BMW Unveils i8, i3 Megacity Concepts

#BMW, #Leaf

Had enough of the Project I and Megacity vehicle teasers? You’re in luck: this morning, BMW unwrapped both the i3 and i8 concept electric vehicles at a press conference in Munich.

The i3 -- previously referred to as the Megacity vehicle -- is BMW’s answer to the Nissan Leaf: a five-door hatchback concept that’s powered completely from of a lithium-ion battery pack. Propulsion comes from a 170-hp electric motor mounted in the rear of the car. As previously reported, the extensively use of carbon fiber trims weight to a svelte 2755 pounds and improve its range, which is estimated to come in at 93 miles.

The i8, by comparison, is quite a bit wilder: it’s BMW’s extended-range electric vehicle, but it’s also a sports car. BMW says the i8’s front wheels will be powered by a version of the i3’s electric motor, but it will receive a 1.5-liter direct-injection three-cylinder gas engine in the back, powering the rear wheels. Total output for the system is expected to reach 350 hp and 405 lb-ft of torque, which should be good enough for a sub-five-second 0-60 time. Feather the throttle, however, and you can manage 20 miles on electric power alone, and 87 mpg on the EU combined test cycle.

Both reportedly closely preview production models that are due to launch in 2013. Associate Web editor Jake Holmes is on the ground in Munich right now learning more about BMW’s i program, so check back with Automobilemag.com for our complete first look stories on both the BMW i3 and i8.

Source: BMW

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