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Christopher Bruce2012-09-18 19:33:44

BMW Possibly Buying De Tomaso and Building More i-Series Cars

The i-series is due to go on sale next year

Reports are surfacing that BMWBMWBMWGermany, 1918 > present87 models
8655 photos
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is looking to branch out. According to the Italian Industry Ministry, BMW is among the companies in negotiation to buy De TomasoDe TomasoDe TomasoItaly, 1959 > present10 models
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that declared bankruptcy earlier this year. It is also discussing building more i-series models. 

Since becoming insolvent, De Tomaso has been owned by the Italian UILM trade union and several cities in Italy's Piedmont region because they had loaned the company money. 

"We had confirmation that talks with possible Italian partners and with BMW continue," said Giuseppe Anfuso, Turin secretary of the UILM. 

The current plan has Italian companies buying De Tomaso's facilities, and BMW would buy the rights to the company. 

The new i-series cars would come sometime after 2014 when both the i3 and i8 were already on sale. The plan is contingent on the i-series cars being successful. 

Ulrich Kranz admits that there is a huge gap between the i3i3BMW i3Germany, 2011 > present26 photos
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and i8i8BMW i8Germany, 2011 > present24 photos
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both in terms of price and performance. Future models would improve on the i3's 150km range. Kranz believes that the capacity of batteries will increase by ten times in the next decade. BMW is working on a new, higher capacity zinc-air battery. 

Kranz went into some detail about the range extender option that will be available on the i3. The two-cylinder engine will add about €3,000 to the car's cost and increase the range to 350km. 

BMW is hoping to sell 25,000 i3s a year.

Source: Automotive News and Auto Bild

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