Today BMW unveiled its first BMW i Store in Park Lane, London. The store offers a completely new brand experience focused on sustainable mobility.
"BMW i Park Lane marks a completely new approach," commented Ian Robertson, Member of the Board of Management of BMW. "Situated next to BMW Park Lane and MINI Park Lane, it gives people a perfect opportunity to learn more about electromobility and get close to our future electric and plug-in hybrid BMW i vehicles. This is a further demonstration of our commitment to electromobility."
The opening of the new BMW i Store in the heart of London underscores the fact that customer needs are changing and that sustainable mobility is becoming an increasingly important part of the modern urban lifestyle. London was chosen as the venue for the first BMW i store because of its importance as Europe's leading megacity and its influence as a global trend-setter. London, like many other cities around the world, faces environmental and traffic congestion challenges that require innovative and sustainable mobility solutions.
To coincide with the opening of the store, BMW presented the BMW i3 Concept with a new interior colour and materials concept. Based on the original concept car which premiered at last year's Frankfurt International Motor Show (IAA), the BMW i3 Concept is now influenced even more heavily by the "next premium" approach, and in so doing trains the spotlight squarely on the issue of sustainability.
A mixture of leather, wood, wool and other renewable raw materials shapes the face of the BMW i3 Concept interior, the extensive use of natural fibres inside the car underlining the premium blueprint of BMW i. The eucalyptus wood used for the instruments is sourced from sustainably managed European forests. This ensures that delivery distances remain short and keeps the spotlight on sustainability through all the stages of production. The wood is treated using natural materials, giving it a high-class finish and distinctive hue.
A natural tanning agent made from olive leaves is used for the leather adorning the interior. This extract from the leaves of the olive tree provides the leather with a natural layer of protection against bleaching and wear. Production of the naturally tanned leather - which comes in the new colour tone Cassia - therefore focuses on maximising durability as well as minimising environmental impact. The leather combines with the high-quality wool used for sections of the instrument panel and door trim to lend the interior a pleasant lounge-style ambience.
The passenger cell - the Life module - opens up a generous feeling of space beyond the scope of any conventional series-produced car to date. There is no centre tunnel bisecting the cabin, and the interior creates an open and airy impression. The full-width seat benches in the front and rear allow passengers to swap easily from one side of the car to the other and climb out comfortably - a boon in tight parking spaces, in particular. The passengers sit in a slightly raised position, which allows good visibility in city traffic and makes it easier to get in and out of the car.
One of the defining features of the cockpit is the freestanding steering column, which houses the most important controls, principally the instrument cluster, start/stop button and gearshift lever. Other units, such as the controls for the audio and climate control functions, are integrated into the instrument panel, eliminating the need for a centre console. Three large displays provide the interface between the BMW i3 Concept, its passengers and the outside world. Together, the freestanding 6.5-inch instrument cluster on the steering column and the 8.8-inch central information display (CID) show all the relevant information, the latter also providing the link between the driver and various connectivity applications. A third display below the CID shows the functions of the audio system and automatic climate control. The displays all share cutting-edge and visually appealing graphics, and boast outstanding clarity.
The design of the body reveals the qualities of the BMW i3 Concept the first time you set eyes on it. Dynamic and compact proportions advertise the car's agility and the sporting prowess of its electric drive system. The car's dominant colours are the new shade Andesite Silver and familiar High-gloss Black, with eye-catching touches added by the BMW i Blue adorning the logo, kidney grille, door sills and rear apron. The high-gloss surfaces and the contrast of black, silver and blue combine to showcase the car's impressive product substance.
Viewed from the side, the dynamic wedge shape, flowing silhouette and long wheelbase of the BMW i3 Concept catch the eye. From this angle, the exceptional spaciousness of the interior is already evident from the outside, while the short front and rear overhangs point to the excellent manoeuvrability of the BMW i3 Concept. The car's functional qualities are also underlined by the opposing "coach" doors, which enable extremely comfortable access to the light and airy interior. Generously sized glazed surfaces create a light-footed appearance and, together with the visible carbon structures, lend visual expression to the car's impressively low weight.
The clearly structured front end of the BMW i3 Concept is dominated by the strikingly designed kidney grille, which has the hallmark BMW i blue background and - thanks to the car's all-electric drive system - is totally blanked off. Below the kidney grille, a silver-coloured layer lends the front apron its form. Black-painted surfaces mark out the functional areas of the front end, such as the load compartment under the bonnet and the air inlets, while pronounced Air Curtains provide the car's advanced aerodynamics with an additional visual focus. Another conspicuous feature at the front of the car are the LED headlights with their signature BMW i U-shaped design.
In London, the BMW also presented for the first time in public the new BMW i Wallbox charger which has been specially created for BMW i models. The BMW i Wallbox has been designed to make home-charging particularly easy and efficient. Wallbox installation together with vehicle charging will be offered via selected BMW i partners.
BMW i Pedelec Concept
BMW i has come up with an innovative two-wheeler, which acts as the perfect complement to the BMW i3 Concept and adds a new and convenient layer to personal mobility, particularly in urban areas.
The new BMW i Pedelec (Pedal Electric Cycle) Concept is a compact bicycle fitted with an electric motor that tops up the rider's muscle power with an extra dose of torque. And that means the rider can get to other parts of town even more quickly and effortlessly - and without breaking into a sweat. The BMW i Pedelec Concept can be folded up almost in the blink of an eye and, handily, there is room for two of them in the boot of the BMW i3 Concept. Plus, their batteries can be recharged while they're in there.
Like the BMW i3, the BMW i Pedelec Concept is a thoroughly high-tech form of personal transport. Advanced componentry - such as disc brakes at the front and rear, a three-speed gear hub integrated into the motor, a lightweight frame made (like the BMW i3 Concept) from aluminium and carbon fibre, a torquey electric motor complete with electronic management system and high-performance battery, and a clever folding mechanism - make this motor-assisted bicycle an extremely practical transportation solution. As well as its impressive riding and packing characteristics, the BMW i Pedelec Concept can also be converted in a matter of seconds to offer a handy pushing mode, which allows it to be rolled and steered and therefore taken on public transport at no extra cost, saving the rider the effort of having to carry it around.
The BMW i3 - the BMW Group's first fully-electric series production vehicle - will be available to customers from late 2013 and the BMW i8 in 2014.