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2021 BMW i3

2021 BMW i3

We aren’t sure what the electric BMW 3 Series will be called, but i3 seems apt going by BMW’s naming-pattern for EVs

BMW is one of the most proactive automakers to advance towards electrification. The company has not just announced new electric models, but will also electrify the existing lineup. Recently, it revealed the iX3, which carries over all the shenanigans of the regular X3, but with an electric powertrain. Recently, the electric version of the 3 Series was spotted yet again and it seems to be on the same transformational path as the electric X3.

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2019 BMW i3 - Driven

2019 BMW i3 - Driven

BMW’s first EV still holds its own but not for long

There aren’t too many models out there that can legitimately lay claim to being funkier than the Nissan Juke, but the BMW i3 is one of them. It was introduced in 2013 as BMW’s first step into the electric market with a single purpose in mind – to see if people would actually be interested in an electric BMW. Well, the i3 has served its purpose very well and actually received a lot of attention. Whether that attention was received because of its funky minivan-like hatchback appearance or because it was an electric BMW is up for debate, but after 6 years on the market BMW has no choice but to dig into the electric car segment even more, so you can write the i3 off as a success either way.

That success, however, doesn’t come without a price, and in this case, the BMW i3 is paying the ultimate price – it will eventually die off as BMW focuses on other electric vehicles. With the i3’s time on the Earth limited to the next few years as BMW runs out parts inventory, we decided it would be a great time to test out the i3 before it fades off into oblivion. After all, it’s the last of its kind and, therefore, is probably as good as it will ever get. This is our story of a week well spent with the soon-to-be-extinct BMW i3.

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2019 BMW i3 120Ah

2019 BMW i3 120Ah

The little branded boy is here with a better stamina

BMW introduced the i3 in 2013 and literally invented the premium compact EV segment in the industry. Not to mention, it has been ruling ever since. However, the i3 has been facing some heat lately from other market players like the Nissan Leaf and the Chevrolet Bolt. In my opinion, it’s got the best looks and interior, but was lagging behind in its core duty – long travel range. But it seems like BMW has worked on this and has introduced the 2019 model with 120Ah battery pack.

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2018 BMW i8 and i3 Starlight Edition

2018 BMW i8 and i3 Starlight Edition

There’s a matching BMW i3 to go with it

Proving that it can match fancy with the best automakers in the world, BMW has rolled a one-off BMW i8 that’s dressed up in actual 24-karat gold. The unique creation is called the i8 Starlight Edition, and if you happen to have deep pockets, it can be purchased, provided you end up with the winning bid. That’s right, ladies and gentlemen. The BMW i8 Starlight Edition — and the i3 Starlight Edition, for that matter — will be up for auction to benefit the Dagmar and Václav Havel Foundation VIZE 97.

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Golden BMW i3 And i8 Starlight Edition Revealed

Golden BMW i3 And i8 Starlight Edition Revealed

Golden i3 or i8, anyone?

BMW has introduced tons of special versions of its i cars - the i3 and the i8. Now, the BMW Czech Republic division revealed a new stunning pair of special editions- the BMW i3 and the i8 Starlight Edition, two models that show off the exceptional possibilities of BMW’s paint partners at Toplac. As the official partners of the BMW ColorSystem, Toplac employed painter Miroslav Spicak and designer Zoltan Matuska to create the unique BMW i3 and i8 drizzled in gold. Literally.

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2020 BMW i3 M

2020 BMW i3 M

Adding some sport to Bimmer’s electric cube

BMW launched the i3 electric errand-runner in 2014, and recently introduced a new iteration called the i3s at the Frankfurt Motor Show. This latest “s” version is sportier than the standard model, gaining more power and extra handling capabilities, which got us thinking – where would this sort of evolution eventually lead? Would (could?) BMW turn the i3 into a bona-fide sports machine, rather than just an eco model with 15 extra ponies and a lower stance? If so, what would something like that look like? To answer those questions, we gazed into our crystal call, drew up a rendering, and did a little speculation. The end result is this – the BMW i3 M, a true motorsport performance box with specs to back the badge. Try 0-to-60 mph in less than five seconds and tail-happy handling dynamics, all with that i-branded eco friendliness when you’re ready to dial back the aggression.

