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by Tim Beissmann

Extensive carbon fibre use will be a hallmark of BMW’s upcoming family of high-tech, low-emissions vehicles and will filter through to mainstream models in the medium term, according to UK publication Car Magazine.

The Mega City Vehicle (MCV) is still on track to become BMW’s first mass-produced electric vehicle in 2013, and BMW Group board member for sales and market, Ian Robertson, said the new family will wear M-style sub-brand badging.

“It will be badged as a BMW sub-brand with a propeller badge and a separate name,” Mr Robertson said.

“We are in the final stages of deciding what that name will be and there are some exciting options. It’ll be like our M badge, there will be a proper sub-brand on it.”

Another vehicle that is a possibility to be added to the family is a production version of the Vision EfficientDynamics concept car displayed at Frankfurt last year.

Mr Robertson confirmed it had not officially been approved yet but highlighted the versatility of the family.

“Our new technical systems are capable of being scaled from a four-seater MCV designed for an urban environment to a sports car too. This technology can be applied across the group: BMW, Rolls or Mini,” he said.

Having agreed to a joint venture with carbon fibre expert SGL Group, BMW says the chassis and other components of the MCV and future vehicles will utilise the lightweight material extensively.

Mr Robertson said the weight of these upcoming vehicles could be as much as 20 percent lower than standard steel competitors, but admitted prices would initially reflect the high cost of carbon fibre.

BMW is initially targeting the world’s most heavily populated cities for the 2013 MCV including Los Angeles, Mexico City, Tokyo, Beijing, Shanghai and 10 other Chinese cities.

(with Car Magazine)




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