The biggest highlight of this year’s Frankfurt motor show has to be the BMW i range, including the production i8 hybrid-electric sports car. If you look at the BMW i range, the Bavarians have taken a giant leap when it comes to putting together sustainable-energy motoring.
Until now, the Toyota Prius has managed to stand the test of time, although of late, sales have been slow despite it being Hollywood certified. Unlike the Prius, the BMW i 3 is an all-electric hatchback, which means prospective owners would have to live with the anxiety of running out of juice at the wrong time. Hence, critics would choose to disregard the i3 much like any other purely electric automobile.
Now, the U.S. market will see the BMW i3 go on sale in the latter half of 2014, but it hits showrooms next month on the other side of the Atlantic. That said, BMW is taking advance orders for the car, and you will be surprised to know, much like BMW themselves, that more folks are showing interest in the i3 than initially thought.
BMW Europe already has 8,000 pre-orders for the BMW i3, which is way beyond what the company had expected. In fact, BMW is now pondering a further increase in investment to boost production if demand for the car persists. This was confirmed by BMW’s chief financial officer during a press conference.
Are we witnessing a paradigm shift in the way we perceive electric mobility? Well, it is difficult to confirm but the BMW i range has certainly caught the attention of the people. BMW has made huge investments into this project, as some estimates claim that BMW has pumped as much as $2.7 billion into the i range. Even with this massive investment, BMW is set to make a profit on each car sold.
The morale is certainly high at BMW and riding on the success, the company has already trademarked i1 through i9. Quite obviously, the i1 would be the smallest of the i-range and the most affordable. We suspect that the i9 may be a higher-performance version of the i8 , although BMW does not wish to make an M Performance version of the i8.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 BMW i3
The first reviews of the production i8 and i3 are finally out, and the styling really cleans up nicely without the trademark blue disguise wrap worn by the prototypes over the past two years.
The other shock of shocks? The first drive impressions of the i8 are coming back as highly favorable, with great interactivity on the limit and track poise beyond any current EV.
This is huge news for the future of the Ultimate Driving Machine as we know it. The slow creep of isolation and refinement is becoming problematic on the M6 and other fast Bimmers, so the worry has been that adding electricity to the mix will further isolate and dull the experience.
Everyone can sigh a breathe of relief. Both BMW i models run a 50:50 weight balance, carbon-fiber tub with alloy crash cradles. These are all extremely advanced designs shared between the i8 hybrid supercar and the i3 . So, where does a potential i3 M fit in the pricing and technology mix for the future BMW i range?
With the i3 and i8 arriving at American BMW dealers together as 2015 models, all systems are go for the global roll-out of these production models. The price gap might raise an eyebrow or two: from about $43,000 for the i3 up to $135,000 for the i8 .
This exclusive preview brings the first renderings of a performance middle ground for 2016: the BMW i3 M.
Click past the jump for this amazing three-pack of renderings that show the potential style of the 2016 BMW i3 M.
BMW ’s supercar, the M1 , was sold between 1978 to 1981 as the only mid-engined BMW to be mass produced. But you’d expect more from a maker like BMW, right? And with all the competition on the market, BMW had to do something about it, so they decided to put the Vision Efficient Dynamics Concept unveiled at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show into production.
There is one distinct change for the Vision Efficient Dynamics Concept as it heads into production, as BMW changed its name to the i8. Along with the recently announced i3, the i8 shows the other end of the spectrum that the German automaker can reach with its hybrid drivetrains. The production i8 will, surprisingly, carry the concept’s in-line three-cylinder engine combined with an electric motor to drive the front wheels.
As of now, there is only one i8 model set for production, but we have a sneaking suspicion that there may be an M or M Sport model in coming years.
Click past the jump to read all about the upcoming i8
UPDATE 9/9/2013: The production version BMW i8 finally made its world debut at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show , so you can now see the real deal with no camouflage at all. Check the picture gallery to see the new pictures.
UPDATE 9/11/2013: BMW has revealed the i8’s base price in the U.S. of $135,925. It’ll hit showrooms in the spring of 2014.
The production versionBMW i8 will be finally making its world debut next week at the Frankfurt Motor Show and, to prepare the event, BMW unveiled a pretty cool teaser video to offer us a first glimpse at the second "i" member , after the production version i3.
According to BMW, the new "i" brand "is synonymous with visionary mobility concepts and a new definition of premium quality that is strongly focused on sustainability." And, as we can see from this teaser video, the next i8 is no exception from this definition. It will be powered by a 1.5-liter, 3-cylinder TwinPower Turbo gasoline engine combined with an electric motor for a total output of 362horsepower and 420 pound-feet of torque. As a result, the i8 will go from 0 to 60 mph less than 4.5 seconds and up to an electronically-limited top speed of 155 mph.
The production version BMW i8 will be unveiled on September 10, 2013, so stay tuned!
