BMW i3 to start at $35k, 150 horsepower

Rumors | May 17th, 2011 by 9
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A new report from Car and Driver sheds some more light on the 2013 BMW i3. According to the magazine, the first BMW electric vehicle to go into mass production will start at $35,000 in the United States and will output 150 horsepower. On full charge, the i3 EV will have a driving range of 160 miles and a top speed of 100 mph.

Luggage room is said to be 14.1 cubic feet, split between the space behind the rear seats and the “frunk” under the hood. Initially, BMW plans to produce 40,000 units per year at the recently upgraded Leipzig plant. Furthermore, C&D says the technique for mounting the floor-located pancake battery has been borrowed from the Rolls-Royce 102EX, the Phantom electric vehicle displayed at Geneva show.

Even more interesting is the fact that BMW is apparently working with Siemens on a 3.6 kWh wireless recharging network to be launched in Berlin.

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To maintain some of its core values, BMW will offer the 2013 i3 with a rear-wheel drive platform. The car will make extensive use of carbon fiber materials, ultra-light components that would help with the weight issue. Aluminum parts will harmoniously integrate with carbon fiber to offer increased safety.

The combination of carbon fiber and aluminum will offset as much as 350 kilograms (772 pounds) of additional weight from battery and electronic components, Klaus Draeger, BMW’s development chief, told Bloomberg earlier this year. BMW is building its electric drivetrain as well as its battery, in-house. In the development of the battery, BMW’s partnerSB LiMotive will contribute with the battery cells. SB LiMotive is also supplying battery cells for the ActiveE vehicle that goes in a pilot across this fall.

At launch, Megacity will be offered in a two-door, four-seat configuration. The car will measure around 157 inches. In the future, the MCV sub-brand will include two additional models. First one due in 2015 and dubbed ICV, short Intracity Vehicle, will be a two-door, two-seat car. In 2017, UCV – Urban Commuter Vehicle -will extend the length of the initial MCV and has four doors while hosting five people.