BMW i at the Tokyo Motor Show

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The plug-in hybrid BMW i8 Concept will be capable of 0-62 mph in less than 5 seconds as well as 94 mpg and it will be on display with the all-electric BMW i3 Concept at the Tokyo Motor Show.

The electric BMW i3 Concept is a vehicle designed for urban areas. The BMW i3’s innovative LifeDrive architecture makes the Concept light, safe, spacious and dynamic. Innovative use of materials and intelligent lightweight design enable the i3 Concept to travel long distances on a single charge and provide superb safety in the event of a collision, and they also help give the car its excellent driving dynamics.

The electric motor over the rear axle generates output of 125 kW/170 hp and torque of 250 Nm from a standstill. The i3 also has a small turning circle. The BMW i3 Concept accelerates from 0 to 60 km/h (37 mph) in under four seconds and from rest to 100 km/h (62 mph) in less than eight seconds.

The so-called Life module conjures up a feeling of space inside the car, with four seats, wide-opening opposing “coach” doors, a boot capacity of around 200 litres and an additional functional compartment in the front.

Innovative connectivity functions create a connection between the BMW i3 Concept and its customers’ lives outside the car. Remote functions accessible via a smartphone enable owners to find their vehicles, flag up nearby charging stations, allow battery charging and preconditioning at the touch of a button, and supply information on the current status of the vehicle. Meanwhile, intelligent assistance systems ease the stress on drivers in monotonous city driving situations and allow them to arrive at their destination more safely and in a more relaxed state of mind.

The BMW i8 Concept has an innovative plug-in hybrid concept combining the modified electric drive system from the BMW i3 Concept – fitted over its front axle – with a high-performance three-cylinder combustion engine producing 164 kW/220 hp and 300 Nm (221 lb-ft) at the rear. Working in tandem they deliver the performance of a sports car but the fuel consumption of a small car.

Acceleration of 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in under five seconds combined with fuel consumption in the European cycle of under three litres per 100 kilometres (approximately 94 mpg) are figures currently beyond the capability of any vehicle powered by a combustion engine of comparable performance. Thanks to its large lithium-ion battery, which can be charged from a domestic power supply, the BMW i8 Concept can travel up to 20 miles on electric power alone. Added to which, the 2+2-seater offers enough space for four people, giving it a high level of everyday practicality.

The LifeDrive architecture of the BMW i8 Concept has been carefully adapted to enhance the vehicle’s sports car character, and therefore to deliver excellent performance and driving dynamics. The motor in the front axle module and combustion engine at the rear are connected by an “energy tunnel”, which houses the high-voltage battery. This gives the car a low centre of gravity – and the dynamic benefits that come with it. The positioning of the electric motor and engine over their respective axles and the space-saving and well-balanced packaging of all components result in an optimum 50/50 weight distribution.

An additional range of mobility services – which can also be used independently of the cars – will be an integral component of BMW i alongside the vehicles themselves. A totally new development in this area will be vehicle-independent mobility services. Here the focus is on solutions which will improve usage of existing parking spaces, as well as intelligent navigation systems with local information, intermodal route planning and premium car-sharing. In addition to service packages developed in-house, the BMW Group is pursuing co-operations with partner companies as well as strategic capital investments with providers of mobility services. BMW i Ventures was established with this purpose in mind. The company aims to expand the product portfolio of BMW i over the long term with stakes in highly innovative service providers, such as MyCityWay and ParkatmyHouse.

Read our BMW i feature