The BMW i sub-brand has been announced along with its first two models, the i3, an all-elecric city car previously known as the Megacity project, and the i8, the production version of the Vision EfficientDynamics Concept unveiled at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show.
Both will be built at BMW’s plant in Leipzig with the i3 being launched in 2013 and the i8 approximately a year later. There will be more to follow although, cryptically, all the company will say for now is that 3 is not the smallest number and 8 is not the highest. BMW has apparently trademarked the numbers i1 to i9.
Commenting on the announcement, sales and marketing chief Ian Robertson said that the BMW i joins the M brand to set a balance within BMW Group. “M stands for performance and exciting on one hand and i is for visionary cars and sustainability.
“As we demonstrate with the i3 and i8, the i brand is not just about city cars. It is a range of vehicles that can be small and trendy or sporty and lifestyle.”
According to BMW, letter “i” stands for innovation and started with “i-drive” in 2007.
Along with its new sub brand, BMW is also launching a set of premium mobility services concentrating on four areas, connecting drivers with available parking, smart navigation using real time traffic information, intermodal transport linking in with public transport and car sharing schemes.