BMW has given an official name to its new battery-powered brand-within-a-brand. The operation, which had been going by the working name, Megacity, will now be called BMW i, and will charge into dealer showrooms in 2013 with a pair of lithium-ion-powered luxury cars.
Using the new “LifeDrive” architecture, the BMW i3 and i8 models will target those customers who want premium products that are nonetheless eco-friendly, the maker explains. Additional products are likely to be added to the line-up in the years ahead, the maker broadly hints.
“BMW i offers visionary cars and services, inspiring design, and an entirely new concept of premium mobility – all with a focus on sustainability”, explained BMW Board Member and sales and marketing director Ian Robertson. “The products and services have been conceived around a revolutionary approach: purpose designed and purpose built for sustainable, premium mobility.
The BMW i3, originally known as the Megacity Vehicle, will serve as the core of the new sub-brand. It’s the first BMW product designed specifically for use in urban areas solely on electric power. Set for production at the German maker’s plant in Leipzig, it will be based on the LifeDrive platform, which uses an aluminum chassis and a carbon fibre-reinforced plastic, or CFRP, passenger cell.