BMW remains attached to plans to place a price tag of more than EUR100,000 to its i8 hybrid supercar when the carmaker starts rolling out the model in two years, according to Ian Robertson, BMW's global sales chief. Robertson remarked that BMW will price the smaller i3 electric compact car "very competitively for the substance you get" from new powering technology.
The i3 will be BMW’s first model from its i sub-brand to be rolled out in 2013, according to Autonews. Robertson was present at the unveiling of the sub-brand's first global sales outlet in London, which he described as a demonstration of BMW’s commitment to electro-mobility.
The company is spending around EUR530 million developing the sub-brand, which is expected to keep the carmaker’s sales lead over rivals Audi and Mercedes-Benz. BMW is currently the top premium brand worldwide in terms of global sales after selling 1.38 million cars and sports utility vehicles in 2011. Audi and Mercedes-Benz sold 1.3 million and 1.26 million units in the same period.
BMW released pictures of the i8 Spyder, a roadster version of the i8 coupe in April. The i8 coupe is the third concept in BMW’s sub-brand line-up. Benoit Jacob, chief designer for the i models, disclosed that the production model of the i3 compact is based on 85 to 90 percent of the concept version.
The carmaker mulls selling the i cars over the internet and through a mobile sales force, which will be rolled out in various locations. Linda Croissant, a BMW spokeswoman, revealed that BMW has already employed mobile teams to offer test drives at holiday resorts. Robertson, meanwhile, said dealers will remain as the main sales force for interfacing with customers.
He said that in Germany, 45 of BMW’s around 200 dealerships will offer the i model. Karsten Engel, BMW's head of sales in Germany, remarked that the company will continue to own the vehicles while the 45 i-brand showrooms will operate as agents rather than dealers in order to protect sales outlets from the risk of dealing with new-technology cars.
The style of the BMW i8 exterior is as noteworthy as the plug-in hybrid sports car concept's idea in general. Trademark BMW dynamics, lightweight design and efficiency are altogether conveyed in the vehicle's proportions, surface design and lines. The 2+2-seater is promptly identifiable as a BMW i model and a next-gen sports car.
The structure of interlocking and overlapping surfaces - gave extra accent by the auto's color scheme - additionally adds to the remarkable appearance of the BMW i8. This layering guideline permits aerodynamic forms to be covered in a dynamically styled bundle, while powerfully formed wheel curves focus attention to the broad track of the BMW i8. The compact built identifying both the electric engine and combustion motor permits the front and back parts of the auto to have an especially low-slung design and in this manner highlight its progressively extended flanks. The doors, which open forwards and upwards like wings, add additional interest to the BMW i8's sports car design.
A classic feature of BMW i autos is the "black belt". On the BMW i8, it rises in a "V" shape from the bonnet and stretches back over the roof into the back part of the auto, where it outlines the center part of the back apron. At the front part of the car, the black belt is encircled by the body-colored overskirt and side boards. Meanwhile, at the back it is covered by the "floating" roof columns, which reach out over the back lights. Another component of the independent BMW i design language is the "stream flow" form of the window styling at the side. On the BMW i8, the stream flow additionally affects the way the air travels between the falling roofline and the character line ascending through the back area of the auto's flanks towards the back spoiler lip.
The front part of the BMW i8 radiates athletic capacity in its most basic form. Huge front apron air flow arranged on various levels create a strong feeling of depth. The very wide BMW kidney grille extends over to the slim headlamps, emphasizing the width of the BMW i8 and its road-focused built.