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BMW has officially announced the i sub-brand at the company's museum in Munich, Germany.

Set to be launch in 2013, the i lineup will originally consist of the i3 (Mega City) and i8 (Vision EfficientDynamics). Details are limited, but both models will be built at the Leipzig plant and ride on the "LifeDrive architecture" which has an aluminum chassis and a carbon fiber-reinforced plastic (CFRP) passenger cell.

Unlike MINI and Rolls-Royce, the new i models will retain the BMW logos - albeit with a blue ring around them. Furthermore, the vehicles will be distinguished by blue grille surrounds, aerodynamic side skirts, "stream flow" C-pillars, and "large but narrow" wheels.

Besides the plug-in hybrid and pure-electric technology, BMW i will emphasize "a range of vehicle-independent services." As part of this process, the company has setup an American-based capital investment group called BMW i Ventures. It will primarily focus on smartphone applications such as the MyCity app which provides users with information on public transportation, parking availability, and local entertainment.

Additional information will be announced at the Geneva Motor Show, so stay tuned.

Gallery: BMW i sub-brand announced with i3 / i8 [videos]

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