Bmw decided today to give us what we want and as a result, it revealed the complete details of the i3. Set to make its debut on July 29, the Bmw i3 is the first premium car designed from the ground up to be powered by an electric system. The i3 uses an electric motor mounted in close proximity to the driven rear axle which delivers 170 hp (125 kW) and a maximum torque of 250 Nm (184 lb-ft).
Weighing just 50 kg, the engine is capable to push the i3 from 0 to 60 km/h (37 mph) in 3.7 seconds and to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 7.2 seconds. The single-pedal control concept in the BMW i3 – configured by the BMW Group’s drive system development engineers – also contributes to the engaging driving experience. Recuperation mode is activated the moment the driver takes his foot off the accelerator.
The electric motor switches from drive to generator mode, feeding power into the lithium-ion battery. Bmw says that the lithium-ion battery will enable the i3 to achieve a range of 130 to 160 km (81-99 miles). The range rises by 20 km (12 miles) in the ECO PRO mode and by the same distance again in ECO PRO+ mode.
If the customer wants to, the i3 is also available with a range-extender engine a.k.a. a 650cc two-cylinder petrol engine delivering 34 hp (25 kW), mounted immediately adjacent to the electric motor above the rear axle.
Using the petrol engine, the range is extended to 300 km or 186 miles. Charging the battery to an 80 percent level takes about half an hour from a public fast-charging station (50 kW), while a full charge is completed in around six hours when using the optional Bmw I Wallbox.
Designers were able to have a lot of liberty in designing the new BMW i3, thanks to the LifeDrive architecture and BMW eDrive drive technology. With such freedom, designers were able to give the new i3 the looks that exude spacious and enjoyable driving experience.
Its compact and dynamic proportions – underscoring the agility of the BMW i3 in urban setting – are defined by its overall length of 3,999 mm, width of 1,775 mm and height of 1,578 mm. Moreover, the agility and nimbleness of the new i3 are also defined by its short overhangs. The lightness of the new BMW i3 is conveyed by large glass surfaces as well as visible carbon structures.
Amazingly, the new i3 features no B-pillars, as made possible by the employment of CFRP – a light yet rigid material – for the construction of the passenger compartment. The absence of the B-pillars makes it easier for occupants to access the front and rear cabins.
The new BMW i3 nonetheless carries a number of signature design cues of BMW i models, including the "black belt" that extends from the bonnet over the roof and into the rear. Another of these cues is the so-called "stream flow" sweep of the side contours, a detail that made it possible for the i3 to have larger side window surfaces at the rear.
Up front, the new BMW i3 is marked by dynamically contoured apron as complemented by an enclosed version of the BMW kidney grille. This grille is flanked by headlights that are in turned bordered by U-shaped LED units. On the rear, the U-shaped LED tail lights are now integrated as "floating" elements into the i3’s fully glazed tailgate.
Despite its compact exterior dimensions, the new i3 boasts of an interior with high degree of roominess and freedom of movement, thanks to the absence of B-pillars and the center tunnel as well as to the presence of opposing "coach" doors.