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Caught! BMW's electric future

By Alex Inwood, 19 Apr 2013 Features

BMW i8 i3 spy shots

The next generation of BMW hybrid technology has been caught testing, with both the sports focused i8 and the smaller i3 city car spied in near-production trim.

The next generation of BMW hybrid technology has been caught testing, with both the sports focused i8 and the smaller i3 city car spied in near-production trim.

The i8 was snapped completing high-speed testing at the Nurbrugring, with the images giving us the closest look yet at the plug-in coupe’s production-ready design.

As expected, it’s been toned down from the i8 concept first shown at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show, yet it’s clear the i8 will remain a striking coupe.

It should be quick too, with a three cylinder, 165kW, 1.5-litre engine driving the rear wheels, while a single 97kW electric motor powers the front axle.

Early talk suggests the i8 should charge from 0-100km/h in under five seconds and hit a top speed of 250km/h.

Unlike the i8, the new, urban-focused, i3 coupe will rely solely on electric power.

The smaller car is predicted to have a top speed of just 150km/h to protect its battery, and hit 0-100km/h in under eight seconds.