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BMW 'i' sub-brand - Click above for high-res image gallery

We've known for some time that BMW has been hard at work developing a range of high-tech green vehicles, from the oft-mentioned MegaCity runabout to a production version of its Vision EfficientDynamics eco supercar. But up until now, we didn't know how the Bavarians intended to name these very different new models.

We do now. BMW has just announced that its new sub-brand will be called "i." The i family will house the German automaker's "sustainable vehicles and mobility solutions" when it arrives in 2013. The first two models will be the as-yet unreleased i3 and i8, otherwise known as the MegaCity and VED production cars (both are teased in the rendering above). While BMW isn't saying where the i3 will be built, it has confirmed that the smaller-volume i8 supercar will be assembled in Leipzig.

In addition, the automaker has founded BMW i Ventures, a holding company based in New York City with $100 million in backing. The company's goal is to propogate 'vehicle-independent services' - things like smart phone apps. BMW i Ventures has already started staking other businesses, including My City Way, a company whose self-titled app provides details on public transportation, parking and entertainment in more than 40 cities in the U.S.

We can't help but note that in the accompanying press release (available after the jump), there is almost no discussion of preserving BMW's reputation of being 'fun-to-drive' and a leader in dynamics. ("Sustainable vehicles and mobility solutions" certainly isn't terminology to set the enthusiast's heart alight.) That said, if the production i8 can preserve the promise of the Vision EfficientDynamics showcar, driving entertainment will almost certainly be a part of the program for that car, and hopefully the i3 will be a lightweight and nimble little thing when it hits the market.

Gallery: BMW i

[Source: BMW]Continue reading BMW's new eco sub-brand to be called "i"

BMW's new eco sub-brand to be called "i" originally appeared on Autoblog on Mon, 21 Feb 2011 10:21:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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