We knew this day would come, so we are not taken by surprise the BMW i3’s days are numbered. The quirky hatchback is one of the oldest models in Bavaria’s portfolio, having been around since 2013. The range-extending REx bowed out a couple of years ago and now time is almost up for the fully electric model. The company’s pioneering EV will be no more in just a few months.
Australian magazine Drive has learned from a BMW spokesperson assembly at the Leipzig factory in Germany will end in July. Production for the US ended last year and now the small hatchback is about to be discontinued from all markets. The announcement follows a similar move taken by the company for its other “i” model from the old guard, the i8. The plug-in hybrid sports car was retired in July 2020.
Out with the old, in with the new as the plant will be reorganized. Changes have to be made to accommodate the BMW iX1 as well as the mechanically related MINI Countryman EV. The electric compact crossovers will indirectly replace the i3 once production will commence in the latter half of 2022. In addition, the BMW Group is hard at work preparing the next-generation Cooper S E catering to those looking for a smaller EV.
The BMW i3 Is Dead, Long Live The BMW i3
Even though the rear-hinged hatchback is bidding adieu, the “i3” moniker will live on. As previously reported, BMW will repurpose the name for an electric 3 Series Sedan. Based on the long-wheelbase version, the i3 will be built and sold in China beginning later this year. The i3 we all know was never offered in the People’s Republic, so there shouldn’t be any confusion.
Meanwhile, we’d be curious to know how many original i3s have been made. For what it’s worth, the 200,000th example was assembled back in October 2020. Company officials estimate the number has grown to around 250,000. The i8 received a colorful sendoff with 18 roadsters in special hues, so we are wondering whether BMW is planning something special for the i3.