Although it won't be until the second quarter of next year that we actually see the cars on the road, BMW officially unveiled the production version of the all-electric i3 city car in a simultaneous multi-city worldwide launch this morning.
Officially given the MSRP of $41,350 a few days ago, the car hasn't really strayed a ton from the concept car. Of course, it doesn't have the full-glass doors, but we knew that was just for show. The body is almost exactly the same, having a very smooth and bubbly finish, with flush tailights that are worked into the rear glass. The rims are no longer fanned out like on the concept, but the windows have the same interesting tapered look in the rear and floating feel with the blacked-out pillar.
The biggest differences come from the interior, following the trend of insanely wild concept dashboards being completely impractical. The i3 does come out of the gate with an equally interesting look, however. It has two completely individual digital screens and an enormous sweeping panel of real wood, which looks and feels fantastic.
I had the chance to sit in both the front and rear of the car, which BMW is marketing as the ultimate city vehicle (despite not having run-flat tires or a spare tire, a move to save on dead weight and improve efficiency), and at 6'2", I fit pretty snugly. It's always silly to complain about space, considering I'm on the taller side, but I could only fit a finger in the space between the ceiling and my head in the rear. That said, the materials and surfaces inside were all extremely cushy, comfortable and soft, not to mention the chosen light two-tone coloring looked great.
Again, the i3 has a synchronous electric motor with a 22-kWh lithium-ion battery. It has 170hp and 184 lb-ft of torque and one charge, which takes about three hours with a 220 V @32 amps connection, will get you between 80-100 miles. Top speed is only 93 mph and it has a 0-60 time of 7.0 seconds (yeah, definitley a city car). If you really want to maximize drive time, you can pay $45,200 and have a 650cc gas-powered Range Extender added to the car, as well. Hit the jump for a full list of "highlights" direct from BMW, and click through 30-plus photos to see all the details of the final car. Next up is the i8!
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- Pricing (before federal or local incentives) starts at $41,350; $45,200 for Range Extender model. Destination & Handling Fee not included.
- On Sale: Q2 of 2014 in the USA.
- BMW’s 360 Electric electro mobility services.
- BMW i Remote app, which connects with the car.
- BMW Navigation is standard.
- BMW Intelligent Emergency Call (‘eCall”), Anti theft alarm and Rear Parking Distance Control are standard.
- 170-hp, 184 lb-ft hybrid-synchronous electric motor with max. revs of 11,400 rpm.
- 80-100 mile real-world EV range.
- 22-kWh lithium-ion battery, which weighs 450 lbs.
- 650cc gasoline powered Range Extender optional; holds charge, doesn’t power wheels.
- 0-30mph in 3.5 seconds, 0-60mph in approximately 7.0 seconds (preliminary).
- Top speed of 93 mph, electronically limited to preserve efficiency.
- BMW’s signature, near-perfect 50-50 weight distribution.
- Ultra-tight turning radius (32.3 ft), which is ideal for city driving.
- Macpherson strut front and 5-link rear suspension set up.
- Single Pedal Driving Concept with Brake Energy Regeneration, which feeds power back into battery.
- 3 drive modes: Comfort, ECO PRO and ECO PRO+.
- 3 hour 220 V @32 amps charging time.
- Optional SAE DC Combo Fast Charging allows for 80% charge in 20mins; 100% in 30 mins.
Chassis and Body.
- Purpose built construction. World’s first mass-produced CFRP-constructed electric vehicle.
- Built on innovative LifeDrive architecture composed of two parts: Life Module and Drive Module.
- Life Module is essentially the cabin, constructed from Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic (CFRP).
- Drive Module is where all of the powertrain components are housed.
- Drive Module is made from 100% aluminum.
- Magnesium cross-member for instrument panel saves 20% weight vs. steel.
- BMW 1 Series external footprint with BMW 3 Series interior space.
- Adaptive Full LED headlights and LED taillights (standard in US market).
- Weighs in at roughly 2,700 lbs.
- No space-consuming transmission tunnel dividing car’s interior.
- Pillar-less design with rear coach doors allow for easy entry and exit to rear seats.
- Driver-oriented super-ergonomic controls.
- Three vehicle Worlds (trim levels): Mega (standard in US), Giga, and Tera.
- Standard 19-inch light alloy wheels with unique 155/70 all-season tires. 20-inch light alloy wheels optional.
- No transmission tunnel and low console allows for Slide-through Experience, which benefits urban driving by the ability to exit from the passenger side.
- Made with sustainable, renewable materials.
- Instrument panel surround and door trim use fibers from Kenaf plant.
- Carbon fiber reinforced plastic (CFRP) roof panel is made partially with recycled CFRP from manufacturing process of other components
- 25% of plastic used in interior comprised of recycled materials.
- Dashboard wood trim crafted from responsibly-forested eucalyptus.
- CFRP components are sustainably produced in Moses Lake, WA, USA, where the factory uses hydroelectric power.
- The Leipzig, Germany assembly plant uses wind-generated electricity.
- Olive-leaf extract is used to tan interior leather surfaces.