Thu, 10 Nov 2011 05:27:45 GMT

New electric, hybrid concept cars from BMW

BMW has unveiled a pair of concept cars, one a hybrid and one electric, made of light-weight carbon fibre and a see-through glass exterior.

New electric, hybrid concept cars from BMW

The cars, unveiled yesterday, are expected to go into production within the next two to three years.

The carbon fibre in the i3 city car and i8 sports car significantly reduces the weight of the vehicle and the size of its frame, giving designers more flexibility and creating more interior space for passengers, said Richard Kim, who designed the exteriors of both vehicles.

The material, used in the aerospace sector and also for high-end bicycles, is valued for its strength-to-weight ratio. Its uses are expanding, however, and engineers are designing everything from camping equipment to pool cues.

For the German automaker, it allowed for more glass where there is traditionally metal, Kim said. The doors of both vehicles are mostly made of glass, along with much of their roofs and tail ends.

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