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BMW transforms reach of i series with BMW i8By Joe McCarthy
German automaker BMW is augmenting the i series mission of sustainability with the debut of the BMW i8 at the Frankfurt International Motor Show Sept. 10 that targets racing fans and environmental enthusiasts.
The show allows consumers to examine and test-drive the brand’s latest model, placing an emphasis on the i series. Following the release of the highly anticipated i3 model, the i8 may transform consumer’s conceptions of what a sustainable vehicle can achieve.
“The BMW i8 embodies our vision for a sustainable contemporary sports car,” said Stacy Morris, corporate communications manager of marketing and culture at BMW of North America, Woodcliff Lake, NJ.
“It is a high-performance plug-in hybrid electric vehicle that goes from 0 to 60 in under 5 seconds and gets up to 87 mpg fuel economy,” she said.
“We look forward to debuting the BMW i8 to the public at large in Frankfurt at the International Motor Show.”
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The BMW i8 is the brand’s attempt to translate a sports car into a sustainable vehicle. The brand hopes to tap into the consumer segment of sport enthusiasts with the i8′s innovative design.
The vehicle’s nature as a plug-in hybrid enables it to drive primarily without emissions. However, the car reaches its top speeds with the help of a petrol engine.
At the motor show consumers can drive models from the i series around a track in the shape of BMW’s infinity logo. Since all rides will be strictly powered by electricity, the event will be emissions free.
The i8 was shown as a concept car during the 2009 Frankfurt International Motor Show. BMW has refined the i8′s design and incorporated significant carbon-fiber and aluminum to lower the car’s weight.
BMW has been showcasing the prototype at various dealers around the world. At a Munich dealer, the BMW i8 prototype was in full display, giving consumers a chance to view both the frame, components and the actual model, per Bimmerpost.
Like the i3, it can run in pure electric mode for distances of up to 22 miles and a top speed of 75 miles per hour, Autocar reports.
BMW has directed substantial resources into the development of its i3 series.
The automaker is aiming to beat out the competition by pushing its i concept electric vehicles with the i3 set to be in-stock this year.
Since electric vehicles are a new product to many consumers, automakers that introduce them to consumers should develop strong marketing campaigns to convince consumers to buy the new technology. It seems that electric vehicles can help automakers get ahead of its competitors because there are more environmentally-conscious affluent consumers (see story).
In addition, BMW’s promotional campaigns for the i series has raised the bar for mobile advertising among luxury marketers when it released a campaign comprised of video content and Google Maps integration.
The ad showed the various i concept vehicles driving along the ad space and a Google Map of the area that the mobile user is in. A click-through led to a BMW Web site that gave users a virtual test drive of an i concept vehicle (see st0ry).
With its unswerving commitment to the i series, the brand has observed a mounting buzz surrounding developments.
“There has been extensive consumer interest surrounding BMW i8,” Ms. Morris said.
“We have posted content about the BMW i8 Concept on all our social media channels and the customer engagement has been amongst the highest for all our posts,” she said.
“For example, we posted a picture of the BMW i8 Concept on Instagram and it was the most liked photo for BMW USA this year. Also, two of the top 10 BMW USA Facebook posts in 2013 were about the BMW i8 Concept.”
Joe McCarthy, editorial assistant on Luxury Daily, New York
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