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2013 Toronto Auto Show: Electricity’s in the air at BMW booth


If you stop by the BMW booth at the Canadian International AutoShow, you’ll want to check out the i3 and i8, two purely electric and futuristic-looking concept cars having their Canadian debut in Toronto.

“They are two of the most striking cars at the show, just because of how innovative they are. They really stand out in terms of a different design,” said BMW Canada spokeswoman Barb Pitblado.

The i3 is a purely electric car that’s built for the city. As Pitblado explained, the car wasn’t converted to electric from an existing model. It was built electric.

“That has enabled us to structure them in such a way that they function most efficiently as an electric vehicle,” she said.

The i8 has also been popular with auto show visitors, who may remember it from Mission: Impossible — Ghost Protocol.

This new generation of BMW sports cars can go from 0 to 100 in 4.6 seconds and like the i3, it’s purely electric.

It also has carbon-fibre reinforced plastic, which is environmentally friendly and lightweight yet also strong for increased vehicle safety.

“It is futuristic and it hasn’t come to market,” Pitblado said. “It has glass panels on the sides and the doors so it’s really a striking looking car.”

The Mini John Cooper Works GP is also having its Canadian coming-out party at the Canadian International AutoShow.

Unlike the i3 and i8, which are fenced off, you can climb inside this car, which Pitblado said is the fastest Mini ever built.

Only 50 of these cars will be available in Canada and people who are Mini fans and drive enthusiasts will especially enjoy the chance to see the interior. It’s the first Mini GP to come to Canada, Pitblado added.

Finally, the booth also offers the chance to sit in the driver’s seat of the M6 Gran Coupe, which should be popular with Canadians who love the M-series. Canada is the fourth-largest M market in the world, Pitblado said. There’s lots of room inside for the whole family to climb in and take a look.

“I think part of it is Canadians enjoy performance and M is pure performance. The M6 Gran Coupe is just the pinnacle of M. It’s stunningly esthetic.”

The BMW booth is located on Level 800 of the South Building of the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.