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BMW i starting off with two models: Electric mobility with the BMW i3 and the BMW i8.
With the simultaneous presentation of its first purely electrically powered production vehicle and the world’s most progressive sports car of the present time, the BMW i brand is demonstrating a broad spectrum of future-oriented vehicle concepts. Both models represent a new form of premium characteristics that are sharply defined by sustainability. The electric motors and lithium-ion high-voltage batteries were developed by the BMW Group for use in each specific model. A further distinctive feature conceived exclusively for BMW i is the LifeDrive vehicle architecture, which includes a passenger compartment made of carbon-fibre reinforced plastic (CFRP), thereby contributing significantly towards weight optimisation.
The BMW i3 is the first premium automobile designed right from the start to be powered solely by electricity, rendering it entirely emission-free. The five-seater car, which boasts pathbreaking BMW i design language, offers a generous amount of interior space and four seats. It is powered by a 125 kW/170 hp electric motor and achieves a range of between 130 and 160 kilometres (approx. 80 and 99 miles) in everyday traffic conditions. The optional two-cylinder combustion engine assumes the function of a range extender with which vehicle range can be increased to up to 300 kilometres.
The BMW i8 will also arrive on the market in 2014 as a sports car of a new generation. It combines the dynamics of a high-performance sports car with the fuel consumption and emission levels of a small car. The BMW i8 is a 2+2-seater featuring a visionary design and an intelligent lightweight construction, facilitating not only emission-free driving in the urban environment, but also sporty performance on country roads and motorways. The vehicle’s plug-in hybrid system comprises a supercharged three-cylinder petrol engine with BMW TwinPower Turbo Technology delivering 170 kW/231 hp and BMW eDrive technology in the form of a 96 kW/131 hp electric motor. With the power of both engines, the BMW i8 sprints from 0‒100 km/h (60 mph) in just 4.4 seconds. Average fuel consumption according to the EU test cycle for plug-in hybrids is 2.5 litres/100 kilometres, the respective CO2 emission level being 59 grams/kilometre.
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