Volkswagen wants to take on the Bmw i3 with the new e-Up

Article by Anita Panait, on September 6, 2013

Volkswagen now has an offering that would rival BMW’s i3 city car: the e-Up. This latest offering from VW is an electric version of its Up minicar and, according to the carmaker’s head of electric-powertrain technology Rudolf Krebs, they deliberately positioned the e-Up against the i3. He remarked that the “time is ripe to introduce electric mobility on a large scale.”

VW is planning to present the e-Up and an electric version of the Golf hatchback at the Frankfurt Motor Show set next week. The e-Golf and the e-Up have a respective range of 190 km (118 miles) and 160km (99 km) on a full battery charge, the carmaker said in a statement.

VW will start selling the e-Up will in October at a starting price of EUR26,900 ($35,500) in Germany – around 23 percent cheaper than the BMW i3. On the other hand, VW will roll out the e-Golf to dealerships next spring.

Volkswagen can build the e-Golf and the e-Up in the same sites as conventional models to save costs and provide it with an edge over EV segment rivals, Krebs said.

The e-Golf and the e-Up will enter a segment of the auto market in which carmakers have been having quite a hard time enticing customers, due largely to their high prices and shorter range than conventional models. Carlos Ghosn, chief executive of Renault-Nissan, remarked to Bloomberg in an interview that the carmakers will fail to achieve its sales target of around 1.5 million electric cars by 2016.

The LifeDrive structure and BMW eDrive drive technology grant a remarkable level of flexibility as far as outline is concerned. True enough, the look of the BMW i3 is as significant as the feeling of space and driving experience on board. A body measuring 3,999 millimeters long, 1,775 mm wide and 1,578 mm high makes it possible for the BMW i3 to come in unique sizes.

Their innate dynamism and compactness highlight the car's dexterity in urban setting. The short overhangs of the BMW i3 are also a coherent pointer to its agile driving qualities. Huge glass surfaces inject the i3 with a captivating lightness and, along with its noticeable carbon structures, give a peek into the car's low-weight design.

The utilization of the light yet significantly sturdy material CFRP in the development of the passenger compartment enables it to get rid of the B-pillars, making access to the two rows of seats exceptionally simple. One of the trademark features of BMW i models is their "black belt", which expands from the bonnet across the roof and into the rear of the car.

Another result of the stand-alone BMW i design language is the "stream flow" sweep of the side contours, which permits bigger side window surfaces at the rear and in this manner amplifies the lavish feeling of space inside the car.

The front-end silhouette of the BMW i3 is characterized by a vigorously contoured apron, by the distinguishable rendition of the BMW kidney grille as an encased component, and by headlights bordered with U-shaped LED light units. The likewise U-shaped LED rear lights are incorporated as "floating" components into the huge, fully coated tailgate.

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