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BMW Group unveils electric concept cars

Dubai, August 1, 2011

The BMW Group has unveiled its BMW i3 Concept and BMW i8 Concept studies, offering for the first time a glimpse of the electrically powered production cars from the automaker’s new BMW i sub-brand.

The concept cars are due to be launched as the BMW i3 in 2013 and the BMW i8 in 2014, a statement said.

“We are marking another milestone in the history of the BMW Group. As chairman of the board and an engineer myself, I am very proud of this project,” said Norbert Reithofer, chairman of the board of management of BMW, at Friday’s premiere of the two vehicles in Frankfurt.

“As the world’s leading premium car manufacturer, our aim is to offer customers purpose-built electric-drive cars as well,” he added.

With its zero-emission electric drive and a range of approximately 150 kilometres, the BMW i3 Concept has been specifically developed for use in an urban environment, its 125 kW electric motor and rear-wheel drive ensuring BMW-style dynamic handling.

The BMW i3 Concept combines an extremely low weight of 1,250 kg with optimal interior space and the highest crash safety levels. With four seats and a 200-litre luggage compartment, this vehicle is fully suited for everyday use, a statement said.

“This vehicle will mark the launch of the first volume-produced car featuring bodywork largely made of carbon. It’s a revolution in automotive design,” said Klaus Draeger, member of the board responsible for development.

The BMW i3 does the 0 to 100 km/hr sprint in less than eight seconds, while a high-speed charger achieves an 80 per cent battery charge in just an hour.

Thanks to the emission-free drivetrain and a value added chain designed to be sustainable all along the line, life cycle emission figures for the BMW i3 are at least a third lower than for a highly efficient combustion-engine car.

If the BMW i3 is run on electricity from renewable sources, the figures improve by well over 50 per cent.

The BMW i8 Concept goes from 0 to 100 km/hr in less than five seconds and has a fuel consumption of less than three litres per 100 km, the statement said.

Its plug-in hybrid drive with a system output of 260 kW allows a range of up to 35 kilometres in electric mode. For more dynamic driving or out-of-town routes, a high-performance three-litre petrol engine also comes into play.

The sports car has an electronically governed top speed of 250 km/hr and space for up to four occupants.

“The BMW i8 Concept is the sports car for a new generation – pure, emotional and sustainable,” Draeger said.

In addition to purpose-built premium vehicles with electric drive, the company is also offering intelligent mobility services.

The focus here is on solutions for improved use of parking space, intelligent navigation systems with location-based information, intermodal route planning and car-sharing schemes such as DriveNow.

Following MyCityWay, ParkatmyHouse marks the second investment by the recently launched venture capital company BMW i Ventures in a company providing internet-based mobility services. ParkatmyHouse allows private individuals to use the internet or a smartphone app to rent out their private parking spaces on a short- or long-term basis.

Both the BMW i3 and the BMW i8 will be built at BMW’s Leipzig plant in Germany.

Some 400 million euros ($576 million) are earmarked for investment in new buildings and facilities by 2013, while 800 new jobs are to be created. Vehicle production will be CO2 neutral and will draw on renewable resources.

The company is currently investigating the possibility of erecting its own wind turbines on the plant site, according to the statement. – TradeArabia News Service




Tags: BMW | Dubai | Concept cars | hybrid | electric |

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