BMW's Electric and Plug-In Cars Revealed

BMW

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BMW revealed two new electric, hybrid, and range-extended models -- the BMW i3 electric car and the BMW i8 plug-in hybrid -- at a special press conference in Frankfurt earlier today.

GreenCarReports editor John Voelcker is there, and he's managed to snap some up-close shots of the "Drive" powertrains of these vehicles, along with their advanced "Life" carbon-fiber bodies, which would have the most extensive use of carbon fiber in a mainstream, relatively affordable vehicle yet.

The rear-wheel-drive i3, which appears to be chasing the Nissan Leaf, albeit in a higher price bracket, has its 170-hp motor system mounted in back, under the cargo area. Range is an estimated 93 miles, and BMW claims that with quick charging it can get back to 80-percent charge in less than an hour.

Both models have been teased for years -- the i3 as the Megacity EV, and the i8 as Vision EfficientDynamics design study vehicles.

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