BMW preparing to launch the i3 Electronaut Edition

Article by Christian A., on December 15, 2013

According to the latest reports, it appears that BMW is preparing the i3 Electronaut Edition. This new vehicle was mentioned during a meeting with ActiveE owners a.k.a. Electronauts and Jacob Harb a.k.a. BMW North America’s head of Electric Vehicle Operations and Strategy. If built, the i3 Electronaut Edition will feature an exclusive color combination and be offered with special equipment.

If launched in the US, customers will have to wait for it as the BMW i3 will make its debut in North America in the second quarter of 2014. The BMW i3 Electronaut Edition is expected to carry the same electric motor mounted in close proximity to the driven rear axle, delivering 170 hp (125 kW) and a maximum torque of 250 Nm (184 lb-ft). The i3 hits 60 mph (37 mph) in 3.7 seconds and 100 km/h (62 mph) in 7.2 seconds.

If the customer wants more, the BMW i3 is available with a range-extender engine in the form of a 650cc two-cylinder petrol engine rated at 34 hp (25 kW), mounted immediately adjacent to the electric motor above the rear axle. With the petrol engine installed, the BMW i3 is able to offer a range of 300 km or 186 miles.

The well-known feeling of driving satisfaction expressed by the BMW i3 is the product of a thoroughly executed overall concept, some portion of which has involved producing the ideal harmony of weight, performance and range for urban mobility. The vital components here are the LifeDrive architecture and BMW eDrive innovation. The utilization of lightweight CFRP for the passenger cell counterbalances the additional weight contributed by the lithium-ion battery, while the low, central positioning of the battery pack improves the car's deftness thanks to a perfectly adjusted 50:50 weight distribution.

Likewise, the electric engine mounted in close proximity to the driven rear axle provides one-of-a-kind performance attributes for this sort of drive system as well as providing superb traction. The standard 19-inch forged light-alloy wheels of the BMW i3 are ultra-lightweight yet likewise offer outstanding torsional firmness. The wheels are fitted with low rolling resistance tires in 155/70 R19 format, their custom-made, relatively narrow proportions, giving a perfect mix of lower drag and a contact area built for dynamic cornering. Clients can purchase 20-inch light-alloy wheels as an alternative.

The driving qualities of the BMW i3 are ruled by its mobility - an immediate response to the requests of city driving. The instantaneous power delivery of the electric engine, partnered to the vehicle’s stiff suspension set-up, exact steering and astonishingly small turning circle (9.86 meters), generates a classic BMW’s take on electric mobility.

The electric engine produces a yield of 125 kW/170 hp and maximum torque of 250 Newton meters (184 lb-ft). The engine weighs only 50 kilograms and provides power density and responsiveness that’s extraordinary in the realm of electric mobility. The particular construction of the hybrid synchronous electric engine, built only for the BMW i3, keeps a linear flow of energy into the higher reaches of the rev range. The BMW i3 accelerates from 0 to 60 km/h (37 mph) in just 3.7 seconds and from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) in 7.2 seconds.

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