Munich, Germany – BMW has announced a new sub-brand, BMW i, which will focus on electric vehicles. Two models will be the first to be launched under the brand beginning in 2013.

“BMW i represents a new movement in premium mobility,” said Ian Robertson, member of the board of management. “With the introduction of this new sub-brand, the BMW Group reaffirms its leadership as the most innovative and sustainable premium car company. The products and services have been conceived around a revolutionary approach: purpose-designed and purpose-built for sustainable premium mobility. It’s a new day in our industry, a new era for individual mobility. This is BMW i – Born Electric.”

The first new models will be the BMW i3, previously known as the Megacity Vehicle, and the i8, based on the BMW Vision EfficientDynamics concept study. The i3 will be the company’s first series-production all-electric car, intended for urban areas, while the i8 is a plug-in high-performance hybrid. Both are based on a construction concept called LifeDrive architecture, which uses an aluminum chassis to house the powertrain, and a passenger cell consisting of high-strength and extremely lightweight carbon fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP). The company said that the innovative architecture and CFRP cancel out almost all of the extra weight added by the batteries, providing superior driving dynamics and significantly increased battery range.

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