Following their successful debut as BMW i brand’s first two vehicles, BMW will reveal a new ‘i Concept’ at next week’s LA Auto Show to join the i3 and i8 – which are due to come to market in 2013 and 2014.
With its tents already pitched in the city car and sports car segments, the new i Concept is most likely be either a saloon, SUV or crossover – that still represents a pretty broad range of possibilities, but perhaps we might find some clues in the car maker’s most recent motor show debutant – the BMW Concept Active Tourer.
This was shown for the first time at the Paris Motor Show in September, and although not technically a ‘BMW i’ model, it is a plug-in hybrid with an electric motor, lithium-ion batteries and the same 1.5-litre 3-cylinder TwinPower Turbo engine as fitted in the i8.
As I’m sure you remember, the i8 Concept Roadster is an open-top two-seat sports car, with a sleek, low slung exterior and a combined petrol/electric hybrid powertrain. It’s capable of accelerating from 0 to 60 mph in 4.9 seconds, reaching an electronically governed top speed of 155 mph and yet return extremely low emissions with a fuel consumption of just 78 mpg.
BMW i’s vehicles are purpose-built from the ground up to use electric and hybrid electric powerplants and constructed primarily from lightweight carbon fibre, so whatever this new BMW i Concept is, expect it to reflect BMW’s new-found confidence in its electric future.