BMW Design boss Adrian van Hooydonk
explains to press-conference attendees
how the BMW i emblem was developed?
and, most important, why i vehicles
are bona fide BMWs.
The sub-brand concept somewhat mirrors
the high-performance method; however,
BMW i has two proprietary logos. Gracing
the nose and rump of every i model are
what look like traditional blue-and-white
emblems, but there is a slight difference
between the old and the new: the new badge
is surrounded by a Bavarian-blue ring.
The companion mark is a slanted lowercase i, which appears as part of the model designation on the right side of the trunk lid. The
i comes from Project i, the internal designation for the team of designers and engineers
commissioned in 2007 to investigate whether
or not BMW should build electric cars.
Apparently they think they should. The
plan is to introduce the first two BMW i models, the i3 and i8, in 2013. The i3 is the threedoor, four-seat hatchback formerly known
as the Megacity vehicle. Powered by lithiumion batteries, its electric motor is reported to
develop the equivalent of 170 horsepower.
Initially the i3 will only be sold in crowded
urban environments of 10,000,000 inhabitants or more. Sources say its base price will
be close to $50,000, and BMW plans a production run of 30,000 cars within five years.
The i8 is a four-seat sports car based on
36 ROUNDEL MAY 2011
the Vision Efficient Dynamics prototype
introduced at the 2009 Frankfurt auto show.
A plug-in hybrid-drive vehicle, its motivation is rumored to be the two-liter fourcylinder engine also slated to replace the
N53 six-cylinder three-liter in X1, Series,
ll BMW i models are based on an
aluminum chassis with a carbon-fiberreinforced plastic passenger compartment. The lightweight material virtually
cancels out the weight of the batteries.
our customers, this means superior
i OFFERS VISIONARY CARS
AND SERVICES, INSPIRING DESIGN,
AND AN ENTIRELY NEW CONCEPT
OF PREMIUM MOBILITY?ALL WITH
A FOCUS ON
and Series models. But another
rumor regarding a three-cylinder diesel
engine?which is what appeared in the
concept car in 2009.
The base price for the i8 is rumored to
be about $157,000. An i8M, developed by
BMW GmbH with a four-liter twinturbocharged V8, will command $240,000.
driving dynamics, combined with significantly
increased range, using electric says
BMW development chief Klaus Draeger.
The first two BMW i models will be
built at Leipzig, Germany, plant?
where the company is investing about
$500,000,000; they are recruiting 800 more
people to staff the production line.