2015 BMW i3 electric vehicle, when powered by the optional range extender engine, costs $46,125 (including destination costs). This means that it’s priced $3850 extra over the model’s base price. The gasoline engine is meant to complement the electric-only i3’s range of about 80-100 miles. The gasoline engine -- a 650cc two-cylinder engine – delivers 34 horsepower.
The wheels are not powered by this engine. Rather, it operates as a generator for the battery pack, which charges the 170 hp electric motor. The i3 is rear-wheel-drive in both electric-only and range extender configurations and the electric motor and the gasoline range extender are mounted in the rear. The range extender model is heavier than the electric-only version by about 330 lbs.
The optional range extender engine is partnered with a 2.4-gallon fuel tank. BMW states that the extender roughly doubles the range of the i3, which will place its total range at about 200 miles. However, it’s not yet known what the i3’s fuel economy is when the gasoline engine is running.
We also don’t know what the official EPA ratings are for mpg-e and estimated range. Charging the i3’s battery with a 220-volt charging port can be done within three hours. The 2015 BMW i3 will go on sale in the U.S. during the second quarter of 2014. It will be available in three trim levels, which BMW refers to as the Mega, Giga, and Tera worlds.
The design of the BMW i3’s front section is characterized by a number of features with the first being the strong curved apron. There is also the rather unique interpretation of the kidney grille, showing it as an enclosed element. The headlights meanwhile have the LED U-shaped light units on its edges. Its rear section also has the LED U-shaped light and has been incorporated to the fully glazed and large tailgate as “floating” elements.
There are two main reasons why BMW was able to implement a rather exceptional degree of freedom when it comes to designing the new i3. These are the BMW eDrive drive technology and what is known as the LifeDrive architecture. There is no question that the look of the new i3 is truly unforgettable, much like the driving experience and the feeling of space inside. Overall length is 3,999 mm, with total width at 1,775 mm, and a height of 1,578 mm.
These figures give the i3 unique proportion wherein the agility in urban use is highlighted by the compactness and dynamism. By having short overhangs, this new model is able to put attention on the nimble driving qualities it offers.
Finally the large glass surface allows the i3 to have that fascinating lightness and when paired with the visible carbon structures, give a hint as to the low-weight design. In creating the passenger compartment, BMW utilized CFRP, a material that is light but at the same time truly rigid. This allowed the brand to avoid using B-pillars ensuring that getting to the two rows of seats is indeed easy.
The i3 also has many of the well-known trademarks that the brand’s i models have long featured. One is the “black belt,” which is a feature that begins from the bonnet before going above the roof and extending the vehicle’s rear section.
There is also the “stream flow” sweep of the car’s side contours, another result of the stand-alone i design language of the brand. These features allowed BMW to make use of large side window surfaces especially at the rear. As such, it augments that already generous fell of space on the interior.