BMW has given out the first details and images of its i3 and i8 models before the concepts are shown at the Frankfurt Motor Show
One of the most notable features of the new design is a bodywork largely made of carbon fibre, described by BMW as a “revolution in automotive design.”
The new material, which has never been used for a car body on a volume-production scale before, offers a weight reduction of between 250 and 350 kilograms, which should considerably lengthen the range and speed of the electric vehicles.
The i3′s concept city car design currently offers a range of approximately 150 kilometers using a 125 kW electric motor, said BMW, with four seats and a 200-liter luggage compartment.
Thanks to a weight of 1,250 kilograms, it can manage 0-100km/h in less than eight seconds, and the charging time is also pretty nippy, with an 80 percent charge in around an hour using a high speed charger.
The larger i8 isn’t a fully electric vehicle but a plug-in hybrid, managing a consumption of under 3l/100km with a drive system that outputs 260 kW.
Designed as a luxury sports car, it offers a top speed of 250 km/h and a 0-100km/h time of under five seconds, although at a more temperate speed the i8 will run for up to 35 kilometers on all electric drive before the hybrid system kicks in.
It’s expected that both of the cars will be on show at the Frankfurt International Auto Show, which runs September 15-25 in Germany.