With the motto “Born Electric”, the new BMW “i” sub-brand will be devoted to sustainable vehicles and mobility solutions.
The first vehicles developed under the i sub-brand will be the i3 and the i8, expected for launch in 2013.
The BMW i3 – previously known as Megacity Vehicle – is a compact four-seater urban car with a purely-electric drivetrain.
The BMW i8 will be a sportscar based on the Vision EfficientDynamics concept study and will feature a plug-in hybrid drive.
Both models are based on a new construction concept named LifeDrive architecture, consisting of an aluminum chassis that houses the powertrain, and a lightweight carbon fibre- reinforced plastic (CFRP) passenger cell.
“Both cars have been designed specifically for their respective alternative drive systems. We used the innovative architecture and CFRP to cancel out practically all of the extra weight added by the batteries. For our customers this means superior driving dynamics combined with significantly increased range using electric power,” explains Klaus Draeger, BMW Board member responsible for development.
The BMW i design language
The BMW i vehicles will reinterpret the brand’s design language so that that will showcase a stand-alone identity, expressingo lightness, purity, safety and aerodynamic efficiency.
The side views is characterized by one of the distinctive styling elements: the “streamflow”-C-pillar: it consists of converging lines that underline the design’s alignment with the models’ aerodynamic requirements.
Due to their diameter, the low-profile tires highlight the efficiency and dynamics of the BMW i3 and the BMW i8.
Both concepts feature rear lights that reflect BMW’s classic L theme.
The side surfaces emphasize the aerodynamic aspect once again, also when viewed from the rear. As tearing edges, they reduce the models’ aerodynamic drag and give them sound proportions.
“The BMW i3 and the BMW i8 demonstrate the potential range of BMW i design principles when applied to two completely different vehicle concepts.”
The BMW i logo
The reinterpretation of the iconic BMW kidney grille, particularly in combination with the sub-brand’s front view, creates an optical link to the typical face of BMW core brand models.
The BMW i logo features a future-oriented design and evokes associations with the BMW parent brand.
It conveys an air of transparency and openness, while its diagonal set-up with an upward orientation gives it a dynamic look.