BMW i3 is the first series-produced model by BMW i – zero-emission mobility in a premium car segment. The first BMW Group model running on electric power alone offers customers a totally new and groundbreaking ways to experience driving pleasure, sustainability and connectivity on city roads. The visionary design of the BMW i3 showcases both BMW’s customary sporting capability and the efficiency of a four-seater with authentic clarity. Its innovative vehicle concept is an amalgamation of many breakthrough technology including a passenger compartment made from carbon-fibre-reinforced plastic (CFRP) which combines lightness, stability and safety with extraordinary spaciousness. Meanwhile, the driver assistance systems and mobility services from BMW Connected Drive and the 360° ELECTRIC services – all developed specially for BMW i – turn zero-emission urban mobility into a compelling everyday driving experience.
One of the main buzz surrounding i3 launch is the drivetrain. The hybrid synchronous electric motor generates output of 170 hp and puts maximum torque of 250 Nm on tap from the moment the car pulls away. The BMW i3 dashes from 0 to 100 km/h in 7.2 seconds, having accelerated from rest to 60 km/h in just 3.7 seconds. With a time of 4.9 seconds for the sprint from 80 to 120 km/h , it boasts a level of sporting ability that comparably sized combustion-engined cars would require far higher outputs to achieve. Top speed is pegged at 150 km/h.
The lithium-ion battery enables the BMW i3 to achieve a range of 130 to 160 kilometres in everyday driving. This rises by around 20 kilometres (12 miles) in ECO PRO mode and by the same distance again in ECO PRO+ mode. If desired, the BMW i3 is also available with a range- extender engine, which maintains the charge of the lithium-ion battery at a constant level while on the move as soon as it dips below a specified value. This role is performed by a 650cc two-cylinder petrol engine developing 34 hp and mounted immediately adjacent to the electric motor above the rear axle. The range extender increases the car’s maximum range in day- to-day driving to around 300 kilometres.
Dimensionally, BMW i3 measures 3,999mm long, 1775mm wide and 1,578mm tall. It rides on 2,570mm wheelbase. The finely honed aerodynamics give a drag coefficient of 0.29, and the good packaging gives 260L of boot space with all seat occupied.
The rear drive machine is suspended by McPhersons struts at the front and five-link setup at the back. The 19" wheel is wrapped in a narrow 155/70 tyres. BMW i3 is priced at GBP 31k in UK before the government grant deduction. It has been a long journey for the electric powered BMW after setting the scene in early 90s with several concept car. Autocar ran a story of i3 forebear HERE.