Next month BMW will debut their first electric vehicle to emerge under the “i” sub-brand. The BMW i3 will debut publicly at the Frankfurt Auto Show and will go on sale later this year.
Compared to the concept model revealed in 2011, the patent images of the i3 show a more mature design and closer to a production-ready vehicle. The beautiful but somewhat unrealistic headlights are now replaced by a simpler and probably more cost effective lamp. At the front we can also see the addition of an extra air inlet when compared to the concept.
The overall size of the car has not changed, but the wheelbase is shorter and the rear doors on the concept are about 20 centimeters longer than the production model.
Other changes from the concept are the replacement of the glass doors with carbon fiber (CFRP) which add lightness and strength. The tailgate is also no longer made of glass.
The BMW i3 uses an electric motor over the rear axle generating an output of 125 kW/170 hp and impressive torque of 250 Nm (184 lb-ft). BMW i3 Concept accelerates from 0 to 60 km/h (37 mph) in under four seconds and from still to 100 km/h (62 mph) in less than eight seconds. An optional two-cylinder motorcycle engine and a generator are used extend its range by another 81 miles on a single tank of gasoline.
The i3 can cover up to 136 miles on a single battery charge, but the range can be increased up to 217 miles using an optional range extended.
The upcoming BMW i3 is rumored to have a base price of $40,000 in the United States.