Monday, November 14, 2011

BMW i3 Concept (2011)

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BMW i3 Concept (2011) first official pictures

By Ben Pulman
First Official Pictures
29 July 2011 11:00
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This is the BMW i3 Concept, a near-production preview of Munich’s new urban vehicle. Previously known as the Megacity Vehicle (MCV), it’s an all-electric carbonfibre and aluminium car that BMW will sell from 2013 as part of its new ‘i’ range – the i8 supercar has also been unveiled today. Both the BMW i3 and i8 concepts will be revealed at the 2011 Frankfurt motor show in September.

Is the BMW i3 just an electric Mini with a different badge?

Oh no. Beneath the stylish skin is BMW’s new LifeDrive architecture. The Drive element comprises the suspension, battery and drive systems, plus the aluminium structural and crash elements, while the Life part is the high-strength and lightweight carbonfibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP) passenger cell.
The LifeDrive set-up features in both the i8 and i3, but it’s different in the latter because of its all-electric configuration. The Drive element sits low, containing the big lithium-ion batteries (held in place and protected by aluminium ‘profiles’) for optimum weight distribution and a low centre of gravity, and the Life element is mounted on top. Think of the body-on-chassis configuration of American pick-up trucks – albeit a little more complex – and you’ll be along the right lines.

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