BMW has provided the clearest hint yet to the appearance and technical package of its upcoming MCV (MegaCity Vehicle) in a pair of official sketches revealing both two- and four-door hatchback versions of the advanced plug-in electric urban runabout.
Scheduled for launch in 2013, the new four seater has been conceived under a future orientated sustained mobility program at the German car maker’s R&D centre in Munich that takes the internal working title project-i – a name that alludes to the resurrection of the historic Isetta badgeplate, possibly reworked as i-setta.
The MCV, to be marketed under an as yet undisclosed BMW sub-brand, brings together a series of innovative technologies that provide it with simple construction, low weight and full zero emission capability in a car BMW says will carry a price premium over similarly sized small cars but which it is adamant will still prove affordable enough to see it hit an annual production target of 50,000 at its Leipzig factory in Germany by the middle of the decade.
"In the future, leadership in the premium segment will belong to whichever manufacturer builds its products in the most efficient and resource-friendly way – and offers its customers the most advanced and exciting solutions for eco-friendly personal mobility," according to BMW’s Martin Arlt.
The basis for the MCV is a lightweight carbon fibre monocoque dubbed LifeDrive. Described by BMW as being revolutionary both in construction and price, it is produced in a highly automated process developed in a co-operation between the German car maker and SGL Carbon that is claimed to dramatically reduce costs compared to existing carbon fibre structures.