BMW announces new 'i' sub-brand

BMW has revealed details of its upcoming sub-brand devoted to eco-friendly cars, which usually attract reduced premiums from most car insurance providers.

The German auto manufacturer said its soon-to-be-launched i sub-brand will handle the production of two new car models - the i3 and the i8.

The i3 is an all-electric car, which was previously known as the Megacity project, and the i8 is the production version of the Vision EfficientDynamics concept unveiled at the 2009 Frankfurt Motor Show.

The i3 is set for a 2013 launch, and the i8 will be retailed around a year later, with both models set to be built at BMW's plant in Leipzig.

Ian Robertson, chief of sales and marketing, said that the new i sub-brand joins the company's M brand in a bid to achieve a balance within the BMW Group.

He added: "M stands for performance and exciting on one hand and i is for visionary cars and sustainability."

According to the company, the letter "i" stands for innovation, with its usage originating with the 2007 "i-drive".

BMW also launched new mobility services including methods to connect drivers with available parking, smart navigation tools using real-time traffic information, intermodal transport linking in with public transport and car sharing schemes.

It has further trademarked the terms i1 to i9 indicating that more models under the sub-brands can be expected.

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