The BMW world of forums and discussion boards are mulling today over a rumor sent out in the wild by the usual suspect, known as Scott27, one of the longest BMW insiders we have seen on the interwebs.
The rumor goes something like this: BMW will introduce the Vision Concept to the world as the BMW i8.
During this time, BMW will bring forth its philosophy with such groundbreaking concepts such as the BMW MegaCity Vehicle and BMW i8. Which is the term for the production car of the Vision Efficient Dynamics concept car.
A fair assumption, isn’t it? Especially since BMW has recently filled for the “BMW i” trademarks and logos, a new sub-brand that will host the vehicles coming out of the Project i umbrella.
But why i8 and not i1 or any other naming convention starting with “i”? Well, one old dog in the BMW world would say the Munich automaker is looking to somewhat revive the memory of their never launched supercar, M8, especially since BMW sees the Vision Concept as being the next breakthrough in the supercar segment.
But here is where our balanced judgment and non-fanboyism kicks in. First, BMW sees the VED car as more of an efficient, yet fun to drive sportscar, a new piece of technology that breaks the stereotype of a high-end sportscar – big engines, high revs and lots of ponies coming from under the hood. So would the i8 compare to the M8 concept? Or even the high-end 8 Series? We don’t think so. Two different cars, for two different decades.
Second, in a recent conversation with BMW engineers responsible for the development of VED, we learned a production model won’t come on the market until 2014, which tells us a world debut will occur in late 2013. This is exactly three years from now and we are certainly inclined to believe that BMW has yet to decide on the exact naming convention. Based on our experience and inside information, we know BMW usually goes through a process where customer focus groups are formed and the results from these surveys weigh heavily in the naming convention for some of their models. Therefore, in our opinion and ours solely, we believe the VED badge has not been yet decided on. Sure, i8 or i100 (Read our editorial: “Why the i100?”) or other names we have heard are still on the table, and yes, most likely an “i” will be involved in the label, but for now, we label the BMW i8 as simply a rumor that none of our other sources were rushing to confirm.
As always, we will update you as we learn more…for now, we were simply looking to set the story straight.