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Exclusive: Major Changes Coming for Electrified BMW’s i Brand

Specialty models like i3, i8 will be phased out, head of brand reveals.

by on Nov.29, 2017

BMW mobility chief Klaus Froehlich with the new i8 Roadster, Next Vision concept and i3s.

BMW is using this week’s L.A. Auto Show to reveal its new i8 Roadster, the latest in a dedicated line-up of plug-based models that also includes the new i3s battery-electric city car.

But the debut marks something of a swan song for BMW i – at least in the form the brand was initially conceived. The original goal was to use it to market a line-up of specially designed plug-in hybrids and pure battery-electric, or BEV, models. But in a major shift reflecting the rapid evolution of battery technology, the head of BMW’s electric mobility program told TheDetroitBureau.com, those dedicated models will be “phased out.”

Global Auto News!

“For us, electrification is the new normal,” explained Klaus Froehlich, during a conversation at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Going forward, he continued, Going forward, “We will not do dedicated architectures. Instead “all fully-electric models will be (badged) BMW i.”

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BMW Offers Sportier Take with Gen-2 i3 City Car

Sportier i3s version added for 2018.

by on Aug.28, 2017

The mid-cycle update of the BMW i3 will be paired with a more sporty i3s version for 2018.

The coming year could be a big one for the battery-car market. Manufacturers are starting to roll out what promises to be a flood of new choices by the end of the decade. And while the spotlight seems to be centered on the new Tesla Model 3, buyers will have a number of options to choose from for 2018, including an all-new version of the BMW i3 city car.

Make that versions – plural – as the Bavarian maker is not only rolling out the second-generation i3 but adding a sportier version that it has dubbed the i3s. While primarily designed for urban living, both variants will offer the option of adding a range-extending two-cylinder gasoline engine for the occasional, longer trip out into the suburbs.

Electrifying!

First introduced in the 2014 model-year, the BMW i3 has won a range of awards, most notably being named World Urban Car of the Year at the New York International Auto Show last spring. But it’s going to be facing a lot more competition in the near future, notably from products like the Tesla Model 3 and Chevrolet Bolt EV, both of which offer more than twice the range of the i3 in pure electric mode.

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