Is this what BMW’s exit from F1 is bringing us?

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BMW has unveiled its plans for a battery-powered car that, get this, has a carbon-fiber passenger compartment.

Maybe the company was serious when it said it was leaving Formula 1 to pursue alternative energy cars?

The car, based on something called Project i, appears to be going under the name “megacity vehicle.” Mega, indeed. It is supposed to hit showrooms in 2013.

And, in a turn from the Prius and Nissan Leaf, BMW is insisting this electric car will be “premium sustainability,” according to the NY Times.

Automobile magazine also has coverage and something approaching a sketch. Here are some specs from the magazine:

To maximize the MCV’s range, BMW has focused on reducing weight with a carbon fiber passenger cell and aluminum chassis components. A lithium-ion battery with about 35 kWh of capacity is placed below the vehicle’s floor and should deliver about 100 miles of range. Power will be delivered to the rear wheels through a rear-mounted 150-hp electric motor. Top speed is predicted at 95 mph.

[snip]

We’ve also been told by a BMW insider that Project i cars will eventually expand to include other powertrain options. One possibility would package a 35-hp combustion engine as a range extender, much like the Chevrolet Volt. Plug-in hybrids are also in the cards and would have a ten-mile electric range before relying on a three-cylinder gas or diesel engine to cover another 300 miles.

It hits showrooms in 2013, huh? Maybe F1 could just write the new regulations to fit this?

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