Following the reveal of the sporty i8 , BMW has announced a second concept by the name of the i3 . The new i3 is much more suited for everyday driving when compared to the high performance nature of the i8 and is BMW’s first series-produced all-electric car. It focuses squarely on the mobility challenges of the future in urban areas and, as the first premium electric vehicle, reinvents hallmark BMW attributes for the drivers of the future.
The i3’s electric motor delivers a total of 170 HP along with a peak torque of 184 lbs-ft. The all electric setup allows the peak torque to be available from a standstill, making the i3 a very agile vehicle. In terms of performance, the new i3 can make the sprint from 0 to 60 mph in less than 8 seconds, while top speed is limited to 93 mph.
Hit the jump to read more about the BMW i3 Concept.
Known only as the "Megacity Vehicle" until now, the BMW i3 will feature a stylistically modified and strikingly individual update on the kidney grille theme with a blue background, distinctively shaped LED headlights at the outer edges of the front end, aerodynamically optimized "stream flow," and two horizontal lines that converge from above and below. At the rear there will be specially designed L-shaped tail lights.
The interior has a "lounge-like character" illustrated in the renewable raw materials offering passengers a better opportunity of "experiencing" the sustainability of the vehicle. Natural fibers are used for the elements of the instrument panel and door panels, while the seats are made of naturally tanned leather.
A special Drive module will ensure that the two front and two rear seats are connected with each other by a continuous seat surface, which allows for ease of entry and exit via the front passenger side of the car.
The i3 offers a boot capacity of around 200 liters and an additional functional compartment in the front.
The i3 is powered by an electric motor placed at the rear axle that delivers a total of 170 HP and a peak torque of 184 lbs-ft. The concept will sprint from 0 to 37 mph in less than four seconds and to 60 mph in less than 8 seconds. Top speed is limited to 93 mph.
Unlike the Mini E that has an autonomy of 74 to 93 miles, the BMW i3 comes equipped with an optional Range Extender, the REx, which allows the electric driving range to be increased.
The REx is a small, very smooth-running and quiet petrol engine that drives a generator which maintains the battery charge level and therefore extends the range of the electric motor. As soon as the battery charge reaches a critical level, REx supplies the necessary energy to get the driver the rest of the way to his destination. In a sense, therefore, the Range Extender is like having a reserve fuel can on board. REx is also combined with an Automatic Start-Stop and other intelligent operating strategies.
When Will the Production Version Follow?
The BMW i3 is just the concept version of a future production vehicle that will follow in 2013.
The BMW i3 will enter a market that is already covered in electric vehicles. The competition that readily stands out is the Chevrolet Volt and the Nissan Leaf . These are only two models that seem to have the market cornered in the electric market. However, by 2013, we anticipate a number of new electric vehicles that will join the ranks of these two models; the i3 included. Other electric vehicles in the works are Audi’s electric A2 and Volkswagen’s Up .
- Great autonomy
- Impressive technology
- Futuristic interior
- Not as impressive design as the i8
- Just a concept
- Not very impressive performance numbers