BMW plug-in hybrids to be badged as iPerformance models; technology transformation for i sub-brand to all core vehicles
BMW’s models spawning the plug-in hybrid versions will bear the new iPerformance nameplate. The German manufacturer has the I division exclusively for the i3 and i8 models which are all-electric versions having an unique identity of their own. The mainstream plug-in hybrids from the existing product line-up will link with those i models and it’s set to be the company’s plans.
The new models will be benefitted from the technological advances encountered in the i3 and i8 models. They will be torch-bearers for the Bavarian brand’s i sub-brand. Of course, along with the new nameplate, comes the cosmetic changes as the plug-in hybrid versions will carry distinctive i badging on the front side fender, blue coloured embellishments on the front signature kidney grille and the wheel hubs alongside the eDrive badges on the C-pillar.
It marks the transferring of the technologies developed for the i-branded models to the plug-in hybrid variants of the core product portfolio like the 330e and the X5 xDrive40e SUV with the battery cells, electronic management systems and the electric motors derived from the expertise developed over the years from the i division.
Whilst it will show BMW’s efforts in the hybrid and electric vehicle development are not put in vain, the first model to wear such iPerformance nameplate will be 330e that will be available to buy in the United States in the coming months. Next plug-in variant with that moniker will be the 740e that will also be introduced this year before expanding to international markets.
In fact, the company plans to develop iPerformance variant throughout its model range, including the X5 SUV from July onwards. BMW showcased the 740e as its first iPerformance model at the 2016 Geneva Motor Show. Moreover, customers will be able to utilise the brand’s I 360 Electric range products and services including the BMW i Wallbox – a home solar system.