As part of the master marketing plan BMW has begun the next stage of Project i marketing with it’s new site and documentary series Activate the Future. Today we have the trailer for the series. It’s all about questions like, where are the flying cars? Where are the spaceships? It’s the sort of thing I asked myself after driving a Tesla. But that kind of reaction to a Tesla and what BMW is saying here is no coincidence. They’re getting the world ready for something new. They’re getting the world ready for BMW’s biggest bet yet, the carbon, aluminum iSetta electric city car. And that last line, “they better make fun.” Remember that. continued →
Official Release: At www.project-i.com the BMW Group has created an online platform for information and news concerning the sustainable mobility of the future.
For an international audience, the English-language website outlines how the BMW Group is mastering the challenges of sustainable mobility. It provides an in-depth, up-to-the-minute insight into the various approaches and solutions, from the basic vision of e-mobility, specific test vehicles such as the MINI E and the BMW ActiveE, right through to the revolutionary LifeDrive concept of the Megacity Vehicle. Emphasis is also given to another key aspect of sustainable mobility: The development of solutions and services for the customer needs of tomorrow.
In addition, the website offers an overview of the public discussion and general developments in the field of sustainable mobility. The page incorporates relevant voices from the web, video clips and blog posts from around the world.
For years enthusiasts have been complaining that BMW and MINI need to make cars lighter. Today the BMW Group is giving us its answer. The hope of the megacity program (which will likely result in an eventual MINI branded product) is to do nothing short of redefine mobility while taking a HUGE leap ahead of the competition. The Megacity range will be the first volume vehicle to use Carbon Fiber in the passenger cell. Previously this was only seen on race cars and super cars such as the Mclaren F1.
If that is not revolutionary we don’t know what is. One other note related to the MINI. The project leader on Megacity is none other than Ulrich Kranz, the man who led BMW”s team that revived the MINI brand in 2001.
For a detail by detail account of the MCV please see here.
Official Release: The BMW Group is once again breaking new ground with the Megacity Vehicle (MCV), due to come onto the market in 2013: â€œThe Megacity Vehicle is a revolutionary automobile. It will be the worldâ€™s first volume-produced vehicle with a passenger cell made from carbon. Our LifeDrive architecture is helping us to open a new chapter in automotive lightweight design. Indeed, this concept allows us to practically offset the extra 250 to 350 kilograms of weight typically found in electrically powered vehicles.â€ says Klaus Draeger, Member of the Board of Management for Development. continued →
Today BMW released the first official information on the forthcoming Megacity vehicle that will redefine BMW and the brand it’s carefully cultivated for the past 80 years. Yes it’s that big. The Megacity will be positioned a sub-brand (unlike MINI) to BMW and will focus on efficiency and the future of mobility. But (and this is where MINI comes in) we firmly believe that BMW will leverage this technology for future MINI products – specifically a small “mini” MINI that will eventually sit below the standard MINI hatch. For instance the megacity vehicle you see sketched above will be the first mass produced carbon fiber based car in the world. Not a bad thing to leverage if you’re MINI. Of course we don’t expect this to show up on the standard MINI range but a more focused smaller city car model instead.
The following is the official press release. We’ll have much more soon.
Official release: In this day and age we see our society, and with it the sphere of individual mobility, confronted by growing challenges. More and more factors are influencing the implications of individual and corporate action. The world, and with it the sphere of individual mobility, is in a state of environmental, economic and social upheaval. Global developments such as climate change and dwindling resources are encouraging many people to act with greater social responsibility and aspire to a more aware and sustainable lifestyle.
The basic premises for individual mobility are changing.
The advancing greenhouse effect and finite resources have made it a key priority to reduce CO2 emissions significantly and quickly, to drive forward the switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources, and to increase the efficiency of all energy consumption. The governments of various countries have recognized this too and are responding with ambitious fleet legislation and the promotion of zero-emission vehicles.
In addition, growing urbanization can be observed across the globe. Half of the worldâ€™s population already lives in cities and the numbers are rising daily. Cities are drawing in urban inhabitants like a magnet, resulting in more and more people living together in increasingly confined spaces. Along with the cities, the challenges are growing too: altered infrastructures, lack of space and environmental pollution demand new solutions for mobility.
Challenges for the future.
Mobility for the future requires a new balance between global requirements and individual needs. What is needed are new solutions for personal, and above all sustainable, mobility in urban areas. The BMW Group has recognised these needs and is developing a vehicle that opens up new possibilities in this area and can adapt to evolving customer requirements.
MINI has been working on the idea of a city car for quite some time. However it was only last year that things began to fall into place and allow the idea to become a reality. The key in making MINI’s city dreams a reality is BMW’s megacity program. We’ve been told that BMW model sharing will go both ways. Not only will BMW be getting a version of MINIs next generation car, but MINI will be getting it’s own version of a megacity vehicle as well. Keep in mind the Megacity program will in compass several vehicles ranging from two, three and four wheels. But at it’s core will be a small four wheeled vehicle that will have several power plant options.
Last week BMW’s Technik division celebrated its 25th anniversary with a slew of photos of the super secret division’s work. However one thing tucked away within the photos and information was a small piece on a very recent BMW test car that featured a Hydrogen fuel cell combined with a small petrol engine. Incredible technology no question. However we wonder how aggressive BMW will be with the development
BMW has traditionally spent quite a bit of money on Hydrogen research. In fact they even brought the Hydrogen 7 Series to market a few years back. However late last year they publicly said that future hydrogen development was being put on hold for fully electric and hybrid electric vehicles.
British magazine Autocar is theorizing that this could end up not only in a small future BMW for also in larger MINIs. Here’s an excerpt:
The system combines a conventional front-drive powertrain along with a hydrogen fuel cell, electricity-storing supercapacitors and an electrically driven rear axle.
Our sister site BimmerFile has been writing an ongoing series about BMW’s secret concept cars that have stayed deep within the company yet are influencing many future products. Perhaps the most interesting and relevant to the MINI brand is the E1. It started with the Z15, itself an off-shoot of the Z11 small car concept seen at the Frankfurt Motor Show in 1991. As a prototype with the model designation BMW E1, the four-seater incorporated a new design language with new aerodynamic and ergonomic features. But most importantly it was 100% electric with a range of up to 124 miles and a top speed of 75 mph. While the numbers don’t quite match what we see in the MINI E, it’s clearly a forerunner of what we see in that car and BMW’s upcoming ActiveE. The prototype generated universal acclaim among members of the public and auto writers of the time. The readersâ€™ choice in car magazine â€œAuto Zeitungâ€ voted the BMW E1 as the winner in the category â€œEnvironment and Technologyâ€, and trade magazine â€œAuto Bildâ€ described the BMW E1 as â€œthe most advanced car of the centuryâ€. A heady claim considering the competition.
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