BMW has taken a radical departure from its traditional brand of teutonic sedans with its "i" range.

The i3 is a carbon-bodied electric city car and the i8 a plug-in hybrid sports coupe, and both display wild styling and high-tech features. We were at the 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show to get a closer look.

BMW i8 Plug-In Hybrid Sports Coupe

The i8 is probably the most exciting of the duo. It's a rakish sports coupe with flowing lines and cool blue highlights, with large glass doors making it impossible to miss. It's clearly a BMW too, helped by the traditional kidney grille - probably the only traditional element of the car.

The four sculpted seats make the interior just as distinctive, and the performance won't disappoint either. Power comes from a three-cylinder gasoline engine that serves the rear axle, and an electric motor sends power to the front wheels to increase traction. The engine and motor can be used independently or together depending on requirements.

BMW claims a 0-62 mph run of only 5.9 seconds, and a top speed limited to 155 mph, in common with most other high-performance BMWs. Weight comes in at 3,260 pounds.

All quite exciting, we're sure you'll agree. Really though, we should let the pictures do the talking...

You can catch more of our 2011 Frankfurt Auto Show coverage by clicking here.


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