BMW Plug-In Vehicles: Paris Auto Show Preview

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BMW i3 Concept MkII

BMW i3 Concept MkII

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BMW might have a reputation for producing performance cars and sport sedans, but there's no denying that the company is also taking electric and plug-in vehicles seriously too.

First came the electric MINI E, followed by the ActiveE, and the i3 and i8 plug-ins have been wowing auto show crowds for a few years now. Even more are set to join them over the next few years.

Much of BMW's plug-in range will be appearing at this year's Paris Auto Show, towards the end of this month.

BMW Concept Active Tourer

Headlining the BMW stand is the Concept Active Tourer, a 1-Series sized plug-in hybrid powered by a 1.5-liter 3-cylinder engine, paired to an electric motor.

It's the first ever BMW to go front-wheel drive (if you ignore the BMW-owned MINI, of course) but should still be up with the best for driving dynamics.

Efficiency will be top-notch too--despite producing as much as 190 horsepower, BMW is suggesting economy of up to 94 miles per gallon, and enough electric range for 18 miles of emissions-free driving.

BMW i3 Concept

An old auto show favorite, BMW is once again showing its i3 electric city car in Paris. The exterior styling is nothing new by this point, and it still displays the half-glass doors we already know aren't going to make production.

It's the same under the skin too, so there are no changes to the electric drivetrain, nor the 7.9-second 0-62 mph sprint and 93mph limited top speed.

What is new, or at least new to those who haven't been to BMW's exclusive Park Lane showroom in London, is the updated interior, bringing the i3 Concept ever closer to production. The interior is trimmed with sustainably cultivated eucalyptus wood and finished with natural substances, as well as naturally tanned leather seats and trim parts made from natural wool fabric.

2012 BMW C evolution electric scooter prototype

2012 BMW C evolution electric scooter prototype

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BMW C evolution

BMW Motorrad's electric scooter is another vehicle we've seen at previous auto shows, notably the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show this time last year.

The water-cooled electric motor develops peak power of 47 horsepower, with a continuous output of almost 15 horsepower. That puts performance somewhere between a 125cc and 500cc scooter, but without the noise and emissions. Range is quoted at over 62 miles

BMW 114d

As the name suggests, BMW's final green vehicle isn't a plug-in, but a more conventional turbo-diesel. There are no plans to bring the 114d to the U.S, but it shows what the company can do with more humble technology.

BMW is expecting economy of up to 57 mpg on the European cycle, from the 95-horsepower, 1.6-liter turbocharged diesel, which is also set to be the least expensive diesel in the 1-Series range.

You can follow all our reports and images from the 2012 Paris Auto Show by heading over to our dedicated show page.


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Comments (7)
  1. So, no i8 at the show?

  2. I had a good look at the model in London. Pretty, but nothing much to believe until it rolls off a line.

  3. No mention of it John, but it wouldn't surprise me if they wheel it out on a plinth somewhere on their stand.

  4. Thanks for the reply. Maybe they have so many EVs that they don't need the i8 for the show :)

  5. I'm still surprised that the Concept Active Tourer isn't part of BMW-i. I thought plug-in BMWs were going to be released under the i sub brand. And although I really like the i3 it's time to retire the prototype and show us the production version already.

  6. Agreed CD Speed! However don't expect to see the production version till after the new year. The car is still a year from launch (Sept 2013)so I don't think they want people to get tired of seeing it(like we are of seeing the concept) far before it launches. I bet we'll get the first look 6-8 months before the launch at on of the early 2013 auto shows. NAIAS is in January and is the show I would expect to see it at but I think that's still a little early. Chicago's show is in February, Geneva's in March and New York's in April. I'm thinking Geneva or New York and hoping for New York so I can be there.

  7. I am wondering if the interior of the Concept Active Tourer isn't closer to what the i3 will present in production form. The pictures that have circulated of i3 early prototypes' interior have seemed way too "conventional" but the CAT interior seems more like what I would expect also in the i3. Just my $ .02, of course.

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