BMW i3 and i8 Concepts To Make World Debuts at 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show

2011 Frankfurt Auto Show

  • BMW i8 Picture

    BMW i8 Picture

    BMW i8. | September 02, 2011

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2011 Frankfurt Auto Show

Just the Facts:
  • The 2013 BMW i3 compact and 2014 BMW i8 sports car will be formally introduced to the public at the upcoming Frankfurt show.
  • While labeled as "concept studies," the prototypes provide strong clues as to the styling direction of BMW's first two i Series cars.
  • Also starring on the automaker's Frankfurt stand will be the redesigned M5 and 1 Series.

MUNICH, Germany — BMW plans to make a major splash at the upcoming 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show with the public debuts of its first two i Series concepts, the 2013 i3 and the 2014 i8, as well as the redesigned M5 sport sedan and 1 Series compact.

BMW released the first images of the i Series cars in late July. While officially labeled as concepts, the prototypes provide strong clues as to the styling direction of the production cars.

Both cars are rear-wheel drive and seat up to four occupants. The i8 is a gasoline-electric hybrid sport sedan, while the smaller i3 is a pure electric hatchback.

BMW is launching the i Series as a dedicated family of vehicles and services focused on "sustainable mobility."

The redesigned 1 Series hatchback also makes its formal public debut in Frankfurt. The new model, which isn't expected to be offered in the U.S., is longer and wider and rides on a longer wheelbase than its predecessor. It will be sold in Europe with a choice of four-cylinder gas and diesel engines.

BMW said advanced technologies, including Speed Limit Information System with No-Passing Info and Lane Departure Warning System with Collision Warning, also will be available for the first time in the new 1 Series.

Of perhaps greatest interest to enthusiasts on both sides of the Atlantic is the redesigned M5 sedan, which appeared earlier this year in concept form at the 2011 Shanghai Auto Show and was first revealed to the public in late June at the annual BMW M Festival at the Nürburgring.

The fourth-generation M5's twin-turbo 4.4-liter V8 will deliver 553 horsepower and 502 pound-feet of torque. The engine is mated to a seven-speed M dual-clutch transmission with Drivelogic (a six-speed manual will likely be available as an option in the U.S.).

The new M5 is slated to arrive at U.S. dealers in spring 2012, most likely as a 2013 model. says: As far as BMW is concerned, the future is already here.

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