BMW i8 Concept Heralds a New Space Age Style of Design

Technology used to sell itself on excitement.  One needs only to look back at the “space age” during the space race, a time when everything from cartoons(The Jetsons) to architecture(everything built in the 1960s) was presented on a platform of hope and optimism, and optimism concerning a positive future of high tech innovation.

Nowadays, it seems that we have grown a bit more cynical.  Technology, at least in the automotive industry, is too often sold as an appeal to the bottom line, mileage, safety, navigation, and so forth.  These are good things, and automotive marketing campaigns should use them to sell their vehicles.  But they bust be the filling details, not the headline, not the outer coat.  A truly well designed car is a piece of fine art, no different than a painting or clay sculpture, and well designed cars should be presented as such.

To that end I would like to point to the new BMW  i8 concept vehicle.  Pictured above, you can see that the exterior was designed not only with aerodynamics in mind, but also with human perception in mind.  When one views the i8, they are reminded of the future positive visions of the past that are bound to be making a resurgence.

“The BMW i8 Concept is the sports car for a new generation: Pure, emotional and sustainable,” said Klaus Draeger, the board member responsible for vehicle development.

The vehicle features an all-wheel drive system with 349 horsepower and 405 pound-feet of torque.  While, in a regular vehicle this may not sound like a great deal of power, extensive use of carbon fiber-reinforced plastic keeps the weight to 3,262 pounds, which essentially gives the driver that unrestrained use of torque that electric vehicle technology has long promised.

The 96 kilowatt (129) electric motor drives the front wheels, while a three-cylinder engine good for 220 horsepower drives the rear. BMW’s claiming a zero to 60 time of 4.6 seconds, a top speed of 155 mph and 104 mpg.

“We are marking another milestone in the history of the BMW Group,” Norbert Reithofer, board chairman, said as the cars were unveiled Friday in Frankfurt. “As chairman of the board and an engineer myself, I am very proud of this project.”

Phoenix Valley auto enthusiasts can view and test drive any current production model  BMW at any Phoenix Valley BMW dealer. Phoenix Valley auto enthusiasts should plan on attending the Phoenix Arizona International Auto Show to learn about the most recent concepts and innovations in the auto industry, including all of the latest technologies and ideas in the way of positive design and quality electric vehicles, taking place at the Phoenix Arizona Convention center over Thanksgiving weekend.

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