BMW has, as promised, unveiled a new sub-brand that will apparently take the company to the future in terms of urban city mobility. Called the i brand, it will start a whole new range of cars powered by eco-friendly powertrains and systems. These cars start selling in 2013.
The first two cars in the range will be called the BMW i3 and i8. I3 is a small city car based on the MegaCity concept. No petrol or other fossil fuels will be found in it, bar the odd cup of running oil. The second is based on the EfficientDynamics Concept car, a hybrid sports car running a highly efficient powertrain with the power of turbo diesel technology.
But both cars will share some componentry in the form of electric motors, power electronics and the lithium-ion batteries so needed by electric cars. BMW already invested about €500 million (about R4.9 billion) in the venture, including new plant facilities that will create 800 new jobs. A new company called BMW i Ventures has even been register in New York City.
“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