Advanced, efficient vehicle line-up could be expanded with production version of i3 Concept Coupé and other new mid-sized models

BMW is already planning to expand its upcoming i model range beyond the initial i3 and i8 models, a source has revealed.

While not confirmed for production yet, it's likely that a more sporting and stylish coupe version of the i3 would follow the five-door version, based on the i3 Concept Coupé. It effectively uses the same underpinnings as the i3 hatchback and is claimed to be "the next logical step" in the range.

The BMW source said there is also the potential for other mid-sized cars in the i range, including a model along the lines of the recently revealed Concept Active Tourer.

"There are a lot of unused numbers in the i line-up", said the source, "and there is the potential for other mid-sized concepts".

It's unlikely that BMW will offer any X3 or X5-styled four-wheel-drive models, however, due to the specific architecture used by the i models.

Elements of the i range's technology may make its way into BMW's conventional line-up though, such as the petrol-electric hybrid drivetrain found in the eDrive-equipped BMW Concept Active Tourer and i8.

BMW intends for the i3 and i8 to serve as bookends for the new i range, with the release of two models at the extreme ends of the scale being used to judge market response as well as demonstrating what's possible with BMW's i brand, drivetrains and production processes.

"With the i3 you have a megacity vehicle that offers zero emissions and a focus on practicality, while the i8 is an all-out sports car that demonstrates the extreme peformance that's possible using this technology," the source revealed.

The i range will consist of so-called "megacity" vehicles that are claimed to offer significantly improved efficiency thanks to the use of electric propulsion, lightweight construction and other advanced design features and technologies.

Initially the line-up will consist of the five-door i3 hatchback, available with pure electric or range extender drivetrains, and the four-wheel drive i8 hybrid sportscar.

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Comments
6

15 April 2013

I think the BMW is on to a winner with its I range. I'm particularly interested in the I3 with a small engine to keep the battery all juiced up.

The cost would be a key factor though. Its new tech. It would be some time before this tech becomes cheap enough to secure mass appeal.

16 April 2013

fadyady wrote:

I think the BMW is on to a winner with its I range. I'm particularly interested in the I3 with a small engine to keep the battery all juiced up.

The cost would be a key factor though. Its new tech. It would be some time before this tech becomes cheap enough to secure mass appeal.

I agree. The range extender i3, particularly the Coupe Concept looks very appealling, though, as you say, the cost will be prohibitive.

Hopefully it might be more affordable sometime before I have to give up driving due to old age!

16 April 2013

catnip wrote:

Hopefully it might be more affordable sometime before I have to give up driving due to old age!

The thing is - when it comes to development - this electric/hybrid/range-entender technology is a bit like plasma TVs. They started at £3,000 a piece. Now you can buy one for £500.

So hopefully you may be in luck. Let the EV ball roll. The EV development will pick up speed as more and more manufacturers join in. And that is bound to push down the prices.

16 April 2013

We are beginning to see desirable cars coming to market now which will connect with the iphone generation.  What is lacking for me is the right carrying potential I need 5 seats and a good size boot.  Plus I tend to buy secondhand which is an even bigger unknown when it comes to battery replacement.  I'm happy to pay for replacement batteries which I see as buying most of your fuel cost up front.  I'm just not clear how you would do this at a competitive rate, not a great option if you have to go back to BMW who then have you over a barrel.

16 April 2013

BMW should first see if the 'i' models actually turn out successful commercially, before committing to any more models.

Myk

16 April 2013

Have BMW really thought through the naming convention with the "i" brand?  Shouldn't it follow the usual BMW naming i.e. the i3 would have been a 3-series sized car.  That means that the i3 should really be the i1 (and the coupe, if it happens, the i2).  Isn't the i3 more similar in size to the 1-series?

That would also make the i8 correct I think, as the range topper.

BMW naming confuses the hell out of me as it is.  Interestingly I was chatting to a new starter at work and naturally asked what car he drove.  He said a BMW 328i, and then went on to say that it was surprisingly economical for a 2.8 litre...

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