BMW is set to join the electric-vehicle bandwagon. The German automaker unveiled the i3 and i8 electric concepts which will form the bases for any future electric sedans, sport cars and compacts they design.
The i3 hatchback has a lightweight body formed by combination of aluminum and carbon fiber-reinforced plastics. It has two bench seats for four occupants and a total of 7.06 cubic-feet of storage.
The i3 comes with a 170 hp. electric engine with 184 pound-feet of torque. As with all electrics, it has an automatic single-speed gearbox. BMW says the i3 has a top speed of 93 miles per hour and can do 0 to 60 in less than eight seconds.
The battery can be fully charged in six hours using a standard power socket, BMW says. There also is a high-speed charger that can juice the battery up to 80 percent in one hour. and the i3's batteries can get to 80 percent in one hour using a high-speed charger.
The i3 will be available with a range-extending internal combustion engine, the company says.
BMW’s sporty i8 concept has a more traditional plug-in hybrid powertrain. It works with a turbocharged, 1.5-liter three-cylinder engine up front and a rear mounted electric motor, putting out a total 349 hp. and 405 pound-feet of torque.
The automaker says the i8 can do 0 to 60 in 4.6 seconds and has a top speed 155-mph. Combined fuel economy is said to be as high as 80 mpg.
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