Out of all places in the US, the new BMW i3 and BMW i8 make an appearance in our hometown, Chicago. The folks over at KickingTires spotted the two and first BMW electric vehicles during preparations for a commercial shoot.
The first TV commercial was filmed in Vancouver, British Colombia, but now it seems that BMW is taking over Chicago for another exciting shoot. Among the people spotted in the photos below are several BMW i engineers and product managers that we met at different events in the past.
BMW i3 and i8 made their world debut two weeks ago in Frankfurt, just weeks before the public debut at Frankfurt Auto Show.
The i3, previously known as Megacity Vehicle, is based around a light CFRP body structure and rides on a predominantly aluminum chassis. The i3 produces 168 horsepower and 184lb ft of torque, and it has a top speed of 93 mph (150 km/h). It accelerates from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 7.9 s. BMW i3 measures 3845mm in length, 2011mm in width and 1537mm in height. The plug-in system is a compact electric motor mounted over the rear axle. It draws energy from the battery to provide drive to the rear wheels via a single-speed transmission.
At 349 horsepower and nearly 80 mpg fuel consumption, the BMW i8 will set a benchmark in the performance segment. BMW says the i8 runs a 0-62mph in just 4.6 sec – 0.3 sec faster than the M3 Coupe. Initially previewed by the Vision EfficientDynamics (Vision ED) concept back in 2009, the super-sporty two-door i8 has already undergone two years of intensive development. The major change is a new 1.5 liter petrol engine replacing the initial diesel unit of same capacity. The engine is mounted at the rear and drives via a dual-clutch gearbox.
BMW i8 measures 4632mm in length, 1955mm in width and 1280mm in height, comparable to the 3 Series coupe in dimensions.
While the BMW i8 exterior design was well received by enthusiasts and automotive press, the i3 has initially drawn some criticism around its visual aspect, but seeing the car in an urban setting, the exterior design language stands out reminding once again that this is a premium car with an alternative, efficient drivetrain.
[More photos at: KickingTires ]