The biggest highlight of this year’s Frankfurt motor show has to be the BMW i range, including the production i8 hybrid-electric sports car. If you look at the BMW i range, the Bavarians have taken a giant leap when it comes to putting together sustainable-energy motoring.
Until now, the Toyota Prius has managed to stand the test of time, although of late, sales have been slow despite it being Hollywood certified. Unlike the Prius, the BMW i 3 is an all-electric hatchback, which means prospective owners would have to live with the anxiety of running out of juice at the wrong time. Hence, critics would choose to disregard the i3 much like any other purely electric automobile.
Now, the U.S. market will see the BMW i3 go on sale in the latter half of 2014, but it hits showrooms next month on the other side of the Atlantic. That said, BMW is taking advance orders for the car, and you will be surprised to know, much like BMW themselves, that more folks are showing interest in the i3 than initially thought.
BMW Europe already has 8,000 pre-orders for the BMW i3, which is way beyond what the company had expected. In fact, BMW is now pondering a further increase in investment to boost production if demand for the car persists. This was confirmed by BMW’s chief financial officer during a press conference.
Are we witnessing a paradigm shift in the way we perceive electric mobility? Well, it is difficult to confirm but the BMW i range has certainly caught the attention of the people. BMW has made huge investments into this project, as some estimates claim that BMW has pumped as much as $2.7 billion into the i range. Even with this massive investment, BMW is set to make a profit on each car sold.
The morale is certainly high at BMW and riding on the success, the company has already trademarked i1 through i9. Quite obviously, the i1 would be the smallest of the i-range and the most affordable. We suspect that the i9 may be a higher-performance version of the i8 , although BMW does not wish to make an M Performance version of the i8.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 BMW i3
Gallery BMW i3
The BMW i3 reveal was a long and drawn out process, as BMW didn’t care to hide its intentions with the model, but it did continue to release half-camouflaged images. Well, with all of the details in hand, we must say t4hat we are both pleased and disappointed.
The drivetrain is a pleasant surprise, as the motor puts down a healthy 170 horsepower and 184 pound-feet of torque. This allows this small five-door to hit 62 mph in a respectable 7.2 seconds and a top speed of 93 mph. On top of fairly lively performance, the i3 can also travel up to 123 miles between charges.
The disappointment was the overall design of the car. It looks like something that rolled out of a cheap Chinese car plant rather than something hailing from Germany. Maybe it’ll grow on us over time, but for now, it’s simply hideous...