A production-ready BMW i3 test mule was spied near the Leipzig plant.
By looking at the spy photos we can see the tank cover on the front right fender which indicates a prototype with the REx Range Extender, similar to the one we caught while refueling near Arjeplog. The small engine increases the range of the i3 to 250 miles from 90 miles on the electric charge only. The two-cylinder engine comes from the Motorrad Division and is housed in the trunk and connected to a generator that recharges the battery rather than transmitting mechanical power directly to the wheels.
The spy photos also reveal side mirrors with integrated signal indicators and special wheels with tires size 155/70 R19 a the front. In the back, 175 mm wide tires are being used.
Dr. Norbert Reithofer, BMW CEO, says that several hundreds of advanced orders were placed for the i3 and the first pre-production i3s rolled off the assembly line in Leipzig. Pricing will be announced later this year, but we expect the U.S. customers to shell out between $40,000 and $45,000 for the first i3.
The production-ready BMW i3 will debut in September at the 2013 Frankfurt Auto Show.
[Photos: Jan for Bimmertoday.de]