Since the release of its official strategy outline in September last year, media sources around the world have been speculating that BMW is looking at launching a new generation of ultra-efficient city cars. Then in March this year, BMW CEO Norbert Reithofer revealed that the carmaker was planning to establish a new environmental think-tank called 'Project i,' whose task would be to develop a number of solutions for a vehicle designed for congested city motoring.

Project i has been designed to run independently to BMW and has been given until the middle of the next decade to develop a concrete solution for the city car. One of its key managers, Herbert Höltschl, has confirmed that BMW wants to eventually produce a zero-emissions vehicle for global consumption.

Germany’s AutoBild is reporting that BMW will develop a range of zero and low emissions vehicles in the future, and has even produced a rendering of a possible design for one of the new models. While the rendering draws obvious styling cues from the recent M1 Concept, Höltschl has revealed that the cars would look radically different from any past BMWs.

Some of the options BMW is looking at is to use motorbike engines, both petrol and diesel, as well as electric propulsion, with both two wheel pod vehicles and compact four-wheelers currently being considered. Development is still in the planning stages, with the first decision on the drive system to be made by the end of the year. Click here to see the image in full.