BMW launches i for NZ; $278k for top model

BMW launches i for NZ; $278k for top model

Left to Right: Nina Englert (BMW Group New Zealand Managing Director), Simon Bridges (Minister of Energy & Resources, Minister of Transport & Associate Minister for Climate Change Issues) and Ian Gibson (Team McMillan BMW Dealer Principal)

Left to Right: Nina Englert (BMW Group New Zealand Managing Director), Simon Bridges (Minister of Energy & Resources, Minister of Transport & Associate Minister for Climate Change Issues) and Ian Gibson (Team McMillan BMW Dealer Principal)

BMW launched its i-brand in New Zealand last night – with an $83,500 opening price.

‘i’ covers the company’s line of plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles.

Pricing opens at $83,500 driveaway for the i3 and the powerful i8, virtually a supercar with green credentials, is priced from $278,000.

The brand was launched at Auckland’s Team Macmillan BMW by the Minister of Transport, Hon Simon Bridges, with BMW Group New Zealand managing director Nina Englert, Team McMillan dealer principal Ian Gibson and invited guests.

“BMW i represents a world-leading and hugely innovative solution for sustainable personal mobility and the opening of this first BMW i dealership marks a significant milestone in the history of BMW in New Zealand,” says Nina Englert, BMW Group New Zealand managing director.

“We have had a new BMW i8 in the country for the past two weeks, and it’s received an incredible response wherever it has gone,” says Englert.

“I’ve enjoyed the privilege of spending an evening driving the i8 and am now even more of an advocate for the new model than I was before,” she explains. “It’s dynamic; it’s exciting, it delivers the feeling of a real sports car and is without a doubt the most head-turning BMW I have ever driven.”

Englert justified the pricing.

“We consider this to be very competitive for what are all-new models designed from the ground up, featuring absolute leading edge technology,” says Englert.

“BMW i represents the ultimate statement when it comes to green motoring,” she says. “They are tailor-made, innovative vehicles, constructed from a clean sheet and as such are quite literally born electric.”

While also available offshore solely electric, here it is fitted with a motorcycle-derived 2-cylinder 650cc range extender fitted as standard, giving an expected 340km range.

i8nz

The i8 has a slightly larger 3-cylinder 1.5-litre engine that provides drive to the rear axle, and when working in tandem with the forward mounted electric engine offers a range in the vicinity of 600km.

The i3 can accelerate from 0-100km/h in 7.9 seconds, while the i8 equals the time of the BMW M3 sedan, clicking off the stop watch in 4.4 seconds.

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