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BMW to launch iPerformance hybrid sub-brand

Date: 05 February 2016   |   Author: Tristan Young

BMW is planning to launch a dedicated sub-brand called iPerformance for the plug-in hybrid versions of its 'regular' cars.

The German prestige manufacturer already uses the 'i' sub-brand for its most efficient hybrids and pure-electric vehicles such as the i3 and i8. However, now that it has a growing number of plug-in hybrid cars developed off existing BMW models - such as the X5, 3-series and 2-series Active Tourer, with the 7-series hybrid coming soon - it is understood that it wants to extend the 'i' name's reach.

iPerformance is thought to be six months away from launch. BMW is also considering dropping the option of different trim levels from the hybrid models, so instead of having SE, Sport, Luxury and M-sport versions of the recently launched 330e, there would only be a single iPerformance 330e.

Speaking at the launch of the 2-series Active Tourer hybrid, BMW engineers said the hybrid technology was now developed to fit any model. The 225xe marks the hybrid system's first use on the front-wheel drive Active Tourer and could therefore be used on the Mini Countryman range, which uses much of the same underpinnings. However, in the case of the Active Tourer, the hybrid system is used to power the rear wheels, making the car all-wheel drive.