After numerous i3 concepts, lots of testing sessions and numerous teaser images, BMW finally unveiled the new i3 electric car in its production form. The model is the first from BMW’s i sub-brand and opens a new era for electro mobility at BMW. Like everyone else, we are excited to see the i3, but the real prize is the still-in-development i8 .
The i3 was built on a new LifeDrive architecture that will help reduce the car’s weight by 250 to 300 kg (551 to 661 pounds). The LifeDrive concept consists of two horizontally separated, independent modules. The Drive module integrates the battery, drive system, and structural and crash functions into a single construction within the chassis. Working in conjunction with the Drive module is the Life module, which consists primarily of a high-strength and extremely lightweight passenger cell made from CFRP. These aspects of car building will lead the way to a whole new process for building cars. A process that will be simpler, more flexible, and use less energy.
UPDATE 07/29/2013: The new BMW i3 finally made its world debut today after undergoing years of testing. Sales will begin in the second quarter of 2014.
Updated 10/10/2013: BMW confirmed that the new i3 will go on sale in the U.S. market in the second quarter of 2014. The battery electric model will have a base price of $41,350, while the range-extender model will have a starting price of $45,200. We have also added a new set of more than 100 new high res images, so check the picture gallery to see them all!
Early last year it was rumored that BMW could offer an M version for its i8 hybrid supercar. It was supposed to drop the hybrid powertrain in favor of a conventional V-8 powerplant with an output of about 600 horsepower. Sounded pretty great, right?
Now - one year later - it appears that BMW has dropped the idea of developing such a model. While no other explanation has been offered, it looks like the M8 is "no longer part of the program." We do not understand why this decision was made, considering the i8 platform can easily accept front-wheel-drive, rear-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive alternatives.
So, while we are hoping that the company will change its mind in the future, we’ll just have to wait for the i8. It will arrive sometime later this year and comes with a driving range of about 20 miles in near-silent, zero-emission mode. This figure, combined with a 0 to 60 mph sprint time of 4.9 seconds, and the top speed of 156 mph makes it the ideal car for both city and track.
Click past the jump to read more about the rumored BMW M8 supercar.
As you can see, the prototype continues to strip and we now can see the roofline and the lower parts of the front bumper. In these spy shots you can also see the lines of the classic BMW kidney grille and the window line in the rear doors.
Also, when looking from the side, it appears that the future i3 will lack the Hofmeister kink that was introduced back in 1961 and has been on almost every BMW since then.
The car will use a powerful 170-horsepower electric engine that will sprint the car from 0 to 60 mph in under 8 seconds and up to a top speed of 93 mph. Rumors suggest it will be priced at about $55,000 at the current exchange rates.
It looks like BMW has big plans for the next two years: 11 new models will be launched in 2013 and by the end of 2014, 25 new models will be added to the range, with 10 of them being completely new. BMW said nothing else about these new models, but we do know it will include models like the i3 and the i8, the new 2-Series and 4-Series and their M derivatives.
In the same press release, BMW announced the production version i3 will be make its world debut in September at the 2013 Frankfurt Motor Show and will be put on sale by the end of the year.
Even though no one has actually seen it in production form, BMW has already received "several hundred advanced orders" for the i3. The model has been designed to run with zero emissions in an urban environment. It has an approximate range of 150 km (93 miles) and will be 250 (551 pounds) to 350 kilograms (771 pounds) lighter than a conventional electric car.
Hit the jump to read full details on the press release.
As far as we know, this is the first time an automotive magazine has gotten the chance to review the upcoming BMW i 8 hybrid supercar. Evo Magazine’s Harry Metcalfe was invited by BMW to test the upcoming i8 while it was testing in the cold. Of course, he wasn’t allowed to reveal anything on the car’s exterior or interior, but he did provide quite an impressive amount of technical details on the upcoming i8.
The production-version i8 will combine a three-cylinder gasoline engine and an electric motor for a total output of about 400 horsepower. The engine will mate to a new dual-clutch transmission and will sprint the supercar from 0 to 60 mph in just 4 seconds. The i8 will also boast a top speed of 155 mph.
Watch the video to see what Harry Metcalfe has to say about BMW ’s first hybrid supercar.
Our spy photographers have caught the upcoming BMW i3 out for another testing session. For the first time, the prototypes are now fitted with the real headlights and taillights, and also got the front design elements we are going to see in the production version. If you are going to take a closer look, you will also notice that a lot of fake panels have been removed so that we now can see more of the car’s real lines and shapes.
The model has been previewed many times, with the most recent concept version being unveiled earlier this year at the Paris Auto Show. It will be powered by a powerful 170 horsepower electric engine that will sprint the car from 0 to 60 mph in under 8 seconds and up to a top speed of 93 mph.
The new BMW i3 will go on sale sometime in 2013 at an estimated priced of $55k.