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BMW i Born Electric: The BMW i3 Concept & BMW i8 Concept

BMW revealed two new concepts, BMW i3 Concept and BMW i8 Concept, which treats two different propulsion strategies, both having an electric motor, with various additions.

BMW i3 Concept & BMW i8 Concept

BMW i3 Concept & BMW i8 Concept

BMW presented the first official images and information regarding the i3 and i8 concepts. The two concepts are different both aesthetically and in terms of applied philosophy and propulsion system. So, BMW i3 Concept is a 100% electric vehicle, while BMW i8 Concept is a very high performance but very economical plug-in hybrid. Both concepts are expected at the Frankfurt Motor Show 2011, which takes place in autumn.

BMW i3 Concept & BMW i8 Concept Photo Gallery

BMW i Born Electric

The BMW i project represents vehicles and services developed starting with 2007 designed to explore solutions for sustainable mobility. The two models, i3 and i8 were developed based on knowledge gained from private tests with the MINI E model and tests made ??by the BMW engineers. Both vehicles are very technologically advanced, but that will not stop them to go into production. For now, the cars from images are in the concept stage, but their series version will not be too different in terms of form or function, reporting the evolution of the concept and the production version for a conventional vehicle.

BMW i3 Concept – dynamic, urban and pollution free

BMW i3 Concept

BMW i3 Concept

BMW i3 Concept will be the first series electric model of BMW Group. This is intended for urban areas and is recommended as the first premium electric vehicle. Until recently, the model which prefigures the i3 model was known as the Megacity Vehicle. The design of this model is called LifeDrive, and is an amalgam of innovative materials used in an intelligent way, designed to provide a lightweight, reliable structure, dynamic and spacious. BMW i3 Concept can be fitted at the customer demand with a small displacement gasoline engine designed to provide electricity to maintain the battery charge level.

BMW i3 is equipped with a 170 hp electric motor, providing 250 Nm of torque. For optimal performance and top handling i3 boasts a very small turning circle. Acceleration from 0-60 km/h (0-37 mph) is achieved in less than four seconds, and the rest to 100 km/h is reached in less than eight seconds. So, BMW i3 takes up to 12 seconds to accelerate from 0-100 km/h (0-60 mph). Despite speculation so far, the model has rear-wheel drive and is equipped with the a single step transmission. BMW i3‘s top speed is electronically limited to 150 km/h (94 mph). The autonomy of this model is between 130 and 160 kilometers, depending on driving conditions (speed, the use of air conditioning).

The first electric vehicle series version from BMW will offer four seats and will have an interior lined with natural fibers, leather and a “lounge” ambience. The doors are reverse opening and dramatically facilitates access on board. The boot has a capacity of 200 liters and BMW i3 prides itself with a “functional compartment” in front. The vehicle is equipped with a range of technologies developed by BMW, designed to prevent accidents and reduce driver’s stress.

BMW i8 Concept – excitement, dynamism and efficiency

BMW i8 Concept

BMW i8 Concept

The i8 concept from BMW is a true jewel of sustainable technology. We are talking about a hybrid model which incorporates the electric motor of 170 hp and 250 Nm from BMW i3 and uses a otto unit of 220 hp and 300 nm. The second engine it has three cylinders and is located on the rear axle, engaging the rear wheels, while the front engine engage the front wheels. The engines work in tandem to provide maximum of efficiency and performance.

BMW i8 Concept needs only five seconds to accelerate from 0-100 km/h (0-60 mph). In the NEDC European cycle, the model has a lower average consumption of 3.0 liters per cent, its value being 2.7 liters per cent. The battery can be charged from the outlet and provides a range of 35 kilometers with the energy they store. Charging takes place in just two hours from a standard outlet. Despite the fact that it has two totally different engines and a special form, BMW i8 has a mass equally distributed between the axles, providing a great equilibrium in any situation.

BMW i8 is a model focused on the driver that will be practical enough to be driven daily. Its dynamic features send it directly to the world of performance vehicles, while fuel consumption is reduced even for a current subcompact. LifeDrive architecture of this model is adapted to provide top performance and excellent dynamics, without compromising safety. It has similar behavior to that of a four-wheel drive vehicle, given that both axles can be engaged by the engine at the same time.

LifeDrive, architecture of the future, forged by BMW in carbon fiber
LifeDrive architecture

LifeDrive architecture

BMW prides itself with a special architecture for electric vehicles. In addition to its reduced weight, it provides a high level of safety, being a superior to an equivalent steel architecture. Unfortunately, CFRP (carbon fiber reinforced plastic) technology is still in small production rates, which brings the costs somewhat higher in the first years of manufacture. Over time vehicles with bodywork and chassis from carbon fiber will become common.

Until then, the BMW line of innovation continues through geometric placement of this structure, designed to support more types of vehicles and car bodies. BMW i3 Concept engine, used also on and BMW i8 Concept, is based on the engine from MINI E, but has some improvements that have reduced size by 40%. The unit is so small that it can be mounted on the front deck without space problems – BMW i3 is equipped with an additional storage space at the front, while BMW i8 has a futuristic look, characterized also by bonnet shape and height.

BMW i3 Concept & BMW i8 Concept – Loading, propulsion and autonomy

BMW i3 Concept & BMW i8 Concept

BMW i3 Concept and BMW i8 Concept

i3 batteries can be charged only in six hours from a conventional outlet. When using a special charger, the model can charge up to 80% of battery capacity within one hour. As indicated by private tests performed with MINI E, 90% of European customers don’t need very many miles covered in a day, 160 km (100 mi) autonomy of the prototype being more than enough for the daily commute.

If BMW i3 autonomy is not considered sufficient for some customers, BMW offers an optional Otto engine, called REx, which provides electricity needed to engage a generator designed to charge i3‘s batteries. BMW i8‘s batteries have a lower capacity and are located in the median tunnel. They require only two hours for a full charge.

Video: BMW i. Born Electric. The BMW i3 Concept & BMW i8 Concept

The BMW i3 Concept and BMW i8 Concept definitely represents the future for the German car manufacturer.

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