BMW has officially revealed all the details and images of the new i3 electric car. The i3 goes on sale in the United States during the second quarter of 2014 with prices starting at $41,350, before any federal or state incentives, and before Destination & Handling fee (currently $925).
“The new all-electric BMW i3 is a landmark in BMW’s mission to provide a completely sustainable, electric vehicle that still stays true to the Ultimate Driving Machine moniker,” BMW said in a statement. “The BMW i3 is the first product of the new BMW i sub-brand, and is a truly purpose built electric car. It’s a new era for electro mobility at BMW.”
So what is this “ultimate driving machine” powered by? The BMW i3 get its juice from a 22-kWh, 450 lb. lithium-ion battery, electric drive train that produces 170 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. The motor gets its power from a 22-kWh lithium-ion battery, which allows for a total driving range of 80-100 miles. If you’re interested in buying the BMW i3 electric-car but are afraid you’ll run out of battery during your commute, BMW optionally offers a rear-mounted 650cc, 34-hp, 2-cylinder, gasoline-powered Range Extender generator, which roughly doubles the i3’s driving range. Keep in mind though, the optional engine adds 330 lbs to the vehicle’s 2,700 pound curb weight.
Performance wise, the BMW i3 will go from 0-30mph in 3.5 seconds, 0-60mph in 7.0 seconds with a top speed of 93 mph. It features a Macpherson strut front and 5-link rear suspension set up with BMW’s signature near-perfect 50-50 weight distribution. It also has three drive modes including Comfort, ECO PRO and ECO PRO+.
When it comes to charging, BMW has estimated a 3 hour charge time via a 220 V outlet. Optionally, buyers can opt for the SAE DC Combo Fast Charging, which allows for 80% charge in 20mins or 100% in 30 mins.
The inside of the BMW i3 is something the company calls ‘Next Premium Interior’ – made of “high quality renewable sources and recycled materials.” BMW says that the interior space matches that of the 3 Series with a premium feel of interior quality as the BMW 5 Series Sedan. Even the key to the BMW i3 is sustainably made with bio-polymer and castor oil from castor seeds. The owner’s manual is also made from renewable resources.
The BMW i3 is a new era for the German automaker that is know for producing some of the most sportiest luxury cars on the market. We’ll have a better idea of how the i3 holds up after it goes on sale.
– By: Omar Rana