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.


2011 BMW i3 Concept High Resolution Exterior
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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.


2011 BMW i3 Concept Interior
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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.

Electric Motor

2011 BMW i3 Concept High Resolution Exterior
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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.


2011 BMW i3 Concept Exterior
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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.

2011 BMW i3 Concept High Resolution Exterior
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  • Leave it
    • Not as impressive design as the i8
    • Just a concept
    • Not very impressive performance numbers
Alina Moore
Alina Moore
Alina Joined the team in the early 2000s as one of the outlets very first experts, and she’s been with ever since. Over the years, she’s served various roles, but today she’s is relied on heavily to verify automotive facts, assist with formatting, and discover new and engaging topics.  Read full bio
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Show Comments


  (427) posted on 12.28.2011

The design of its interior is quite drooling for its futuristic detailing! The speed performance of the vehicle is more powerful compare to the Nissan Leaf!

  (797) posted on 11.23.2011

I just only love the spacious interior of it even the technology that it can offer. However, even though it is really a good-looking sports car, I’m still not impressed with it for the fact that it is an electric vehicle.

  (466) posted on 11.20.2011

I’m not really into a futuristic vehicle that’s why I didn’t find this one a good-looking car. However, I’m so impressed with its spacious interior and with its cool wheels. Anyway, is it an electric motor?

  (830) posted on 10.19.2011

I3 concept had a very futuristic detailing and platform. I wonder if they really had any plan to put this one on the market, and I just noticed that it is an electric motor, which brings disappointment on me.

  (313) posted on 09.7.2011

The interior features and touch that this i3 concept had seems so cool and interesting but just like their i8 concept it seems that this is not safe to use.

  (428) posted on 09.5.2011

Just like their i8 concept, it really had also an impressive interior features and exterior styling. It had a very futuristic styling and interior technologies which I found so fabulous for it. o.o

  (401) posted on 09.2.2011

Ok. I have to admit that I’m impressed with the styling of the car for its futuristic design. However, I think its not that powerful and its not safe.

  (472) posted on 09.2.2011

I have to admit that I’m really impressed with the styling of the car. However, its just sad that they can’t justify on how reliable is this vehicle. I want to a real production vehicle!

  (231) posted on 08.25.2011

I agree that the car has a futuristic design. However, I agree that the car needs to be more safety. It seems slow in terms of 0-60 mph.

  (287) posted on 08.25.2011

Well,it’s nice that they have plan in making a production for this vehicle. I like the elegance of the car although I’m not sure if the glass door is safe.

  (595) posted on 08.1.2011

I notice that the colors, and the designs of I3 and I8 are almost the same. They differ on the engine used and the type of production. This I3 is an electric car and a hatchback while the I8 has an opposite description.

  (231) posted on 08.1.2011

Well, the advantage of electric car was its eco-friendly and it’s a best solution in the growing crisis in fuel. However, this vehicle is costly and I’m afraid that the privacy of the passenger would be questionable especially the lady’s legs!

  (372) posted on 08.1.2011

This concept is kind of similar with the styling of the BMW Vision efficientdynamics. The design of its interior is quite drooling for its futuristic detailing! The speed performance of the vehicle is more powerful compare to the Nissan Leaf! I would love to see this car line up for future production.

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