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More E-Cars From Munich

August 9, 2011 by Matt

2011 BMW i8 Concept Front View

At least, so far, it’s a sub-brand.

That is, the BMW formula enthusiasts know and love hasn’t been completely revamped by integrating alternative propulsion seamlessly into the automaker’s lineup.

Following the recent unveiling of the BMW i3 Concept all-electric city car and the i8 Concept hybrid performance coupe (pictured at top), Left Lane News reports a model range-filling i4 and i5 may be in the works (emphasis added):

The i4 is said to be largely based on the i3, but will take the form of a mini sports car. It remains to be seen if the car will arrive as a coupe or roadster, but the two-seater is intended to act as an entry-level model for those that can’t afford the up-market i8. The i4 could borrow the electric drivetrain from the i3, but a version of the i8’s diesel-hybrid system isn’t completely off the table.

The i5 is rumored to be a mid-size sedan model with coupe-like design features. The i5 will reportedly borrow the i8’s drivetrain, which should translate into some decent performance figures. It remains to be seen how BMW plans to market the i5 – given it will be about the same size as the 3-Series – but the German automaker has plenty of time to iron out all the kinks – if given the green light, the i5 and i4 aren’t expected to launch until the end of the decade.

It’s no secret I don’t think terribly much of BMW’s latest foray into eco-correctness, but I should clarify the grounds on which I take exception to their direction: Branding. As with the FWD issue, I’ve no problem whatsoever with BMW making the best hybrid or pure electric cars in the world—just don’t stick a BMW roundel on the hood. Call me territorial, call me inflexible; there are some equations in this world that deserve to be left alone—they’ve earned the right to be. Fortunately, in this case, it seems BMW is at least attempting to distance the sub-brand somewhat from the “conventional” model range. I just wish they’d go farther and cloister the new cars altogether into a completely separate brand. But that’s obviously not going to happen.

Filed under: Alternative Propulsion, BMW, News


  1. John D says:

    The car pictured above looks suspiciously like the offspring of a BMW Z8 and latest generation Camaro…not that I’m complaining. ;)

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