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Slideshow: BMW Busting Out With All-Electric; Sports Hybrid
11/15/2011

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The doors of the BMW i8 plug-in hybrid swing upward like wings to provide a sporty feel.  (Photo courtesy of BMW)
The doors of the BMW i8 plug-in hybrid swing upward like wings to provide a sporty feel.
(Photo courtesy of BMW)

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Charles Murray
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Re: A thing of beauty
Charles Murray   11/15/2011 3:27:27 PM
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One of the criticisms of the Chevy Volt is that people don't want to buy a $40,000 car with a Chevy badge on it. In that sense, maybe these vehicles have an advantage. Yes, the prices will be high, but they will have a BMW badge.

Lauren Muskett
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Re: A thing of beauty
Lauren Muskett   11/15/2011 11:03:02 AM
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I agree, Beth. These will not be mainstream vehicles, but it will be interesting to see the reaction to the prototypes. it will also be interesting to find out the price range of the vehicles.

Rob Spiegel
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exotic vehicles
Rob Spiegel   11/15/2011 9:20:52 AM
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You do have to wonder about the rational for these upscale hybrid and EV models. Could be they are showcase vehicles designed to enhance the brand -- both as cool styling and for green-wash PR? Or maybe there is a sizable enough portion of the market that will buy these showcase cars and make them profitable.

Alexander Wolfe
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Seller push; buyer pull
Alexander Wolfe   11/15/2011 7:18:04 AM
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As Chuck has previously written, we have yet to see consumer willingness to buy come anywhere near vendors' rush to field alt.energy vehicles. (I'm speaking more of EVs than hybrids, but even for the latter the point obtains, though to a lesser extent.) Now, if car manufacturers offered a battery replacement insurance policy, it might be a different story. But then of course they would end up losing money on every EV.

Beth Stackpole
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A thing of beauty
Beth Stackpole   11/15/2011 6:47:53 AM
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These prototypes really seem to push the envelope in terms of space-age design, especially that flapping door design. Not sure how practical that is in a city parking lot, but we'll see.

I'll be really interested in see how these models look and are received once finally introduced. in many ways BMW is like Apple--if any one can pull off the design look and the seamless integration of all the systems, plus keep the performance, they can. Problem is and will always be affordability. These are not vehicles for the mainstream public.

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