BMW just raised the stakes for electric vehicles by unveiling its new i Series concept cars. The runabout all-electric i3 is to debut in 2013, followed by the sporty i8 hybrid in 2014.
Both 4-seaters push the boundaries of design and technology with advanced drivetrains and breakthrough carbon fiber bodies that shave weight to improve performance and mileage.
The more conventional i8 will have a 3.0 liter six-cylinder engine with a parallel electric motor to provide 349 horsepower. Using lightweight carbon fiber, the reduced weight allows the car to reach 60mph in a numbing 4.6 second.
The i3 is even more unique. Built on an all-electric powertrain for an urban environment, the car can go 98 miles with full batteries, and can charge up 80% in an hour.