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RPM TV Website | August 8, 2020

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BMW already planning beyond i3 and i8 electric range

BMW i3 Coupé Concept BMW i8 Concept
Adam Schoeman

MW says it’s looking to extend its new i-range of vehicles beyond the i3 and i8, starting off with a three-door coupé version of the i3.

Up to now, BMW has only show two vehicles from its yet to be released i-range: the i3, which is meant for city commuting, and the four-wheel driven i8 sports car.

Both have electric motors, but the i8 has a three-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine that can act as a range extender or  produce the additional power needed to make the i8 an enthusiast’s car.

This means that it is possible to drive the two i-cars on electric power alone in zero emissions mode.

While the models are quite different, BMW points out that by populating two opposite spectrums, the i-range will prove the technology to a broader range of buyers.

The i3 is intended to showcase the transmission’s ability to stand up to the daily commute, while the i8 is a pure, lightweight sports car, complete with the thrills associated with such a machine. It’s the car that BMW hopes will make its i-technology both sexy and desirable.

BMW i8 Concept

BMW i8 Concept

A coupé version of the i3 is a logical progression for the frugal end of the range, but BMW is also believed to be considering a larger, mid-sized concept, although a full-on “X” denoted SUV is unlikely.

The i-range has been the culmination of not only BMW’s petrol-electric drivetrain advances, but also the vast progress and investment in the production of carbon fibre. BMW has even gone so far as to buy a carbon fibre manufacturer in the United States and has been developing a unique way of working with the lightweight, ultra-strong material.

Even if, like many South Africans, you don’t believe in the electric car market, the sheer advancements that have been made in the production of lightweight materials should be enough to be thankful for the i-range and the technology it’s pioneering.


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