Choosing the right car is a very personal experience. In addition to the many hours we’ll likely spend behind the wheel every year, our cars say a lot about us and the things we value. It’s no surprise therefore that many automakers offer branded keyrings or miniature models of their popular models as a way to encourage car buyers to associate with their chosen brand even when they’re nowhere near their cars.
Traditionally, the more prestigious the brand, the more ostentatious the merchandise becomes. Aston Martin, for example, offers an entire range of luggage and clothing for Aston Martin fans as well as an assortment of accessories and gifts for both the cars and their drivers. Even Tesla Motors offers its own branded merchandise, allowing those who can’t afford a Tesla Model S a way to associate with the brand without first mortgaging their house to do so.
Ever since its BMW i3 and i8 plug-in cars launched, BMW has offered a limited number of BMW-themed merchandise on its dedicated online shop including BMW i pens and memory sticks. Today, it has expanded that range to include some new products designed to help fans of the BMW i3 electric car, BMW i3 REx range-extended electric car and BMW i8 plug-in hybrid sportscar proudly proclaim their brand loyalty.
Included in the new BMW i Collection lineup is a brand-new BMW i jacket in BMW i electric blue, grey melange and BMW i8 white. Made from 100 percent organic cotton and an unspecified amount of recycled materials, BMW is keen to promote the eco-credentials of the jacket and helpfully suggests in its official press release that those who buy one may find it goes well with either the V-neck or round-neck BMW i blue T-Shirts.
Like other branded merchandise from other automakers, the BMW i Collection clothes aren’t cheap: €89 ($99) will get you the hooded jacket, while you’ll find yourself parting with €39.90 ($44) for the t-shirts.
Also available are BMW i-themed covers for cell phones and tablet computers, a portable Bluetooth speaker, baseball cap, drinking bottle and desktop organizer. Each are built using the same materials you’d find inside the BMW i3 or i8 cabin.
There’s even a solar charging unit designed to recharge your gadgets for $39.90 ($44). Sadly, it won’t charge your car.
As with any automotive collection, there’s also a 1:18 scale model of the BMW i8, which joins the existing 1:18 scale model of the BMW i3 already offered by the company.
If you’ve got a friend or loved one who likes their BMW i3 or i8 — or happens to want one — any of these new i-themed products could be the perfect gift for their next birthday.
If they don’t already own the car however, we should probably warn you that their reaction might not be as great as it would be if you were to buy them the real thing.
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