In a recent interview for Car And Driver, BMW chairman and CEO, Norbert Reithofer revealed a few more details regarding the launch of BMW’s first battery-powered vehicle in the United States.
Built under the Project i program and referenced by BMW executives as the “BMW City”, the new all all electric vehicle is expected to reach U.S. soil by 2012.
The “City” is rumored to be a three-door hatchback vehicle specifically designed for the U.S. market to meet the upcoming California Zero Emission vehicle regulation which stipulates that large auto makers to sell between a few hundred and a few thousand Zero Emission Vehicle every year starting in 2012.
Rendering by AutoBild
As C&D mentions, the BMW City or MegaCity as we heard it was called in the past, will be powered by an all electric engine and it will offer a four-seat configuration. The lithium-ion batter is expected to provide 100-mile range.
The BMW City vehicles will also be powered by gasoline and diesel engines, with the first prototype being launched featuring gasoline engines developed in collaboration with the Motorrad division.
One interesting fact revealed, but in a way expected by everyone, was that BMW is developing these new vehicles especially for the highly congested cities in Asia, including the fast growing China.
As we announced before, BMW has yet to decide on the brand name, the options on the table are still between BMW, MINI and even Isetta. Herr Reithofer does hint that it may also get a new name.
Still lots of uncertainties, but hopefully we will have more information on this at the Frankfurt Motor Show.[Source: Car and Driver ]