Tags: bmw i8 | hybrid | plug-in

BMW i8, Hybrid Plug-in, Touted as the Future of Automobile Industry

Monday, 10 Feb 2014 02:11 PM

By Michael Mullins

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The BMW i8, the German automaker's first-ever hybrid plug-in, is being advertised as the future of the automobile industry. With its two electric motors, which have 139 horsepower combined, the compact BMW i8 can accelerate to 62 mph in 4.8 seconds and reach a top speed of 160 mph.

The car is said to be BMW's response to Tesla Motors, as they challenge the California-based electric car manufacturer in the emerging high-priced-EV market with their "i" sub-brand in the United States, Forbes reported.

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"The challenge for 'i' is getting public awareness and getting past the stigma of range anxiety, and talking about the future of mobility in an electric sense," Michael Jobst, national marketing manager for BMW of North America, told Forbes.

As part of their launch, BMW — a major sponsor for the Sochi Winter Olympics, is showcasing the car in an advertisement campaign, introducing the new vehicle to Americans as they prepare to release it to the U.S. market later in 2014.

In the latest commercial, which first aired Friday on NBC during the opening ceremonies in Sochi, a sleek, stylish BMW i8 appears as a prototype for all vehicles. It is introduced with the statement, "Hello Future."

The commercial is narrated by Arthur C. Clarke, author of the science fiction book "2001: A Space Odyssey," as he attempts to describe the fantastic future that awaits mankind.

"We thought using him was perfect because 'i' stands for innovation, and his 50-year-old speech speaks perfectly to today’s challenges," Jobst said.

"Tesla has a halo car," Jobst added. "We have a different category of vehicles. .. Our halo [is] the i8 plug-in electric, with its big, sexy sports-car statistics and the fuel efficiency we want."

"It is a rare and exciting opportunity to launch a new brand and for BMW i, one that requires a world stage," Trudy Hardy, vice president of marketing for BMW of North America, said in a statement. "We look forward to making a bold statement about the future of sustainable mobility."

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