BMW finally announced its second concept by the name of i3 following the release of the sporty i8. The i3 is purely an all-electric city car and is suited more for everyday driving rather than for high-speed driving. The i3 is a five-door hatchback vehicle that is around the same length as the Mini Cooper hatchback at 151.4 inches and is 79.2 inches wide. One of the most unique features of the i3 has to be the fully transparent doors which only have small reinforcement bars to prevent it from being completely see-through.
As for the finely shaped body, its body structure is made of a light yet highly resilient CFRP (carbon fiber reinforced plastic) and rides on a predominantly aluminum chassis. Peeking under the hood, the i3’s electric motor delivers an overall of 170 hp along with 184 lbs-ft of peak torque. The i3 can also race from 0 to 60 mph in less than 8 secs, while its top speed is limited to 93 mph.
The i3 has an electric motor that produces a total of 170 hp and 184 lbs-ft of peak torque. The i3 can also race from 0 to 60 mph in less than 8 s, while its top speed is limited to 93 mph. The exterior of the i3 is simply beautiful for a concept with distinctly shaped headlights and specially designed tail lights in an L-shape. The body is aerodynamically designed, giving it a distinct look. In the interiors, natural fibers have been used to design the instrument and door panels while naturally tanned leather has been used for the seats. With a boot capacity of around 200 liters and an additional functional compartment in the front, the i3 is actually roomy and is not too small for a hatchback.
The i3 is a four-seat beauty that gives you an open and airy impression when you’re in it. The freestanding steering column contains the start/stop button, gearshift lever and instrument cluster. Contrasting materials around the instrument panel, doors and floor area add to its interior splendor. The beautifully-crafted interiors comprise high-strength anthracite made from compressed and coated plant fibers. The instrument panel and door panels are made from natural fibers and the seats are made of naturally tanned leather. Adding to that, the two front and two rear seats are connected with a continuous seat surface, allowing easy entry and exit through the front passenger side of the car. Capacity-wise, the i3 has a boot capacity of approximately 200 liters besides an additional functional compartment in the front.
For a smaller car, the i3 concept is actually quite powerful and this should give it an upper hand if and when it becomes commercial. Powered by an electric motor at the rear axle that gives a power of 170hp and a torque of 184lbs/ft, the i3 races from 0 to 37 mph in just under four seconds and 0 to 60 mph in less than 8 seconds. The i3 has a top speed of 93 mph, which although not too high, is good enough for any city vehicle.
The BMW i3 also comes with an optional Range Extender also known as the Rex. This Range Extender allows the electric driving range to be increased while driving a generator, maintaining battery charge level and extending the range of the electric motor. Once the battery charge goes low, energy is supplied by the REx to help you get to your destination safely. It is more or less what you could call ‘reserve fuel.’
Being an all-electric vehicle, the BMW i3 concept is comfortable and is also a smooth-driving city car. Touching 0-60 mph in less than 8 seconds, acceleration is good while the body looks unique with its almost transparent look. Seats are comfortable putting passengers in a raised position, providing a good view.
Performance wise, the i3 is a decent vehicle to drive in the city considering it’s an all-electric car. Top speed is not exhilarating but is enough to cruise along the freeway and still finds stability in your ride. Interiors look and feel comfortable. But if you’re looking for a sports hatchback to race your way through traffic, the i3 may not be for you. All overall, the i3 is a good car to have and the fact that it’s an all-electric vehicle certainly makes it a good car to own.
The i3 is not yet available in the market and will go into production only in 2013 and will be launched by the end of the same year. BMW has not mentioned how much the i3 concept will cost so if you’re interested, you might have to wait until 2013.