BMW’s i3—a New Take on City Cars

BMW i3 concept

BMW presented two very interesting working concept cars this week in Frankfurt that demonstrate the company’s new commitment to hybrid and EV technology.

The i8 is an expensive, sexy plug-in hybrid working off the Vision EfficientDynamics ideas of two years ago. It performs, says TopGear, like the base Porsche 911 (4.6 seconds to 62 mph), with 350 hp and very light weight. More on this one in a future post.

But the i3 is more radical and represents BMW’s attempt to seriously engage in redesigning the city car as something more practical and appealing than the current offerings.

Car and Driver calls it “revolutionary,” with batteries, motor and drivetrain in one “Drive” module (mostly aluminum), and the “Life” module as a separate unit (mostly carbon-fiber) for passengers and luggage. It’s actually roomy.

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