So yeah, it’s just a rendering for now, but why not? After all, BMW is no stranger to the world of high-speed hybrids – just look at the i8, the success of which most likely prompted further discussion on the topic amongst BMW’s top brass. Add in copious rumors that such a thing is indeed under development, plus the fact that actually producing this thing wouldn’t be terribly difficult for the brand, and we’d say odds are split 50/50 yay to nay. Read on for our speculative take.

Continue reading to learn more about the BMW i3 M.

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2018 BMW i3

2018 BMW i3

New tech and a performance-oriented model keeps things fresh

The BMW i3 was introduced in 2013 and was the company’s first zero emissions, mass-produced vehicle. Part of BMW’s then-new sub-brand, BMW i, which also includes the i8 sports car, the i3 was also the first volume production vehicle to feature carbon-fiber-reinforced polymer (CFRP). A five-door hatchback with a 125-kW electric motor, the i3 is available optionally with a range-extending, two-cylinder engine and a small fuel tank. The city car has had great success on the market, ranking third among EVs sold globally from 2014 to 2016. Sales reached 50,000 units in 2016 and surpassed 70,000 examples in 2017, when the i3 became the world’s third best selling electric car. For 2018, BMW rolled out a significant upgrade that adds new styling features and a revised powertrain.

Received with great enthusiasm and praised for its premium appointments — in contrast to many small EVs being rather mundane in this regard — the i3 won several awards in its first year on the market. On the flipside, the German firm received its fair share of criticism for the car’s bumpy ride, high price, and limited practicality. Did BMW fix some of the EV’s issues with this mid-cycle facelift? Join me in the review below to find out.

Continue reading to learn more about the BMW i3.

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2017 BMW i3 94 AH

2017 BMW i3 94 AH

More range for Bimmer’s compact all-electric transportation bubble

Originally launched in late 2013, the BMW i3 has stood tall amongst the competition thanks to its premium European packaging and high-end technology. However, standards in the segment are on the rise, especially when it comes to affordability and range per charge. To address this, the Bavarians are introducing a new model series for the i3 called the 94 Ah, which offers an upgraded battery, and consequently, more miles between plug-in sessions. To complement the extra range, the new model also gets a fresh exterior color and a few added features for the interior.

Of course, the biggest news is the 94 Ah’s improved lithium-ion battery, which gets 50 percent higher capacity compared to the regular model, and according to “independent BMW testing cycles,” up to 114 miles of emission-free driving with each full charge.

Some will undoubtedly cry foul, as the first i3 offered up to 123 miles in Eco Pro + mode. So where’s the difference? The 94 Ah’s range was determined in “everyday conditions,” which means Comfort driving mode with the climate control activated, suggesting much more range is possible if you max/min all the settings and drive like a hyper miler (the previous model returned only 81 miles in Comfort mode).

Exactly how many miles is possible when the 94 Ah is pushed to the limit is not yet known, but for now, read on to see how BMW is keeping pace in the world of EVs.

Continue reading to learn more about the 2017 BMW i3 94 AH.

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2016 BMW i3 Shadow Sport Special Edition

2016 BMW i3 Shadow Sport Special Edition

First unveiled in 2013 as a production model, the BMW i3 has been steadily holding down the fort for BMW as the automaker’s resident urban electric car. In the two years that it’s been around, the i3 has kept pace with the Nissan Leaf in their particular market. Judging by the sales momentum BMW’s urban electric ride is enjoying at the moment, there’s reason for optimism within BMW that the i3 will continue to grow as a model.

Here in the U.S., BMW North America is giving customers a chance to take home a limited edition i3 that’s exclusively available in this region. Limited to just 50 units, the i3 Shadow Sport Special Edition comes with a unique exterior and interior that puts to light some new options that BMW will eventually offer to prospective owners of the i3. The most unique feature of the electric hatchback is a new paint finish that’s actually making its debut on this particular model. It also has a handful of interior upgrades and a suspension update that’s also a first for the i3.

