As these leaked images show, BMW’s first electric offering from its sub brand BMWi remains almost the same as the i3 Coupe Concept in terms of interior and exterior styling features. We’re headed to the future sans “flux capacitor” it would seem. The i3 consists of a carbon fiber reinforced passenger cabin, known as the Life Module and an aluminum chassis housing the drivetrain/batteries dubbed the Drive module. The interior features a floating layered dash with multiple flat screens to keep the driver well informed of the car’s range and other technical features.
On July 29th BMW will unveil the first BMWi product – the i3. With tax incentives pricing starts in the mid-$30s stateside it ‘s a car that may find it ‘s way in more garages than we initially expected.
Here are just a few of the highlights of what the i3 has to offer.
- The use of lightweight CFRP for the passenger cell cancels out the extra weight contributed by the lithium-ion battery, while the low, central positioning of the battery pack enhances the car’s agility thanks to near perfect 50:50 weight distribution.
- The electric motor is mounted in close proximity to the driven rear axle offers unique performance characteristics for this type of drive system as well as providing unbeatable traction.
- The driving characteristics of the BMW i3 are dominated by maneuverability – a direct response to the demands of city driving. The instantaneous power, stiff suspension set-up, precise steering and impressively small turning circle (32.3 ft or 9.86 meters), produces a BMW take on electric mobility.
- The electric motor(designed by BMW for the i3 exclusively) generates output of 170hp (125 kW) and peak torque of 184 lb-ft (250 Nm), which is on tap immediately. The motor weighs just 110 lbs. (50 kg) and boasts power density and responsiveness unprecedented in the world of electric mobility.
- The specific construction of the hybrid synchronous electric motor, developed exclusively for the BMW i3, maintains a linear flow of power into the higher reaches of the rev range.
- The BMW i3 sprints from 0 to 35 mph (0 – 60 km/h) in about 3.5 seconds and 0 to 60 mph (0-100 km/h) in approximately seven seconds.
- The single-pedal control concept in the BMW i3 – Recuperation mode is activated the moment the driver lifts off the accelerator.
- The lithium-ion battery enables the BMW i3 to achieve a range of 80 – 100 miles (130 – 160 km) in everyday driving. This can be increased by up to approximately 12 percent in ECO PRO mode and by the same amount again in ECO PRO+ mode.
- The BMW i3 is also available with a range-extender engine, a 650cc two-cylinder gasoline engine developing 34 hp. It increases the car’s maximum range in day-to-day driving to around 160 – 180 miles and has no effect on luggage capacity.
- Range Assistant is engaged both for route planning and during journeys already under way. If the destination programmed into the navigation system is beyond the car’s range, the system suggests switching to ECO PRO or ECO PRO+ mode and calculates a more efficient route.
- If the BMW i3 concept fails to meet mobility requirements in a specific situation, 360° ELECTRIC provides flexible mobility solutions including alternative vehicles from BMW.
- With a DIN curb weight of 1,195 kilograms, (2,630 lbs), the car is lighter than most compact vehicles, yet offers significantly more space for up to four occupants.
- The suspension components of the BMW i3 stand out with their minimized weight yet extremely stiff construction. The BMW i3 has MacPherson single-joint front suspension and a five-link rear axle mounted directly to the Drive module.
- The dimensions of the standard tires (155 / 70 R19) are specific to the BMW i3 – sounds drift-able to us.