BMW reveals BMW i sub-brand

* New eco sub-brand from BMW * BMW i3 and i8 pictures revealed * BMW i3 is new title for Megacity concept car...

BMW reveals BMW i sub-brand

BMW has launched a new eco sub-brand called BMW i.

At the same time, the company has revealed images for the initial two vehicles in the BMW i range.

The first is the BMW i3. Previously known as the Megacity Vehicle, the BMW i3 is an all-electric Golf-sized car due to go on sale in 2013.

The i3 is a four-seat, rear-engined, rear-wheel-drive car, which houses the batteries that power the 100Kw motor underneath the floor.

BMW expects the car to have a range of between 100 and 130 miles. It will also have a useable boot, and its flat floor could mean the car will have a flexible seating layout.

i8 sportscar
The i8 is a plug-in hybrid sportscar based on the BMW Vision EfficientDynamics concept car first unveiled at the Frankfurt motor show in 2009. Like the i3, it will be launched in 2013.

The Vision EfficientDynamics concept car has a plug-in hybrid drivetrain, which uses a three-cylinder turbodiesel engine and electric motor on the rear axle, as well as another electric motor to drive the front axle.

Powering the electric motors is a lithium-polymer battery, which can be fully recharged through a conventional power socket in two-and-a-half hours. The car can be driven for 31 miles on electric power alone, while the 24-litre diesel tank gives it a range of 435 miles.

Together, the combination produces 328bhp, and BMW claims the car can hit 62mph in just 4.8 seconds. Yet, at the same time, it will average 75.1mpg and emit just 99g/km CO2.

More vehicles to the i sub-brand
BMW says the i sub-brand won't be limited to just two vehicles. 'Three is not the lowest number and eight is not the highest number and there are a lot of numbers in-between' said a BMW spokesman.