The NAIAS was the North American coming out party for the newest 3 Series, the most important car in BMW’s lineup. So important, in fact, that Cadillac introduced a completely new model, the ATS, just to compete with the 3 Series. BMW’s future, at least in terms of green vehicles, though, was highlighted by a couple of concept cars over at the side of the BMW stand, away from the bright lights on the 3 cars. Hooked up to ersatz charging stations were the i3 and i8 EV concepts that BMW insists will reach the market in 2012 and 2014 respectively. Their both attractive cars, the i3 is one of the better looking “urban vehicle” concepts that have been proposed lately, and the i8 is a swoopy looking plug in hybrid that is promised to do 0-60 in the 5 second range. The i8 is arguably the best looking car to come out of BMW’s styling studios in years.
BMW press release stuff on the i8 is below the jump.
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Dr. Klaus Draeger
Ladies and Gentlemen – a very warm welcome from my side.
The newest generation BMW 3 Series Sedan is all set to write the next chapter of this car’s long success story. And this car behind me marks yet another milestone for the 3 Series.
The new BMW ActiveHybrid 3 is the first full hybrid compact sports sedan in the premium segment. This car is the latest in BMW EfficientDynamics technology.
This hybrid combines a six-cylinder petrol engine and an electric drive. The outcome: 3 Series driving pleasure with fewer emissions, less consumption, and even more performance.
It comes with 335 horsepower and 450 Newton meters of maximum torque as standard.
And with 37 miles per US gallon, you can experience that performance for a lot longer on the road with fewer visits to the gas station.
On top of the outstanding efficiency of the ActiveHybrid 3 is the Intelligent Navigation System. This system calculates your route, allowing you to drive the last kilometer of your journey using only electric power.
This car is not an ordinary hybrid. The approach we took in developing this vehicle extends beyond optimizing efficiency and performance. We’ve also optimized the car’s architecture.
As just one example, storage was designed with a space-saving layout. The trunk offers 390 liters of cargo space. This makes a real difference, allowing customers full functionality in a hybrid. The ActiveHybrid 3 will be available starting this fall.
This car is the second hybrid-drive model in a BMW high-volume model series. The ActiveHybrid 3 complements the BMW ActiveHybrid 5, which is making its North American debut right here in Detroit.
Ladies and Gentlemen, we consider these hybrid vehicles milestones in a time of change toward zero-emission driving.
So our approach consists of focusing on two areas: evolution and revolution.
- We will continue optimizing the combustion engine; while
- Paving the way toward e-mobility.
Regarding evolution: our Efficient Dynamics technologies have reduced fuel consumption and carbon emissions across all our models since 2007.
We are also in the midst of a revolution: today we are presenting our concept cars — the BMW i3 and BMW i8 — here in Detroit. These two vehicles represent a breakthrough in future mobility.
Both models were developed as fully electric or plug-in hybrid cars. They are “Born Electric.”
Over there you can see the BMW i3 Concept. It will be the first purpose-designed electric car using carbon fiber in series production. This is truly a revolution in automotive engineering.
The e-drive of the BMW i3 Concept and its power electronics are 100% in-house developments.
And next to the i3 is the BMW i8 Concept. You may have seen it recently in the cinema in the film Mission: Impossible 4. Not only is the car visually stunning, but it is also technically impressive. Using a plug-in hybrid drive, the BMW i8 combines sports car performance with the fuel consumption of a compact vehicle.
Pure, emotional, and sustainable… this Concept will bring the next generation of high performance cars to the road.
BMW i8 Concept: new-generation sports car
The BMW i8 Concept goes from 0 to 100 km/h in less than five seconds and boasts fuel consumption of under three litres per 100 km. Its plug-in hybrid drive with a system output of 260 kW allows a range of up to 35 kilometres in electric mode – sufficient for most everyday journeys. For more dynamic driving or out-of-town routes, a high-performance three-cylinder petrol engine also comes into play. The sports car has an electronically governed top speed of 250 km/h and space for up to four occupants. “The BMW i8 Concept is the sports car for a new generation – pure, emotional and sustainable,” Draeger underlined.
With BMW i, the BMW Group is corroborating its position as the most innovative and sustainable auto manufacturer in the world, as reflected in the fact that it has been the supersector leader in the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes for the sixth year running. With BMW i, the BMW Group is providing answers to the mobility challenges of the future while pursuing a holistic approach. 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 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.