Bmw i3 to use a range-extending motorcycle engine

Article by Christian Andrei, on October 13, 2011

As we may know already, Bmw is currently working hard on the i3 electric car, which will hit the showrooms by the end of 2013, but it appears that the German manufacturer is planning a surprise for us. Yesterday Bmw hosted an event in New York city and several people from the i3 development team were there.

Asked if the upcoming Bmw i3 will use an engine from Bmw’s car or motorcycle parts bin, Chief Engineer Ulli Kranz suggested that a motorcycle engine would be perfect for this kind of car.

It is speculated that the i3 will get a 48 hp single-cylinder 652-cc unit found on the Bmw G-Series motorcycles. This means that Bmw will adopt the same plan as GM did with the Chevrolet Volt, which carries an 84-hp, 1.4-liter Ecotec four-cylinder engine.

The Fisker Karma also uses a 260-hp, turbocharged 2.0-liter engine. Regarding the upcoming Bmw i8, this car will use a small three-cylinder engine delivering 220 hp and capable to offer the performances of a sports car with a fuel consumption smaller than a city car.

Uncompromised city driving has always been a priority when it comes to the new BMW i3 Concept design. As Andreas Feist also said, the BMW i3 concept employs new architecture to showcase the premium electric car’s potential.

The latest BMW concept vehicle by far is the smartest transportation for daily cruising around the metropolis. The i3 is built with a pure electric drive unit with intelligent features to deliver sustainable energy and efficient performance.

BMW applied the advanced LifeDrive architecture to build a lightweight and spacious commuter car without compromising the standards for safety. So in case there is a sudden collision, the car’s impressive driving dynamics is primarily due to the intelligent lightweight structure and materials that were used.

However, the concept design also aims to achieve optimum efficiency. That’s why the new BMW i3 model can travel far and beyond even with one-time charging. The well-rounded concept car’s technical blueprint ensures that all the right details are in proper order, as this would enable it to maximise its full potential.

Meanwhile, the rear axle’s electric motor can generate as much as 125 kW/170hp with 250 Nm/184lb-ft powerful torques. BMW’s smart car can also rev up from 0-60km/h in just about 8 seconds (or less) while the strategically placed battery on the Drive module supports the balanced weight distribution around the middle. In other words, the very agile and sensitive wheels make the i3 easier to park and drive even when faced with the most difficult road conditions.

At the end of the day, we all want a sustainable car to suit the kind of lifestyle that we have right now. Good news is, the carefully chosen materials for the cabin not only provide terrific ambience but also show concern for the environment. And not only that, but BMW’S LifeDrive Module offers more room for the passengers so we can also expect comfort, space and value as we step inside.

Topics: bmw, bmw i3

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