the forthcoming production cars. And because of that we wanted to take a second and focus on the stats of each. One thing to note is that these are two very difference cars and very different propulsion concepts. You can see that born out in the numbers after the break.

What’s especially impressive here is the weight. And you’d expect that given the carbon fiber construction. But still, 2756 lbs for a modern electric car is pretty incredible. Even the i8 (with it’s battery pack and tri-turbo engine) looks impressive at 3256 lbs. Perhaps more impressive is the performance; i8 churns out 350 hp while getting 80 mpg. And with a 0-62 mph in 4.6 seconds, it’s actually faster than the current M3 Coupe (by 0.3 sec). The 100% electric i3 puts out 168 hp and does 0-62 in only 7.9 seconds.

The i3’s drive-system is mounted over the rear axle puts power down via single speed transmission. But it doesn’t need to be 100% electric. As previously reported, BMWi will offer the i3 with an optional range extender (marketed as REx) to make the car more versatile in non-urban or suburban areas.

(Official Release)

BMW i – introduction.

The world, and with it the sphere of personal mobility, is experiencing a period of radical environmental, economic and social change. A rash of global developments such as climate change, the dwindling availability of resources and increasing urbanisation call for a new balance between the demands of the planet and the desires of the individual. Fresh solutions are required to underpin personal and, most importantly, sustainable mobility. The BMW Group has responded to this situation with the creation of a sub-brand which meets the changing needs of customers head-on: BMW i. (more video and photos after the break) continued →

Study: MINI E Meets Daily Needs for 90% of Trial Participants

MotoringFile Sections: BMW i, MINI E Jun 14th, 2011 7 Comments

Ever wonder if an electric car could really work in your daily driving routine? Take heart, a recently released study from UC Davis and BMW Group found that the MINI E met the daily driving needs of 90% of the trial participants. The study also found that 95% of participants drove fewer than 80 miles in a given day. In terms of commuting and even general errand running, this isn’t particularly surprising, but the results are noteworthy because of most people’s so-called “range anxiety.” Read the full summary after the jump. continued →


Born Electric: BMW Officially Announces “BMW i”

MotoringFile Sections: BMW i, Official News, Video Feb 21st, 2011 17 Comments

Today is the day that BMW took the wraps off its biggest gamble to date. No it’s not a full car reveal. Actually much more grand and has greater implications than any single new model. The brand is BMW i and the idea is to rethink the car and the way we use our transportation infrastructure.

Along with the brand, BMW announced its plan to produce two cars under the i name. The i3 will be a fully electric three and five door hatch with a carbon fiber monocoque on an aluminum frame (yes body on frame is back). Pricing has yet to be even hinted at but we expect this to be a premium offering (ie high-end 3 Series territory). The i8 will also be much more premium costing more than $150,000. But it will have performance, design and engineering that will live up to that price. Likely very similar to the Vision concept that debuted at Frankfurt a year and a half ago, the car will likely redefine what a sports car is. With its three cylinder turbo diesel developing great power while being extremely efficient, the i8 will lead the brand.

Look for the BMW i8 to debut in 2013 and the i3 to follow it about a year later.

Official Release: The new BMW sub-brand focused on developing sustainable mobility solutions has been launched. “BMW i represents a new movement in premium mobility. With the introduction of this new sub-brand, the BMW Group reaffirms its leadership as the most innovative and sustainable premium car company. The products and services have been conceived around a revolutionary approach: purpose designed and purpose built for sustainable, premium mobility. It’s a new day in our industry; a new era for individual mobility. This is BMW i – Born Electric.” said Ian Robertson, member of the Board of Management of BMW AG responsible for Sales and Marketing, in Munich on Monday. (Official gallery and video after the break) continued →

Born Electric: BMW Officially Announces “BMW i”

MotoringFile Sections: BMW i Feb 21st, 2011 11 Comments

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)

continued →


BMW to Launch Megacity Sub-Brand Monday

MotoringFile Sections: BMW i Feb 18th, 2011 25 Comments

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The title says it all. BMW will launch the highly anticipated new sub-brand on Monday. We’ll be in Munich later in the week to talk with BMW about plans for both the new sub-brand and the future of MINI. continued →

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