Caught! BMW's electric future

The next generation of BMW hybrid technology has been caught testing, with both the sports focused i8 and the smaller i3 city car spied in near-production trim.

The i8 was snapped completing high-speed testing at the Nurbrugring, with the images giving us the closest look yet at the plug-in coupe’s production-ready design.

As expected, it’s been toned down from the i8 concept first shown at the 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show, yet it’s clear the i8 will remain a striking coupe.

It should be quick too, with a three cylinder, 165kW, 1.5-litre engine driving the rear wheels, while a single 97kW electric motor powers the front axle.

Early talk suggests the i8 should charge from 0-100km/h in under five seconds and hit a top speed of 250km/h.

Unlike the i8, the new, urban-focused, i3 coupe will rely solely on electric power.

The smaller car is predicted to have a top speed of just 150km/h to protect its battery, and hit 0-100km/h in under eight seconds.

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