BMW has been on the forefront of research and development of Eco-friendly mobility for the future. The company has invested heavily in cleaner, more efficient propulsion technologies. The recently launched ’i’ sub-brand has been the result of years of development in order to provide futuristic, efficient and Eco-friendly products at affordable costs.
The "electric car " as we know it, has been evolving at a rapid pace, and with advancement in battery technology and "wonder materials," like carbon-fiber, we could be on the brink of a steady switch to electric mobility. BMW is convinced that electric cars are the future of motoring and will concentrate their efforts in this direction.
Board member of development at BMW , Herbert Diess, was speaking to Autocar on this subject. Electrification, according to him, is imminent and fueling the growth of the electric car would be newer, more stringent emission regulations. The automotive sector is among the most regulated businesses today, and government policies would play a major role in deciding the future course of the automotive scene. Europe would be the epicenter for this as has been the case since medieval times
Having said that, there has been no change in the BMW philosophy of "sheer driving pleasure." Until recently, electric cars’ lack of appeal and character, along with a high asking price, had kept the common public away from the idea of owning one. The performance-crazy half of the populous have seen the potential of the electric car and have slowly began to accept the idea.
The BMW i8 is an example of a performance-oriented electric car concept. It combines numerous futuristic technologies into a highly desirable and unique automobile with BMW driving DNA. Same is the case with the BMW i3 , albeit on the other side of the spectrum.
European emission regulations call for reducing carbon and particulates to 95 g/km and meeting these standards would call for more electric-drive technologies. Stricter regulations would mean Europeans would most likely be the first to see these technologies in daily use. Already, modern BMW cars feature a combination of hybrid drive and conventional engines. A point will be reached when further reduction in CO2 emission would be difficult. This would eventually require us to shift to 100 percent electric drive.
The BMW i8 has shown the way and future BMW models would be fitted with entry-level electrification. Plug-in hybrids and hybrids would soon become the norm dictated by emission regulations. Full electrification would be the ultimate goal as we try reduce our carbon footprints down to acceptable levels with respect to the global environment.
It looks like BMW hit the jackpot with its new lineup of electric and hybrid vehicles. While we weren’t very sure about the success of the i3 — its looks being the main cause of concern — it appears that BMW has already received a total of 10,000 orders for it, with the first units already being delivered to customers in Germany last week.
Along with the i3, the new i8 supercar is also a great hit, but that’s no surprise here. While BMW did not reveal just how many units will be delivered in its first year of production, it did announce that all i8 units are sold out. So, if you planned to buy an i8, you will now have to wait another two years.
On the U.S. market, both models will go on sale in 2014, with the i3 starting at $42,275 and the i8 checking in at $135,925.
Click past the jump to read more about the BMW i8.
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
Frankfurt ’s legendary auto show is winding down this week, with fewer than expected debuts and almost none of the surprise guests that many were hoping to see from Porsche , Audi, Bentley, Volvo , BMW and Ford .
There are at least a half-dozen Volkswagen Group projects that the auto world is eagerly anticipating, but it seems the continuing grey clouds in the forecast is delaying projects left and right. Not only is there not as much cash to invest in so many simultaneous projects, the market climate is all wrong to launch most of these models in the usual ’as soon as possible’ fashion.
The Lamborghini Cabrera was a no-show, as was the Bentley Falcon, Porsche Macan, Audi Q7 and many others. The new XC90 was nowhere to be found on the Volvo stand, while the promised flood of VW crossovers seems to have slowed to a drip.
Even so, there were still plenty of spotlights and smoke machines for the cars that did make their grand entrance.
In what could amount to be disappointing news for BMW fans, the German automaker has confirmed that there will be no cross-breeding between its M performance division and the newly launched i-brand.
All the rumors were effectively put to bed at the recent unveiling of the i8 hybrid supercar after BMW Group’s head of technology communications Cypselus von Frakenberg told CarAdvice at the Frankfurt Auto Show that the i8 and i3 will not have an M version now or in the future.
“It is separate – M and i,” von Frakenberg said. “It’s two different sub-brands, but there will be no ‘M’ i-car in the future. One of the biggest stumbling blocks on building an M version of an i-car is the completely different engines both cars use on respective models. The M models come with combustion engines while the i-cars run on electric drive. It would be a difficult proposition to pull off and one that BMW believes isn’t necessary given how the company appears set on promoting the "i" line as a separate brand that will complement the M division and the core BMW line.
von Frakenberg’s sentiments was echoed by another BMW exec — Carsten Pries, head of product management for the M Division — who said that both sub-brands have different strategic focuses and that combining them into one model could compromise what both are trying to establish individually.
“BMW ‘i’ obviously has a different strategic focus, very much targeting into the area of sustainability,” Pries said, before adding, “It’s two different operations, there’s no fluctuation from BMW M to BMW i or any big transfers going the other way."
So, it looks like our speculation on a possible i3 M will remain just speculation, for now. This could still change in the future, as we have become rather accustomed to automakers changing their minds and the drop of a hat.
Click past the jump to read about the newly-launched BMW i8
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.
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!