The i3 Sport Shadow Edition is, for all intents and purposes, a flashy take on the urban electric car that U.S. customers can finally claim as their own. It’s a refreshing change considering that most special editions to come out of BMW in recent years have been earmarked for other markets, namely Europe and Japan. The U.S. finally gets its turn.

Continue reading to learn more about the BMW i3 Shadow Sport Special Edition.

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2015 LUMMA CLR I3 Concept

2015 LUMMA CLR I3 Concept

If you’re the BMW i3, you’re probably sweating over all the attention the BMW i8 is generating, and there’s good reason for that. The i8, after all, is like the stud athlete of the family, whereas the i3 is the the little brother struggling to come out of big bro’s shadow.

But don’t tell that to Lumma Design, the noted BMW tuner who loves the i3 equally. In fact, the new CLR i8 program developed for the i8 also has an i3 counterpart: the CLR i3 Concept.

Like the CLR i8, the CLR i3 also comes with a comprehensive body kit that’s become tantamount to an awesome makeover for the BMW i3. The new front lip spoiler adds a more aggressive appearance to the hatchback, whereas the new hood, which is made from carbon fiber from the looks of it, is the kind of high-end stamp you normally see supercars receive. Same goes for the carbon-fiber side skirts and the set of 22-inch alloy wheels.

The CLR i3 program also looks like it’s ripe to receive a performance upgrade. After all, you make this hatch look as good as it does, thanks to all those cosmetic and aerodynamic changes, without a matching performance tune.

We’re waiting for the complete program for the i3, Lumma Design. You got off to a great start with the aero mods; now’s the time to finish it off with a bang the BMW i3 deserves.

Click past the jump to read about the BMW i3

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2016 BMW i3 M

2016 BMW i3 M

The first reviews of the production i8 and i3 are finally out, and the styling really cleans up nicely without the trademark blue disguise wrap worn by the prototypes over the past two years.

The other shock of shocks? The first drive impressions of the i8 are coming back as highly favorable, with great interactivity on the limit and track poise beyond any current EV.

This is huge news for the future of the Ultimate Driving Machine as we know it. The slow creep of isolation and refinement is becoming problematic on the M6 and other fast Bimmers, so the worry has been that adding electricity to the mix will further isolate and dull the experience.

Everyone can sigh a breathe of relief. Both BMW i models run a 50:50 weight balance, carbon-fiber tub with alloy crash cradles. These are all extremely advanced designs shared between the i8 hybrid supercar and the i3. So, where does a potential i3 M fit in the pricing and technology mix for the future BMW i range?

With the i3 and i8 arriving at American BMW dealers together as 2015 models, all systems are go for the global roll-out of these production models. The price gap might raise an eyebrow or two: from about $43,000 for the i3 up to $135,000 for the i8.

This exclusive preview brings the first renderings of a performance middle ground for 2016: the BMW i3 M.

Click past the jump for this amazing three-pack of renderings that show the potential style of the 2016 BMW i3 M.

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2015 BMW i3

2015 BMW i3

After numerous i3 concepts, lots of testing sessions and numerous teaser images, BMW finally unveiled the new i3 electric car in its production form. The model is the first from BMW’s i sub-brand and opens a new era for electro mobility at BMW. Like everyone else, we are excited to see the i3, but the real prize is the still-in-development i8.

The i3 was built on a new LifeDrive architecture that will help reduce the car’s weight by 250 to 300 kg (551 to 661 pounds). The LifeDrive concept consists of two horizontally separated, independent modules. The Drive module integrates the battery, drive system, and structural and crash functions into a single construction within the chassis. Working in conjunction with the Drive module is the Life module, which consists primarily of a high-strength and extremely lightweight passenger cell made from CFRP. These aspects of car building will lead the way to a whole new process for building cars. A process that will be simpler, more flexible, and use less energy.

Updated 09/17/2015: LAPD just added one BMW i3 to its fleet. The car was a loan from BMW and will be used as a test car for twelve months.

Click past the jump to read more about BMW i3.

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