Star of the upcoming movie Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol, Paula Patton, was on hand in helping introduce the North American debut of BMW’s i3 and i8 Concepts. Neither of these concepts are new to us, having seen them in detail at the Frankfurt Motor Show, but it’s understandable with the i8 playing a major role in the upcoming movie why BMW would give it center stage at the LA Auto Show.
Both the i3 and i8 Concepts are derived from BMW’s LifeDrive Vehicle Architecture incorporating a Life Module with a carbon fiber passenger compartment. The i8 features a 170-hp electric drive motor in the front while a 220-hp three-cylinder gas motor powers the rear. With a 50/50 weight distribution, BMW continued to boast that the i8 can have an estimated 78-mpg, delivering the performance of an M3 with the interior space of a 6-Series. BMW also reiterated that they will have a production model ready to show to the world by 2014.
The smaller i3 features a 170-hp electric drive engine with 184 lb-ft of torque and promises up to a 100-mile range that can be doubled with a range extender. A full charge of the i3 can be had in just four hours on a 220-volt charger, while an 80-percent charge can be obtained in just a single hour with a high speed charger. BMW announced that they plan to have a production vehicle based on the i3 Concept by the end of 2013.
Also making its North American premiere was BMW’s M5, though we’ve probably seen more than enough of it already. Worth noting was that BMW brought one out in a matte silver metallic finish and it sounded great rolling out to the show floor.